As countries around the world are easing COVID-19 lockdown measures and resuming economic activity and international exchanges, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) will gradually adjust regulations concerning foreign nationals’ entry into Taiwan in accordance with decisions and standards set by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). These adjustments are being made to accelerate Taiwan’s economic momentum and restore normal living conditions. From June 29, 2020, foreign nationals who wish to travel to Taiwan for reasons other than tourism and regular social visits may apply for a special entry permit with an R.O.C. overseas mission by submitting relevant documents and forms. Applications by students and people wishing to study Mandarin in Taiwan will be handled by the Ministry of Education in line with its related measures.
Upon entering Taiwan, all foreign nationals must present an English-language certificate of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three working days of boarding the flight to Taiwan and undergo a 14-day home quarantine period. Visitors of the following categories can be exempted from negative COVID-19 test：personnel on diplomatic or official business, migrant workers, and students (whose entry is managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor, and Ministry of Education and who represent manageable risk levels), as well as people coming to Taiwan for emergency situations and crewmembers on vessels arriving in Taiwan (for whom it may be difficult to obtain a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test).
These newly announced regulations constitute updates of measures that were announced earlier this year by MOFA, according to which foreign nationals—except Alien Resident Certificate holders, personnel on diplomatic or official business, persons who can prove they are fulfilling commercial and contractual obligations, and persons requiring special permission—were barred from entering Taiwan from March 19 in accordance with guidance from the CECC. (E)
Frequently Asked Question
Q1. For what purposes may foreign nationals presently come to Taiwan?
A: Starting June 29, individuals may apply for a special entry permit to come to Taiwan for purposes other than tourism (including social visits) and study, including studying Chinese. For the latter, the Ministry of Education will establish a separate schedule for opening up. Evidentiary documents (such as a permit or certificate issued by central competent authorities or relevant organizations, or a commercial invitation) must be presented for inspection. Permitted purposes for coming to Taiwan include internships and training, international conferences or trade fairs, international exchanges, volunteering, religious proselytization, working holidays, youth exchanges, and seeking employment.
Q2. Presently foreign nationals may not come to Taiwan with tourism, including social visits, as a purpose. What is meant by a social visit? Can you give an example?
A: Social visits would, like tourism, include attending social activities or making private visits that have no obvious connection to family and no responsible domestic contact point. Examples include coming to Taiwan to visit friends or attend a wedding banquet, sporting event, concert, other performance, or holiday festival.
Q3. May foreign nationals use visiting family as a purpose to come to Taiwan?
A: Yes. Foreign nationals coming to Taiwan for a short time to visit relatives may present evidence showing a clear familial relationship when applying at a foreign mission for a special entry permit. Foreign nationals using a valid visa, landing visa, or visa-free entry shall, after arriving in Taiwan, submit supporting documents to an immigration officer of the Border Affairs Corps for inspection to determine whether they may enter Taiwan.
Q4. What commercial/business activities may foreign nationals come to Taiwan to engage in? How does this differ from the directive issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 18 concerning those fulfilling commercial and contractual obligations?
A: The March 18 announcement concerning the fulfilment of commercial and contractual obligations only applied to those who had received a permit from the central government competent authority concerning investment, employment, or contract fulfillment, or had proof from an enterprise that they were fulfilling an obligation. The purposes currently accepted for coming to Taiwan for commercial reasons are broader, and include such business activities as goods inspection, after-sales service, technical guidance and training, and signing contracts. An applicant must present relevant documentary evidence to a foreign mission abroad when applying for a special entry permit.
Q5. How may foreign nationals coming to Taiwan for short-term commercial activities apply for a shortened home quarantine period?
A: A short-term commercial traveler meeting certain conditions may present evidentiary documents provided by the inviting firm, schedule, and disease prevention plan to the foreign mission when applying for a special entry permit. Also, both prior to boarding and after arrival in Taiwan, the traveler must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report taken within the past three working days for inspection. For further details and operational guidelines, please visit the following websites:
► Centers for Disease Control announcements:
► CDC “Operating Guidelines for Short-term Commercial Travelers Applying for a Reduced At-home Quarantine Period”
Q6. May foreign nationals apply for a special entry permit to come to Taiwan for medical treatment (including attendants) where the medical complaint is not acute or where there is a special humanitarian concern?
A: Yes. However, non-urgent medical services such as physical examination and aesthetic medicine are excluded. In addition, the medical organization treating the patient must first get approval from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Where approval is granted, the applicant (patient or attendee) may present the approval letter and other related evidentiary documents to the foreign mission and apply for a special entry permit.
Q7. When will Taiwan open to foreign nationals coming to Taiwan for study or to learn Chinese?
A: The timeframe for opening to foreign nationals for study or to learn Chinese will be announced separately by the Ministry of Education.
Q8. When will Taiwan allow foreign nationals to visit for tourism and social visits?
A: Adjustments to entry control measures for foreign nationals will be determined by the Central Epidemic Command Center in accordance with global pandemic developments.
Q9. May foreign nationals originally eligible to visit Taiwan visa-free or on a landing visa for reasons other than tourism or social visits do so during the pandemic period, or do they need to apply for a special entry permit?
1. Taiwan’s current entry control measures for foreign nationals are based on their purpose of visit and do not supplant original visa treatment privileges. However, whether foreign nationals may visit Taiwan visa free or on a landing visa during the pandemic period will depend on the boarding regulations and policies adopted by individual airline companies. In addition, they must submit supporting documents upon arrival at the airport to an immigration officer of the Border Affairs Corps for inspection to determine whether they may enter Taiwan.
2. If foreign nationals are unable to determine whether their supporting documents are complete or meet the conditions for border entry, it is recommended that they apply for an special entry permit at an ROC foreign mission before traveling to Taiwan.
Q10. May nationals of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam still visit Taiwan after obtaining an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate (conditional visa waiver) from the National Immigration Agency’s website?
A: Not for the time being. The Travel Authorization Certificate program aims to provide nationals of these Southeast Asian countries with a convenient visa-waiver mechanism to visit Taiwan for the purpose of tourism. It does not meet the requirements for a special entry permit. Thus, during the pandemic period, nationals from these countries may not use the Travel Authorization Certificate to visit Taiwan.
Q11. Which foreign nationals are exempt from having to submit a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report obtained within the past three working days as part of their supporting documents before boarding and upon arrival in Taiwan?
A: Personnel on diplomatic or offical business, migrant workers, and students have been listed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor, and Ministry of Education, respectively, as special cases with controllable pandemic risk. In addition, as it is problematic for recipients of emergency humanitarian assistance and persons arriving by boat to obtain a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report three working days in advance, they are exempt from this requirement. Foreign nationals holding a valid resident visa or an ARC are exempt from the aforementioned requirement as well. All other foreign nationals must provide such reports upon arrival in Taiwan.
Q12. Do foreign nationals holding a valid Alien Resident Certificate need to submit for inspection a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report obtained within the past three working days before boarding and upon arrival in Taiwan?
A: No. However, foreign nationals holding a valid ARC are still required to process a 14-day home quarantine after entry.
Q13. Aside from submitting a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report obtained within the past three working days as part of their supporting documents before boarding and upon arrival in Taiwan, what other procedures must foreign nationals complete?
A: In addition to submitting for inspection a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report obtained within the past three working days before boarding and upon arrival in Taiwan, foreign nationals must complete the “Quarantine System for Entry” form on their cellphones prior to boarding.
► CDC “Quarantine System for Entry”: https://hdhq.mohw.gov.tw
Q14. Regarding the adjusted entry control measures for foreign nationals starting June 29, are there any restrictions with respect to nationality or travel history?
A: No. The current entry control measures on foreign nationals are with respect to purpose of travel. There are no restrictions with respect to nationality or travel history.