Coronavirus: What You Need to Know About Taiwan's Entry Ban

Coronavirus: What You Need to Know About Taiwan's Entry Ban
Photo Credit: CNA
What you need to know

Taiwan has banned foreign travelers from entering the country to curb the spread of coronavirus. Here are some useful resources and information on what you can do.

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Taiwan has banned the entry of foreign travelers starting on March 19 to curb the spread of coronavirus. ARC and APRC holders, diplomats, and business visitors are excluded from the restriction. If you have an upcoming trip to Taiwan or if you are currently in Taiwan, you might find the following information helpful.

Updates on March 21, 2020:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that all foreign visitors, who have entered before March 21 with a valid visitor visa or a visa-exempt entry, would be granted an automatic 30-day visa extension. No application required. However, your stay should not exceed 180 days. 

What if I have an upcoming trip to Taiwan?

If you are not a Taiwanese citizen or an ARC/APRC holder, your entry will be prohibited. Check with your airline company to arrange for flight cancellations. 

Some international travelers have arrived at Taoyuan International Airport today without any knowledge of the travel ban. Their permission for entry may be reviewed by the National Immigration Agency personnel. 

Do I have to practice 14-day home quarantine if I am already in Taiwan?

Yes. If you have arrived from Europe and Dubai between March 5 and March 14, you are required to report to local offices immediately. Dial 1999 to report your history of travel and the local government will arrange for your home quarantine procedure. In the meantime, please refrain from going outside of your accommodation without wearing a mask or having close physical contact with other people. 

If you are staying with a friend or in an Airbnb with a local host, you should be wearing a face mask even if you're just leaving your bedroom. Do not share kitchen utensils and tableware. It's best if you can have your private bathroom as well, otherwise please put the toilet seat down before you flush the toilet. 

If you are a migrant worker, your employer would have to provide the home quarantine measures, such as an individual bedroom or a hotel, according to the Ministry of Labor.

What if I am on a visitor visa and my returning flight is canceled? 

Check with your airline to see how you can reschedule your flight, sometimes you would have to take more than one layover to reach your destination. 

BOCA states that visitor visa holders who are permitted to stay in Taiwan for 60 or 90 days and whose visas bear no such remark as “no extension will be granted” may apply at local service centers of the National Immigration Agency for a maximum of 120 or 90 days of extensions.

However, BOCA also clarified at a press conference that you need a legitimate reason (i.e. work, school, business, illness) to stay. 

If you are simply worried about the coronavirus in your home country, it is not sufficient for a visa extension. In other words, if you had checked "tourism" for your purpose of visit on your entry form, you are likely to be refused a visa extension. But if your home country is on total lockdown without any available means of entry, then you can be considered as an exception. 

Will my country arrange a charter flight?

Most countries have no confirmation on a charter flight as of now. However, do visit your home country's embassy or local office in Taiwan to put your name on the list for any alert. 

What if I overstay my visitor visa?

According to the Immigration Act, you can be fined between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000 depending on the amount of time you've overstayed. You may be banned from re-entry for one to three years. Check the BOCA's webpage to see how long your visa-exempt period is. 

If you work illegally in Taiwan without a permit, you can be banned from entry for three years. 

What if I have a recent job offer in Taiwan? 

If you have received a job offer and are waiting for your work permit to apply for a resident visa, you do not have to leave Taiwan. You would have to visit BOCA at least 8 days before your current visa expires to change your residency status. After you receive your resident visa, you must visit a local National Immigration Agency office within 15 days to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

How do I apply for a visa for my foreign spouse?

Applicants outside of Taiwan are advised to apply for the visa from a Republic of China (Taiwan) overseas mission. If your spouse is currently in Taiwan, you can visit the BOCA office before the current stay expires. Your spouse may not have to leave Taiwan to convert his or her residency status. For more details on documentation, visit the BOCA webpage here

When will the entry ban be lifted?

This will be determined by Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center based on the risk assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Government websites
  1. Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA)
  2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)


Related: Coronavirus: Interactive Map & Live Updates from Taiwan