For many countries, no Taiwan visa is required if you stay less than 30 or 90 days.
1. Up to 30 (or 90) days of stay: no Taiwan visa is required as you are entitled to the "Visa-Exempted Entry".
2. A "Visitor Visa" is required for more than 30 (or 90) days. There are different kinds of Visitor Visas depending on the reasons of the travel: tourism, business, work, study, marriage, joining family, etc.
3. The "Resident Visa" is issued for stays longer than 6 months.
Passport holders of the following countries can stay in Taiwan up to 90 days without a Taiwan Visa:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K. , and Vatican City State.
Persons from these countries can stay up to 30 days without visa:
Australia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and U.S.A.
Also citizens of India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia are not required a Taiwan visa if they are permanent resident of countries such as USA, Australia, Canada, European Union. Anyway better to check with your country Taiwan Consulate or on the official website.
You have to apply for this visa if you want to stay more than 30 days (or, again, 90).
The Visitor Visa is normally valid 60 days and you can extend it in Taiwan two more times - up to 180 days - unless your visa has the fine print "no extension will be granted" - check first and ask the consulate if your intention is to stay more.
The Taiwan Visitor Visa is issued for different reasons as tourism, business, study, work, joining family, etc.
You normally need to provide these documents:
• Your passport with not less than 6 months validity
• 2 passport photos
• A duly completed and signed visa application form
• Documents related to the kind of visa you apply (school enrollment certificate, company letter, etc)
• The Taiwan Office could ask for further documents, such as a bank statement, a return ticket or else.
The Visitor Visa can be single or multiple entry - that means you can stay more periods in Taiwan, each time still up to 60 days.
Some are lucky enough to be granted this kind of visa with 1 or even 5 years validity.
With this "long term visitor visa" you can stay up to 5 years in Taiwan, provided you leave the country every 60 days - you just have to do a short trip to Hong Kong and come back to Taiwan.
Normally Taiwan policy, regarding visa and other foreign relationship matters, is based on "reciprocity" - that is ... tit for tat.
You need to apply for the Resident Visa if you want to stay more than 180 days (normally) or indefinitely. Most of times this visa is given for employment, study or marriage.
You can apply for the Resident Visa overseas or in Taiwan. In this case you are required to enter Taiwan with a valid Visitor Visa.
When you are in Taiwan with your Resident Visa you must apply before 15 days for the so called ARC (Alien Resident Certificate).
The ARC is a kind of ID card for foreigners. With the ARC you can enjoy the absolutely superb national health insurance, open a bank account, apply for the driving license and many other things.
How to get a Taiwan Visa?
For the sake of simplicity, the words "embassy" and "consulate" are used here regarding Taiwan missions abroad.
But, if you are going to look in the Yellow Pages for the Taiwan Embassy in your country, you will be out of luck. There will be no Taiwan Embassy. Since Taiwan is not recognized by most of countries (and by none of the larger countries), Taiwan diplomatic missions are not called "embassies" or "consulates".
In English are often called TECO (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office). Check the official list of Taiwan diplomatic missions overseas at www.taiwanembassy.org.