Extending my VISA exempt stay


I’m a Canadian citizen who will be travelling to Taiwan in 2 weeks. I plan to stay there for more than 90 days (but less than 180 days). I’m a bit confused by the information on the BOCA website. I’d be very grateful if someone could clear things up for me:

  1. Will I be able to extend my stay while I’m IN Taiwan?
  2. If I can’t extend my stay, can I do a visa run to Hong Kong, but without going through custom/immigration in HK?

Thanks very much for your help.


Brits and Canadians can extend their visa exempt one time from within Taiwan. You might be asked for a little paperwork but I have read that it’s relatively easy and it’s free. I’m American so I haven’t done this but this is what I have read. You will need to go to the National Immigration Agency building closest to you.

I think you have to apply for the extension 30 days before your original 90 days is up and yes you can do the visa run without going through HK immigration and customs, just get your return boarding card before you leave either from the check in desk at Taoyuan or get it online.

Yes, this information is correct…Brits and Canadians can extend their Visa Exempt In-Country one time for another 90 days but you will be asked to provide some paperwork. I did it last Friday for my parents (Both hold British passports) and this can only be done at the MOFA/BOCA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Bureau of Consular affairs) located at 台北市濟南路一段2之2號3樓 (3F., No.2-2, Sec. 1, Jinan Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City) Phone numbers: 02-2343-2866 or 02-2343-2867. More information can be found here. It’s a word document in Chinese. Paragraph 2 is what you need to look at…basically it states what documents you need to provide. Out of the 8 points listed, the first 3 are mandatory which are:

  1. A completed Visa Exempt application form ([color=#FF0000]Check Note 1 below[/color]) & Two Passport Sized colored photos which were taken within the past 6 mths.
  2. British/Canadian passport with more than 3 mths validity left on it.
  3. A letter stating your reason to extend your Visa Exempt.

You might be asked to provide your Bank statements to prove that you are able to support yourself for the next 90 days…with all the above docs, go to the MOFA/BOCA…go directly to the Visa Application counters and submit them. The Visa officer will check everything, take your passport and will ask you to come collect it within 7~10 days. You don’t have to pay anything as this service is provided free of charge.

[color=#FF0000]Note 1: As of April 2012, all Visa Applications will ONLY be accepted via their online application forms …here’s the link…complete the online form at your leisure while at home (Choose the “General Visa Applications” category) and after clicking submit, you will be provided with a number. Take that number along with all supporting documents to MOFA/BOCA to apply for your extension.[/color]

Thank you, Abacus, gareth186, and springonion!!


I have a followup question and was wondering if you guys could help! I arrived in Taiwan at the end of April, and as a Canadian citizen, I understand that I can extend my VISA exempt stay for another 90 days. I plan to go and get that extension next week.

My question is, is this a one-time deal? I plan to leave Taiwan in mid-September for two weeks and then come back. Will I be able to get another extension? In other words, will I be able to stay in Taiwan for 180 days (90 days of VISA exempt stay + a 90-day extension) before I do a VISA run?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Yes, a 90 day extension on the Visa exempt in-country is a one-time deal only…You must leave before the 180 days is up and then you can come back for another 90 days visa exempt but you will not get anymore extensions in-country…visit the BOCA website for more details.

Thanks, Springonion. What if I don’t apply for an extension this time and do a VISA run instead… will I be able to apply for an extension when I come back in October? Will they see all they entry stamps in my passport and refuse to grant me an extension?

Yes, you should be able to apply for an extension. It’s NOT a “one-time deal”. I asked the staff at the BOCA, and she said you could apply for an extension per entry… but if you do it too often, they may reject your application. She said once a year should be fine. Hope this helps.

Thanks, Springonion. What if I don’t apply for an extension this time and do a VISA run instead… will I be able to apply for an extension when I come back in October? Will they see all they entry stamps in my passport and refuse to grant me an extension?[/quote]

I just got my extension and I read on the gov site that one reason they might reject it is if you have already spent more than x length of time in taiwan in the past year. That led me to believe its best to extend the first stay rather than subsequent stays, but that it might also simply cause them to pay more attention to your purpose statement.

Saying that, I reckon the above reply is more useful- noone knows better than the people who do the paperwork

The online general visa form requires so many details it’s probably easier just to do a visa run.

The applicant’s details (nationality, former or other nationality, surname and given name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, spouse’s name, occupation, name of employer or school, address and telephone number in home country, address and telephone number in Taiwan, and current address and telephone number)

Passport details (passport type, passport number, date of expiry, date of issue and place of issue)

Category of visa(visit or residence, number of entries, and the ROC overseas mission the application to be submitted to)

Journey to Taiwan (purpose of travel, having ever been issued an ROC visa or not, date of arrival in Taiwan and proposed date of departure)

Details of the applicant’s contact in Taiwan (name, relationship to applicant and telephone number)

Being a foreign spouse or not (education, occupation, whether getting married through a matchmaker, matchmaker’s name, occupation, address and telephone number)