The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a multi-entry visa waiver that allows Taiwanese passport holders to visit the Schengen Zone and stay for up to 90 days. If you are reading this after late-2022, and you are a passport holder traveling to countries like Germany, Belgium, and Austria, you must apply for an ETIAS.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Taiwan Citizens
The ETIAS is not a visa. It is a visa waiver, which means it grants visa-free access. It’s part of a program that the countries of the Schengen Zone introduced to secure their borders.
The whole point of the Schengen Agreement was to abolish internal borders, which means that an individual permitted access to France can also cross into Germany without needing to complete additional checks or paperwork.
However, the problem with such a relaxed system is that it gives criminals the same freedom of movement as tourists.
After all, to a drug smuggler, human trafficker, or terrorist, those rules grant the freedom to offend across multiple borders without worrying about customs.
The ETIAS was introduced to negate such risks. Every application is checked against a series of international databases, including ones managed by INTERPOL. If an individual has been arrested for drug smuggling charges or is being monitored as a potential terrorist threat, they will be flagged during the application process.
Once that red flag is raised, the application moves from automatic to manual and they may be refused access.
How Long Does the ETIAS Visa Waiver Remain Valid?
Technically, the ETIAS remains valid for 3 years. However, it is attached to a passport and not an individual, which means that it will expire before that time if the passport expires.
If you have been approved and authorized, you can visit countries within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. As an example, if you visit Spain on the 1st of January and spend 30 days there, before moving onto France and Germany for the same length of time, you will need to return home (or leave the Schengen Zone) and remain for another 90 days before you can re-visit.
Where Can Taiwanese Citizens Travel with an ETIAS?
The ETIAS is known as a multi-entry visa waiver, which means it can be used to access multiple countries. If Spain is the first stop on your itinerary but you also intend to visit France and Portugal, you will only need one ETIAS and it’s the same process regardless of the country you visit.
By the same token, there is not an ETIAS for Taiwanese citizens and an ETIAS for British citizens. It is the same one across the board. All applicants are asked for the same identifying information (and passport details) and they will also be expected to pay the same €7 fee.
Can Taiwan Citizens Travel to the US Without a Visa?
The United States has its own visa waiver program and it works in a similar way to the ETIAS. Known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization or “ESTA”, this program is eligible for dozens of nationalities and affords them easier access to the United States of America.
Taiwan is part of that program and if you want to visit the US as a Taiwanese passport holder, you will need to submit an application and be in possession of a passport with a National ID number. The ETSA is valid for 2 years and permits access for up to 90 days.
Which Countries Can Taiwanese Citizens Visit Without a Visa?
Some of the other countries that Taiwanese citizens can visit visa-free include the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Malaysia, Israel, South Korea, India, and Australia.