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ESTA for Taiwanese Citizens

The ESTA is the US visa waiver document that permits foreigners to arrive in the USA with tourism, business, or medical purposes. This Electronic System for Travel Authorization, designed by the US, is available for certain suitable countries such as Taiwan.

Taiwanese travelers are enabled to apply for an ESTA, enjoying some advantages, as avoiding previous appointments with the US consulate or embassy and submitting the information online, instead of bringing documents to the immigration office, to get a travel permit to enter the United States.

Do I Need an ESTA as National of Taiwan?

Citizens of Taiwan must bring an ESTA on the day of arrival in the USA. It is mandatory to present the ESTA together with a valid Taiwanese passport in order to gain access to the country.

The ESTA is not the same travel authorization as an American visa or a tourist visa to the US. Both documents, the US visa waiver and the US visa, have several differences in terms of the methods to apply to them, the requirements involved, and expiration dates.

The ESTA to visit the US is the fastest and best option for Taiwanese passengers who want to remain in the country for no more than 90 consecutive days. With the ESTA, travelers of Taiwan can discover all parts of the United States, as well as entering multiple times for 2 years, which is the maximum valid time the ESTA is active.

If Taiwanese nationals want to arrive in the US for paid or voluntary work purposes, or even studying in universities or academies, then the ESTA is not the correct option. In those cases, passengers must apply for another type of US work visa directly at a US embassy in Taiwan.

Those Taiwanese visitors arriving in the USA because of a connecting flight must apply for a transit ESTA.

US Visa Waiver Benefits for Taiwanese Citizens

As Taiwan is one of the visa waiver eligible countries, Taiwanese travelers have a series of advantages when applying. They do not require more documentation than their passport, which has to be valid at least 6 months before arriving in the US.

Currently, all Taiwanese passports can be directly connected to the US visa waiver, as they are part of the new generation of passports called biometric passports. This is an excellent way to avoid bringing more documents than the original passport and the ESTA to the trip.

If Taiwanese nationals are traveling with the whole family or in a big group, they can ask for a group ESTA, which merges each members’ request in one document. Through this option, passengers from Taiwan do not need to bring individual ESTA documents.

Once Taiwanese travelers have arrived at any US airport, they will be asked to present the ESTA together with the passport of Taiwan to the local authorities. It is not necessary to wait long queues, as the border control is fast and it only requires asking some routinary questions.

US ESTA Requirements for Taiwanese Travelers

Taiwanese travelers have the same requirements to apply for an ESTA than the rest of eligible countries. Taiwanese nationals can obtain an ESTA if they:

  • Have not been in Syria, Sudan, Iran, or Iraq after March 1, 2011
  • Have no criminal reports
  • Have not been previously expelled from the United States
  • Have not overstayed a visa or visa waiver in a different country from Taiwan
  • Have a current, valid Taiwanese passport with at least 6 months of validity

These requirements are very important regarding the USA security system. Taiwanese must consider if they have any contagious disease, too, as it is an obligatory question in the ESTA application form.

It has to be considered that Taiwanese minors have the same US ESTA requirements as an adult.

The questionnaire must be answered correctly as if there is any mistake, the ESTA can be rejected and it will be necessary to apply again.

How Can I Apply for the ESTA From Taiwan?

Taiwanese applicants must have access to an email address and their passport before starting the US ESTA application form.

The email address is required for starting, as the approved ESTA will be sent to the same email used for registering, as well as any update about the US visa waiver processing times.

The online form has some obligatory questions, such as complete name, date, and place of birth, gender, or nationality. All the passport information will be required, that is why it is a good idea to have the passport by hand before starting the application.

After having answered all the questions, the platform will lead Taiwanese citizens directly to the ESTA fee payment. It is necessary to have a valid credit or debit card.

Once the payment has been completed, the ESTA requirement is processed and, in 24 hours or less, the approved ESTA in PDF format will be sent to nationals of Taiwan.

Considerations when applying for the ESTA from Taiwan

Taiwan nationals can access the ESTA application form from any of the following electronic devices: laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet.

It is recommended that nationals of Taiwan start the application in a place with a good internet connection. The online process does not require more than 10 minutes to fill in the form, although in specific cases more time might be required. Taiwanese applicants are advised to ask for the ESTA al least one week before departure.

Also, they must know the ESTA cannot be extended. Once the passport or the ESTA has expired, it is mandatory to apply for another one if Taiwanese nationals are intending to come back to the USA.

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