Taiwan was accepted into the United States of America’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on November 1, 2012. Since then, Taiwanese citizens with a valid machine-readable passport and National Identification Number has been able to visit the United States without a visa for up to 90 days for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes) and for attending non-credit study programs.
To get admission into the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, Taiwanese citizens have to apply for the ESTA. ESTA is short for the Electronic System of Travel Authorization and launched by the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2009. The system is only available online, and applications can be made from anywhere, at any time. The ESTA itself is valid for 2 years and can be used for multiple trips to the U.S.
If a Taiwanese passport holder wants to travel to the U.S. for other purposes than those stated above or to stay for more than 90 days, then a tourist visa is required. If you already know that you need a tourist visa, then make sure to apply as early as possible. Not sure yet what you need to apply for? Learn more about the ESTA application and what it entails here.
- The total amount of visitors from Taiwan: 524 357
- Approved ESTA applications: 419 748
- Students and exchange visitors: 46 859
- Temporary workers and family-related applications: 18 937
- Diplomats and other official representatives: 56
- Other types of visitor categories: 2 290
The flight from Taiwan to the United States is very long, ranging from 25 – 40+ hours, depending on your destination city. When booking your trip, you may want to keep in mind that Taiwan’s time is approximately 12 hours ahead of the United States. The flight time you choose when leaving Taiwan could get you to the United States in the middle of the night. The following airlines are available to book for your trip to the United States:
- Air China
- Asiana Airlines
- China Southern
- China Southern
- Shanghai Airlines
- Korean Air
- United Airlines
- EVA Air
There are three popular international airports in Taiwan offering flights to the United States:
- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport – Taiwan Taoyuan, located in the northwest area of Taiwan, provides the most trips to the United States with destinations to New York, California, Florida, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, and Colorado. Approximately 2,000,000 passengers fly from Taiwan Taoyuan to the United States each year, making it the most popular airport to use when traveling to the US.
- Taipei International (Songshan) Airport – Taipei Songshan is located in the northern area of Taiwan. Destinations include New York, California, Florida, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, and Colorado and Georgia. Taipei Songshan Airport seeks to become a model for urban commercial airports by offering easy access to the general public and serving as a shortcut from Taipei to many destinations both within Taiwan and internationally.
- Kao-Hsiung International Airport – Kao-Hsiung is a medium sized airport located in the southwest portion of Taiwan. Kao-Hsiung is the second busiest airport in Taiwan and offers US destinations of New York, California, Florida, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, and Colorado.
Kao-Hsiung started as a training base for the Air Force in 1945 and began offering domestic flights in 1965. Due to its excellent accessibility, Kaohsiung is a preferred airport for both local and international travelers.
Flights from Taiwan are pricey with round-trip tickets ranging from $690 to 4,000+ dollars, depending on your choice of airline and how many stops the plane makes. As with most flights, the cheaper flight, the longer it will take to arrive at your destination.
The simplest way to compare available flights and pricing is to research available travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, and CheapOair. Of course, there are many other available sites to utilize when booking your flight from Taiwan to the United States, but these sites offer comprehensive travel planning, including flights, hotels, and car rentals. It is not difficult to find an airline or airport to take you from Taiwan to the United States. Major airports are located conveniently throughout Taiwan and offer easy access for Taiwanese citizens traveling internationally.
In December 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security started to encourage all travelers to apply for the ESTA at least 72 hours prior to departure. However, it is advisable to apply for ESTA way in advance of that. Perhaps you should apply for your ESTA right after you booked your flight tickets? You might as well do it, since there is no way to enter the U.S. without an ESTA or a type of visa. Should you apply for the ESTA, and it gets denied, then you should make sure that you have enough time to get a visa before your departure. Getting a tourist visa requires a visit to a U.S. Embassy, and it can be quite time-consuming.
Taiwanese can apply for ESTA online
The ESTA is valid for two years for visitors from Taiwan
Taiwanese citizens can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA
Taiwan’s overstay rate is only: 0.41%