ESTA for Taiwanese Citizens -

ESTA for Taiwanese Citizens

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Taiwan became a member of the Visa Waiver Program in 2012, allowing the citizens of Taiwan to benefit from the more convenient process of applying for an ESTA, as opposed to the US visa.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

The following information should be considered before applying for an ESTA to check if it is the right option:

  • Applicant must have a valid, biometric passport
  • It can be used for multiple visits to the US
  • The US visit must be limited less than 90 days
  • Travel authorisation is mandatory to visit the US, either ESTA or visa is required
  • Children require their own ESTA, even infants
  • ESTA is valid for two years, or until the passport expires
  • Travel purposes include tourism, business, medical or transit
Application for ESTA for Taiwanese Citizens

Why Taiwanese Citizens Should Apply for ESTA

There are plenty of good reasons for citizens of Taiwan to apply for an ESTA when they want to travel to the US. The process is much faster and much simpler than the process for applying for a US visa, with a response usually being received within 24 hours. It is recommended that applicants apply at least 72 hours before they intend to travel to the US just in case there is any hold-up with the application.

When an ESTA is approved, it remains valid for multiple trips to the US if the holder is planning to travel again in the future. Applying for a US visa involves attending US Embassy and the whole process can take several weeks or even longer. Applying for an ESTA is all done digitally, with the correspondence being sent via email. Another key benefits of applying for an ESTA is that it is much cheaper than applying for US Visa.

The ESTA Application Process for Taiwanese Citizens

It is really easy for citizens of Taiwan to apply for an ESTA, they just need to visit the application form on the website and provide all of the details requested. The questions on the form include name, address, date of birth and then also asks about medical history and any criminal convictions. The applicant must also provide passport details as the Esther will be electronically linked to their passport.

Once all of the details have been completed it is crucial that the applicant checks through all of the details they have provided, as any kind of mistake could lead to the ESTA getting declined and destructing travel plans.

Once the details have been checked over, the applicant can then make the application fee payment by card and submit the application. The response regarding whether the ESTA has been approved will be sent to the email address provided in the application.

What Documents Are Required to Apply for the ESTA?

When making plans to visit the U.S. and apply for an ESTA, make sure to have all of the necessary documentation ready. This is what you need to prepare:

  • A biometric electronic passport (must be valid for at least 6 months).
  • Functional email address to receive all the necessary information, including the ESTA.
  • Valid payment method to cover the fees, which can be a Debit/Credit Card of your choice.
Passport Requirements for the US ESTA

Taiwanese citizens must have passports that meet certain conditions to be able to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Their passport must be:

  • Electronic: an e-passport is a more secure passport than traditional, that poses an embedded electronic chip
  • Valid at least six months past the expected departure date
  • Machine-readable

Can Taiwanese Nationals Make Changes to Their ESTA ApplicationsOnce They’ve Been Submitted?

After the application is submitted, users cannot change information in the form. Once they get their ESTA, they will only be able to change the address where they’ll be staying in the USA and the email address.

Is It Possible to Change a Status After Entering The US?

Taiwanese nationals can not change their status when they already enter the US.

To be able to change their status, they first must depart from the USA, and after that, they may apply for the appropriate visa or immigration status from their home country.

What Is the ESTA Processing Time?

ESTA processing time is not always the same, but in most cases it is very fast - from a few minutes to 24 hours. However, in some rare occassions, it can take up to 72 hours for your ESTA to be processed. This happens if authorities need to make an additional review of the application.

How Much in Advance Should You Apply?

Its recommended to apply for ESTA at least three days before your travel to be able to avoid delays and any possible problems that may occur.

If you don't manage to apply timely, you can also apply at the airport, just before traveling. However, we don't recommend doing this so late because if you don't get your ESTA approval, you can't refund your ticket costs.

How Long Does The ESTA Approval Last?

The approval of ESTA lasts for a duration of two years. But, travelers should remember that if their passport expires before these two years, their ESTA automatically will become invalid. That's why it's crucial to keep an eye on the passport expiry date.

Updating Your ESTA: When Do You Need a New Travel Approval?

Travelers from Taiwan may need to obtain a new ESTA in specific situations, which include:

1. Name alteration
2. Gender change
3. Passport expiration or acquisition of a new passport
4. Any changes to their answers in the ESTA eligibility questions.

Can a Taiwanese National Extend Their ESTA Beyond 90 Days?

Taiwanese citizens cannot extend their ESTA beyond the period of 90 days. If they plan to stay in the United States for a longer duration, they must apply for a relevant visa based on their individual circumstances.

US ESTA: Important Information

Before starting your ESTA application, there are few more important information to keep in mind. Let’s start with taking a closer look at who doesn’t qualify for ESTA travel approval.

Who Is Not Eligible for an ESTA?

The following tourists from Taiwan can't travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program:

  • individuals who have been arrested
  • people who possess criminal records
  • individuals with certain infective diseases
  • people who have been refused admission to or deported from America,
  • those who previously overstayed on the visa waiver program.

My ESTA was Declined, What Can I Do?

If your ESTA gets declined, there is still the opportunity to resubmit another application if you think you made an error on the declined one. Alternatively, you may need to apply for a US visa instead through the embassy:

US Embassy Address in Taiwan

American Institute in Taiwan
No. 100, Jinhu Road,
Neihu District 11461, Taipei City, Taiwan

Under What Circumstances Do You Need to Apply for aUS Visa Instead of an ESTA?

You need a visa instead of ESTA to travel to the USA if:

  • you previously overstayed beyond 90 days with ESTA in the US
  • your ESTA application is refused
  • you are a dual citizen of Taiwan and Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea.
  • you don't have an e-passport with a picture
  • you have a criminal record
  • you have some infectious disease

Main Differences Between an ESTA and a US Visa

Although ESTA and a Visa have similarities between them, there are a few important differences. The main of them are:

ESTA Approval
US Visa
Application process
Via online form
interview at the US embassy
Approval time
A few hours to 72 hours
15 - 30 days
Travel duration
up to 90 days per entry (unlimited number of entries)
180 days
Travel purpose
Suitable for business, tourism, medical and transit purposes
Suitable for marriage, college students, emigration, and work.

Do Dual Citizens of Taiwan and the United States or Canada Need an ESTA?

Dual citizens of Taiwan and the United States or Canada are not mandated to have an ESTA. All that they have to do is use their USA or Canada passport when entering the USA.

Do Taiwanese Travelers Need to Get an ESTA for Their Children Too?

Children or minors, like any other person, regardless of age, must have an approved ESTA before their trip to America.

Parents and legal guardians can make ESTA applications on behalf of their children.

ESTA Benefits:
  • Quick processing time, usually less than 24 hours
  • Use for US visits of up to 90 days
  • Use for business, tourism, medical or transit
  • ESTA can be used for multiple trips to the US
  • Complete the short form by mobile or desktop
Find Out More About the ESTA Travel Approval

If you need more information about ESTA, visit our FAQ page or read about the ESTA requirements.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Yes, Taiwanese people must have ESTA to be able to enter the USA. Remember, ESTA is specifically for tourism, transit or business-related trips, and it only covers stays that are 90 days or shorter.
Taiwan nationals need a visa if they do not meet all ESTA requirements. Besides that, they will need a Visa if their travel will last more than 90 days and for all other purposes except tourist or business ones.
Yes, Taiwan is a part of the Visa Waiver Program since 2012. Therefore, nationals of Taiwan can use the ESTA instead of Visa.