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Country Specific Info.

The United States State Department produces Consular Information Sheets with health, safety and other country information for every country in the world. They are one good source of information, though you should look at multiple sources of information and take your own personal situation into account when selecting a country to study in.

The latest Consular Information Sheet for Taiwan is below. We do not take responsibility for this information or edit it in any way. You can access the State Department travel site directly at:

August 6, 2019

Embassies and Consulates

The American Institute in Taiwan

3rd Floor, Consular Section
#7, Lane 134, Section 3, Xinyi Road
Taipei, 106 Taiwan
Telephone: (886) 2-2162-2000 or (02) 2162, ext. 2306
Emergency Telephone: +(886) 2-2162-2000. Press "0" or "*"
Fax: +(886) 2-2162-2239
The U.S. maintains unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation, which performs U.S. citizen and other consular services similar to those at embassies.

Kaohsiung Branch Office

5th Floor, No. 88 Chenggong 2nd Road,
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Telephone: +(886) 7-335-5006
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the American Institute in Taiwan.
Fax: +(886) 7-238-5237
Please contact the American Institute in Taiwan.

The United States maintains unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation, which performs U.S. citizen and other consular services similar to those at embassies.

Schedule routine American Citizen Services appointments online Monday through Friday except on Taiwan and U.S. holidays.

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Taiwan for information on U.S. - Taiwan unofficial relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

If you wish to enter Taiwan as a tourist or short-term visitor (less than 90 days), you do not need a visa. No extensions or changes of status are permitted. Your U.S. passport must be valid throughout your intended length of stay, and you must have a confirmed return or onward air ticket. Please note, however, that if you also plan to travel to other countries in the region, most countries require that your U.S. passport be valid for at least six months from your arrival.

If you plan to stay longer than 90 days or you plan to work, you need a Taiwan visa prior to traveling. Visit the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO)’s website for the most current visa information.

HIV/AIDS restrictions. Taiwan lifted its ban on entry, stay, and residence of foreigners living with HIV on February 4, 2015. Taiwan generally does not ask you about your HIV status unless you are applying for a resident, visa which requires a health certificate that will indicate whether you are HIV positive.

Taiwan and the United States both allow dual nationality. If you have Taiwan/U.S. dual nationality, you must enter/exit Taiwan on your Taiwan passport and enter/exit the United States on your U.S. passport.

See the Department of State’s website for information on dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction.

Please note that penalties for possession, use, sale, or transport of illegal drugs—including marijuana—are severe, with long jail sentences and heavy fines. Even if marijuana is legal in your home state, Taiwan shows no leniency for medical or recreational marijuana. Carrying or shipping marijuana into Taiwan is prosecuted as drug trafficking.

 Also see the Department of State’s Customs Information page.

Safety and Security

Potential for Civil Disturbances: Taiwan enjoys a vibrant democracy, and spontaneous and planned demonstrations occur. Monitor media coverage of local and regional events and avoid public demonstrations.

Potential for Typhoons and Earthquakes: During the typhoon season (April through October), Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau issues typhoon warnings an average of six times a year (of which, three to four normally make landfall) and heavy rainstorm alerts more frequently. Taiwan has also had severe earthquakes, which caused 2000 deaths in 1999 and 117 deaths with widespread damage in 2016.

Disaster Preparedness:

Learn from hotels and government officials what their disaster preparedness plans are so you can plan accordingly.
See the Department of State’s webpage on how to prepare for an emergency.
See also the Hurricane Preparedness and Natural Disasters pages of the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
When an emergency arises, we will post up to date instructions specific to the circumstances of the event on our website and send messages to U.S. citizens who have registered through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Crime: There is minimal street crime in Taiwan, and violent crime is rare. Take normal safety precautions, such as avoiding travel after dark or in deserted/unfamiliar areas.

See the Department of State's and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should contact the American Institute in Taiwan for assistance at (+886) 2-2162-2000. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should also seek medical attention and report to the police as soon as possible for help.

Dial 113 to reach the Taipei Center for the Prevention of Domestic violence and Sexual Assault.
Dial 110 to report crimes to the local police.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See the U.S. Department of State’s website on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas, as well as AIT's webpage for local resources.

We can:

provide a list of medical care providers
assist you in reporting a crime to the police
contact relatives or friends with your written consent
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
provide a list of local attorneys
provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States in cases of destitution
help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact the American Institute in Taiwan for assistance at (+886) 2-2162-2000. U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should also call 113 for emergency assistance and dial 110 for an island-wide toll-free hotline. Dial 113 to reach the Taipei Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Domestic violence is considered a crime in Taiwan. Report to police and keep written records of all incidents. Preserve evidence such as medical records documenting injuries, photos of injuries, police records, and damaged clothing and weapons used against you. If you have a court-issued restraining order, present this to the police for use in the arrest of the offender.

For further information:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. See crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Be aware that:

Penalties for illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking —including marijuana— are severe, with long jail sentences and heavy fines. Even if marijuana is legal in your home state, Taiwan shows no leniency for medical or recreational marijuana.
Taiwan also has the death penalty for certain violent crimes and drug offenses.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) immediately.

The American Institute can provide a list of English-speaking lawyers.
Taiwan authorities typically do not permit foreigners accused of crimes to leave Taiwan while legal proceedings are ongoing.
See the Department of State’s webpage for further information.

Labor Disputes:

Avoid labor disputes by establishing all terms and conditions of employment or sponsorship in the labor contract at the beginning of your employment.
Try to resolve disputes privately with your employer.
If the dispute cannot be resolved privately, the American Institute can provide a list of English-speaking lawyers.

Customs Regulations: Taiwan has strict regulations on importing/exporting firearms, other weapons, drugs, antiquities, currency, ivory & other animal products, fruits & plants, and many other items.. Contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington or one of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) offices in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. See also customs regulations.

Be especially careful about medications. Always carry your prescription. Note that only limited quantities of medicines are permitted. Marijuana is never permitted, even with a prescription, and neither are some other medications that are classified in Taiwan as narcotics, for instance some ADHD medicines. U.S. citizens have been arrested and imprisoned for importing these types of drugs, whether in person or by mail. If you have any doubt, contact Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration for an import permit.

Dual Nationality and Compulsory Military Service: Taiwan has compulsory military service for Taiwan national males between the ages of 18 and 36. This includes dual U.S./Taiwan citizens who enter Taiwan on their U.S. passports. If you have family ties to Taiwan, contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington or one of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) offices in the United States regarding potential nationality obligations before entering Taiwan. The United States Government cannot protect dual nationals from compulsory military service. 

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

Faith-Based Travel Information
International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
Human Rights Report – see country reports
Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

Health Screening Process: To detect and prevent the spread of diseases, Taiwan scans the body temperature of all arriving passengers with an infrared thermal apparatus. Symptomatic passengers are required to fill out a form and may need to give an onsite specimen or see local health authorities. See also the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Judicial Assistance: Authorities on Taiwan provide judicial assistance in response to letters rogatory from foreign courts in accordance with Taiwan's "Law Governing Extension of Assistance to Foreign Courts." For further information, please go to the Department of State’s website.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex relations or the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) events in Taiwan, and Taiwan law prohibits education and employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However, Taiwan does not recognize same-sex marriage, and LGBTI individuals may still face lack of tolerance, particularly in areas outside the capital and largest city Taipei. See Section 6 of our Human Rights Practices in the Human Rights Report for Taiwan and read our LGBTI Travel Information page.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Taiwan law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities and sets minimum fines for violations. By law, new public buildings, facilities, and transportation equipment must be accessible to persons with disabilities. See Persons with Disabilities in the Human Rights Report for Taiwan (2015).

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.


Taiwan has modern medical facilities, with state-of-the-art equipment available at many hospitals and clinics. Physicians are well trained, and many have studied in the United States and speak English. Hospital nursing services provide medication and wound care but generally do not provide the daily patient care functions found in U.S. hospitals. For specific clinics and hospitals, see the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)’s website.

Emergency Services: Ambulances have emergency equipment and supplies and are staffed by trained medical personnel (dial 119).

We cannot pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Consider supplemental insurance that includes medical evacuation. See insurance providers for overseas coverage. Most hospitals in Taiwan accept only cash payments.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Dengue Fever: In recent years, Taiwan has seen a significant increase in cases of dengue fever, a virus common in subtropical regions that is spread through mosquito bites. There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent dengue. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. For information on how to reduce the risk of contracting dengue, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions, lighting, and traffic safety in cities and on major highways are generally good. Roads in major cities are often congested. Be alert for the many scooters and motorcycles that weave in and out of traffic. Motor scooters are common throughout the island. Be alert for scooters when stepping out of public buses or exiting a car. Exercise caution when crossing streets because many drivers do not respect the pedestrian's right of way. Be especially cautious when driving on mountain roads, which are typically narrow, winding, and poorly banked, and which may be impassable after heavy rains. For example, Taiwan’s central cross-island highway is meandering with poor visibility. Exercise caution when driving on highways.

Please see AIT’s website for more details on Driving in Taiwan.

Traffic Laws: Passengers in all vehicles, including taxis, are required by law to wear seatbelts. When exiting a vehicle, you are legally required to ensure that no motor scooter, bicycle, or other vehicle is approaching from behind before opening the door. You will be fully liable for any injuries or damages if you fail to do so. Do not turn right on a red traffic signal. It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving without a hands-free kit in Taiwan. The legal limit for alcohol in the bloodstream of drivers in Taiwan is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood. This limit is strictly enforced. It’s useful to have proof of car insurance and proof of ownership of the vehicle. On the spot fines are very common for minor traffic offences in Taiwan and are fixed for each offense. You will be told where to pay the fines and within what period of time. For more serious driving offenses you’ll receive a court appearance.

Standard international driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.

You must have a warning triangle in your car to use if you break down or are involved in an accident.
You cannot turn on a red light unless indicated.
Many drivers run red lights, especially just after they change. If you’re first in line at the light when it changes to green, it is best to assess the situation before driving into the intersection.

In an emergency:

If you have a problem with your rental car, call the number on the rental documents or attached to the windscreen of your car.
In the event of an accident you should call the police “110” and medical assistance “119.” Provide the police with all the important information including the type of accident, details of vehicles involved  and if there are any injuries or fatalities. The second call you should make is to your insurance company.
You will need a police report for your insurance company. While waiting for the police, take photographs of the scene and take the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses. If it is safe to do so, leave the vehicles where they are.
Police will not ask for bribes.
Police will ask parties involved in the traffic accident to do an alcohol test. This is standard procedure.
If riding a motor scooter, you and the passenger must wear helmets.

For specific information concerning Taiwan's driver's permits, vehicle inspection road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the nearest Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the United States.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is cheap, convenient, and generally safe. Taxis and buses may swerve to the side of the road to pick up passengers with little notice or regard for other vehicles.

Please refer to the Department of State’s Road Safety page for more information. Refer also to Taiwan’s Road Traffic Safety Portal.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Taiwan's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s Safety Assessment Page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Taiwan should also check U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website ( and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).

Presbyterian College Office of International Programs