Taiwan and the United States have a strong history of friendship, cooperation, and immigration. There are currently over 10,000 American citizens with valid visas who are living, working, and attending school in Taiwan. U.S. immigrants to Taiwan are scattered throughout the island, but especially concentrated in the cities of Taipei, Hsin chu, Kaohsiung and Taichung.

Americans in Taiwan

U.S. passport holders are allowed to enter Taiwan without a visa for up to 90 days as long as the passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into Taiwan and the passport holder has a confirmed return or continuing travel ticket. The most up-to-date visa information can be found at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) website. U.S. citizens interested in residing in Taiwan can find additional instructions for visa applications and other government regulations for foreign nationals on the website of Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency.

Americans living in Taiwan can also find resources specifically for U.S. citizens at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). Established in 1979 by the Taiwan Relations Act, the AIT is authorized by law to perform American Citizen Services in Taipei. The AIT’s website provides information on issues such as absentee voting, U.S. taxes, and legal support as well as links to U.S. organizations based in Taiwan, important Taiwanese government sites, hotels, police stations, and other useful connections.

Taiwanese in the U.S.

Taiwan is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Taiwanese passport holders are allowed ttravel to the U.S. for tourism or business (“B” visa purposes only) for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Taiwan was the 37th country to participate in the U.S. VWP.

The first Taiwanese immigrants to the U.S. came after the end of World War II, many to continue their education in American universities and to look for better economic opportunities.  Since then, following the U.S. Immigration Acts of 1965 and 1990, waves of Taiwanese immigrants have traveled to the U.S. to pursue career and educational opportunities. Taiwan’s surge in productivity in the 1980s has created a transnational class of businessmen and women who travel often back and forth between the U.S. and Taiwan.  Large communities of Taiwanese Americans can be found across the United States, but they are especially concentrated in California and the East Coast. Monterey Park, a suburb of Los Angeles is often known as “Little Taipei.” Notable Taiwanese Americans have included NBA player Jeremy Lin, co-founder of Yahoo! Jerry Yang, fashion designer Jason Wu, co-founder of Garmin Min Kao, CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, among others.

Spotlight on the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

What is the VWP? The VWP allows tourists and business travelers from select countries to visit to the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.

Is Taiwan a member? Taiwan became part of the program on October 2, 2012. Eligible Taiwan passport holders can travel on the VWP beginning November 1, 2012.

Why is it important? The VWP facilitates travel between the U.S. and Taiwan, promoting greater business, tourist, and cultural connections between our peoples.