Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Regarding Schengen Visa Waiver

Since 11 January 2011, Taiwanese passport holders no longer need a visa to travel to the EU for short stays. However, member states national visas are still required if you intend to stay or study for longer than 90 days, or to work for any period of time. For more information on national visas, you should contact the member states offices in Taiwan.

1.      What does the visa waiver mean in practice?  

For short term visits of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days, no visa is needed by holders of Taiwanese passports. They can travel to the Schengen area or the four Member States not yet fully applying the "Schengen acquis" (Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia). For employment even if it is less than 90 days, for visits of more than 90 days such as for settlement, for family reunification or studies, Taiwanese passport holders still require a national visa issued by the Member State concerned.

2.      To which Member States can Taiwanese passport-holders travel visa-free?

No short stay visa is required for travel to all EU Member States and to the four associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) which are part of the Schengen area. This regime includes the UK and Ireland which have already waived the short stay visa obligation in 2009.

3.      Is there a difference between the Schengen-area and the other EU-member states?

Yes. The countries of the Schengen-area apply common border control regulations. There are no border controls when travelling between these countries. When travelling to the other non- Schengen-member states, border controls are still in place.

4.      Does the exemption apply to all types of passports?

The visa exemption applies to all ordinary Taiwanese passports which contain the identity card number of the holder. The passport needs to have been issued within the previous 10 years and needs to be valid at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from the territory of Member States. For diplomatic and service/official passports please confirm with Member States offices in Taiwan before your trip to the Schengen area.
The exemption from the visa requirement does not apply to holders of passports issued by Taiwan which do not include an identity card number.

5.      Do I need a visa to visit any Member State of the Schengen area for business, such as attending meetings, training course, or exhibition for short stay of less than 90 days?

No

6.      Do I need a visa if I wish to study in Europe for less than 90 days?

No if you only plan to study for less than 90 days.
Yet, if you want to extend your stay, change your status or work in the Schengen area during your studies, you will need to leave the Schengen area and should contact the relevant Member State office in Taiwan (or in the country where you currently reside) for your visa.
In any case, students need a visa for stays longer than 90 days.

7.      If I want to visit one country in the Schengen area to get married do I need a visa?

For the actual wedding celebration, no visa is required. However, if you want to stay more than 90 days you may need to apply for a visa. Please check with the office of your future country of residence.

8.  Do I need a visa to work in the Schengen area for less than 90 days?

Most of the Member States require a visa and a work permit if you intend to work even if it is for less than 90 days.
You should contact the relevant office in Taipei (or in the country where you currently reside in) to inquire whether a visa is required.

9.  How long can I stay in the Schengen area?

You may stay in the Schengen area for a maximum period of 90 days during any period of 180 days. There is no limitation for the number of times you may enter the Schengen area if the total number of days you stayed in the Schengen area in any 180 days period does not exceed 90 days.

10. When does the 180 days period start?

You must be careful with the calculation of this period, as new rules apply starting 18 October 2013.

The 180 days period is defined as the period of 180 days preceding each day of stay in the Schengen area. This means that, on any day of your stay in the Schengen area, you must not have stayed more than 90 days over the preceding 180 days.

You can use the "Schengen short stay calculator" to help you make sure you will abide by the rules:

Stays in Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, the UK and Ireland will be counted separately from stays in the Schengen area, since these countries are either not members of the Schengen-area or only partially apply Schengen-rules.

11.  What are the entry conditions to the Schengen area Member States?

The visa waiver does not give an unconditional right of entry and short stay. The visa waiver does not affect the other conditions for entry and short stay. There are a number of conditions that Member States can check like: possession of a valid return ticket, evidence of funding, etc…

For detailed information, please check Council regulation 562/2006 on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders: Schengen borders code

If entry is refused on the basis of the lack of fulfilment of the entry conditions, the person should be issued a written decision stating the reasons for the refusal and has the right to appeal that decision. These appeals shall be conducted in accordance with the national law of the Member States concerned and the relevant information should be given to the person.

12. What documents do I need to show to the immigration officer at the port of entry?

You need to show your valid passport. The passport validity should be at least three months at the intended time of departure from the Schengen Area. The passport must have been issued within the previous 10 years.

In addition, you might be asked also to show: flight tickets for further journeys and return tickets; evidence of sufficient means of subsistence; reservation of accommodation, invitation letter in case of visits, conferences; school enrolment certificate in case of study etc.

Travellers to the Schengen area should also be aware that rules concerning travel with minors are still in place. Therefore people travelling with minors should bear proper evidence that demonstrates their relationship to the minors and/or the relevant parental authorization. All documents should be in English or translated into the language of the country they are going to travel. 

A detailed overview of documents you might be asked for can be found here pdf - 23 KB [23 KB]

ANNEX : supporting documents to verify the fulfilment of entry conditions in the Schengen area pdf - 23 KB [23 KB]

13.       Do I need to have a valid travel medical insurance to travel to the Schengen area ?

Travel Medical Insurance is not necessary to enter the Schengen area after the visa waiver but it is highly recommended to have a medical insurance when travelling abroad as a general good practice.

14. Can I stay in the Schengen area under the visa exemption status before, or after, the period of validity of the long term visa or residence permit I obtained from a Schengen area country?

This depends on member states. You should check with the office of the member state you intend to visit beforehand.

15. Do I need a visa for doing an internship in a Schengen member state?

This depends on member states. You should check with the office of the member state where you intend to do an internship beforehand.

16. Apart from the Taiwanese passport, which other passports also benefit from the Schengen visa exemption?

The answer can be found on the following European Commission web page