Where to Next: TAIWAN
Just last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of China (Taiwan) released a new visa policy for Filipinos who want to visit Taiwan (see: http://www.roc-taiwan.org/ph_en/post/1421.html).
According to the new policy, Filipinos can now travel to Taiwan visa-free by applying for an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate. These are the eligibility requirements for the certificate:
- The applicant’s passport must have remaining validity of at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
- The applicant must possess an onward/return air or ferry ticket.
- The applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.
Furthermore, interested visitors must also have at least one of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States:
- Valid resident or permanent resident card
- Valid entry visa (may be electronic visa)
- Resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan
So upon hearing this news, we started waiting for seatsales to Taiwan. My friends and I already have visas issued by Korea/Japan/USA so we can now travel to Taiwan without the hassle of applying for a visa.
Long story short, we booked our flights, secured an ROC TAC and flew to Taiwan last March (Spring time!).
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how I secured my ROC Travel Authorization Certificate (valid for 3 months, multiple entry):
- Proceed to the website for applying for an ROC TAC: https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast/. You will be directed to this page.
- Select your preferred language and click Next.
Yaaas! Finally, I can share to everyone the good news. Our visa application was granted and we are off to Korea this December to experience winter (second time for me 😉 ).
So for some of you who would like to bring your family (parents and siblings) to Korea, let me share to you how I applied for our visa and the requirements I submitted.
(Please note that these requirements are based on my family’s scenario: I have a younger brother who is a college student, my Mom is a housewife, my Dad has retired/senior citizen and I am the only person working.)
First things first: Requirements. The list of requirements per applicant type are stated in the embassy’s website which you can access here. For easier comparison, I have enumerated below the list of requirements I submitted for each of my family members. From experience, there is no need to produce multiple copies of the same documents for each applicant (i.e., COE, Bank Certificate and Bank Statement, ITR, Marriage Certificate) if they are provided by one person only. Just include them in the requirements of the owner of the documents.
Tourist Visa Requirements:
List of Requirements
P.S. I forgot to include the bank statement and bank certificate of my Dad but we also submitted those. Since my Dad has SSS pension and savings, we were able to get the bank documents. We also included his Senior Citizen ID. As for my Mom, we did not include bank documents anymore and I just said that she is a housewife. In any case, you can still submit the bank documents of your Mom. It may add to your capacity to travel.
Where is she?
Hello Gayle and your epic pose!
Day -1: Seoulmates
Day 0: Fire and Ice
“Bro, maaga ka ba nagigising?”
“Ako kasi mantika ako matulog e, pagising nalang ako pag nauna ka, gigisingin naman din ako ni Tikoy”
“Sige gisingin nalang kita”
That was the conversation Mark and I had on our first night. As a respect to my roommate, I decided to not set an alarm. Because believe me, the entire guesthouse will wake up once my phone alarms. I was not sure about what time Mark set his alarm that morning but I was up at around 6AM. I had my quick breakfast while Mark was still asleep. I took a bath and went out but Mark was still asleep. “Brad, tinalo mo pa ko! Akala ko mantika na ko matulog, medyo sebo ka pala!“. It took about an hour for us to fix everything. In all fairness to us, no matter how late we started to prepare, we can still finish earlier than the women.
About 8:45AM, the group met downstairs. I was pretty confident that my clothes will be enough — but– when we opened the door and went out, we froze. I felt the need of Tikoy’s hug 😜 haha!
See you in Seoul!
Day -1: Seoulmates
The clock striked 12. It’s December 4th and my day was far from over, an episode of my program was still underway. 2AM; pack up. I went to bed at half past three.
You entered a candy store to buy a chocolate. You went in full circle to look for what you have in mind, paid for it, opened then licked it, then took a bite, until you realized, it wasn’t all chocolate. Mint filling bursting out of the soft sweet ball. You left the store confused. Did it make sense? I don’t think so.
It was a lethargic morning on December 4th. I woke up to my new alarm — a heavy metal music (just to make sure I won’t oversleep). It felt like a dream, like I was in the center of the candy store, everything was senseless. I stood up and stayed still for a good five minutes until it came to me that I haven’t finished packing. Shoot! I breezed through my wardrobe and picked last additions to my stuff. I thought it will be easy but you can never really tell until you are done, you don’t really know what to expect with a chocolate with a surprise center. I was nervous and curious and everything in between.
Group shot at Nami Island
“So, baby, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh, darling, place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are
Oh, baby, we found love right where we are”
Napakanta ka no? That was my LSS for one week. What’s with this song? Nothing actually. Haha. I just can’t find the right words to start blogging about our trip. It felt like the counterpart of Free during our Indochina adventure. This song was on repeat mode on Mark’s laptop ever since I arrived in Seoul – for 4 nights!. 😛
Anyway, I think part of me was having a hard time because I wasn’t there on the first day of the tour – I know, SAYANG! Good thing I still got to have my own mini city tour. 🙂 So I’ll leave Day 0 and Day 1 to Mevin and start this post with Day -1 instead. Because the weather in Korea during our visit was negative, might as well start the blog with Day -1.
Visa is valid for 90 days/3 months since date of issue and maximum number of stay is 59 days.
With the super cheap seatsales being offered by different airlines and the booming Hallyu influence in the country, South Korea has been one of the dream destinations of many people. Of course, I am one of them. My addiction to anything and everything Korean (food, music, shows) has led me to apply for that elusive visa.
1. Download the Application Form from the embassy’s website.
2. Fill out the form and complete all the requirements stated on the second page of the form.
3. Go to the Korean Embassy located at McKinley Hill. Processing time is from 9-11AM, Monday to Friday.
4. Be there early as the line easily gets long. Register first at the guard and get your visitor pass.
5. Upon entering the building, fall in line at the desk near the door where you will see some of the Embassy’s staff and policemen seating.
6. Provide all your requirements (We provided the following: passport, photocopy of passport’s bio page, passport photo, COE, Bank Certificate and ITR). The person in-charge will then give you your queue number.
7. Wait for your number to be called or shown at the window. There are 2 windows that are mainly serving the visa appications. I think Window 1 is for non-frequent traveler and Window 2 is for those who have visa of OECD countries.
8. When your number gets called, go immediately to the window and submit your requirements. The staff will briefly check your requirements then give you a slip indicating your passport details and the releasing date. By 9:30 we were already done and still had time to have a quick breakfast at the nearby Jollibee.