Being a neighboring country to the Philippines, Taiwan is one of the cheapest pick you can get planning abroad. Seat sale is all-around. However, visa formalities hinder some people to get in. There are two ways you can get a visitor/tourist visa to Taiwan. You can either formally apply visa at the Taiwanese consulate or online securing e-Visa. Of course, it also depends on your current situation. I took the later approach. Let me tell you how i done it conveniently.
You are qualified to avail of the e-Visa:
a. If you possess either US, UK, Schengen, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand visa or residence card, you are exempted from applying via the consulate. You are qualified of doing it online. https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast/
Tip: If you have none of the above, I would recommend to secure either Korean or Japanese visa first before applying for Taiwanese visa. To my current knowledge, these are two easiest visa you can posses without having too much burden of paper works or cost so much. Korean visa is gratis but you also provide some documentation. Japan is recently very lax on giving tourist visas. I never heard any of my friends being denied to get one. One more advantage of going on the e-Visa path is that, it is guaranteed that you will be issued the Travel Authorization Certificate. This is provided that you never overstayed in Taiwan before and you provide accurate information online. In case you made a typo and the e-Visa was issued, you can re-apply instantly. After all, it’s free.
When I applied last Sept 2014, I have valid US, Australia, Japan and Korean visas but I used my US visa as reference.
b. you must have a return ticket or onward journey ticket.
c. you were never employed as blue-collar in Taiwan
e-Visas are multiple entries and valid for 90 days with maximum stay of 30 days.
But always remember, wherever you were issued the usual visa sticker or e-Visa, it is a privilege and NOT a right. Therefore, the immigration officials can turn you back to your home country or ask further questions if deemed necessary or they become suspicious of your profile or purpose of visit.
When I arrived at Taiwan-Taoyuan International Airport, I never had a problem. The IO only check my travel certificate and check my reference visa (she actually used magnifying glass to check if my US visa is legit. She then put arrival stamp on my passport after. No questioning whatsoever.
P.S. it is also useful when you have long layover/stopover in Taipei with onward travel to US/Canada/Europe/Australia since you already possess first world visas you are qualified securing Taiwan e-Visa.
Good luck! 🙂