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Taiwan - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Taiwan.
Safety and security
There is an outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in mainland China, first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province.
If you are in Taiwan or travelling there:
- Read the Public Health Agency of Canada’s latest update on COVID-19.
- Expect increased health screening measures at the airport.
- Monitor the news for the latest developments on the evolving situation.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of Canada
COVID-19 updates in Taiwan - Taiwan Centres for Disease Control
The crime rate is relatively low in Taiwan.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, usually in:
- public transportation facilities such as bus and train stations
- main tourist shopping areas
- hotel lobbies
- crowded streets
Bags left unattended are likely to be stolen. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Crimes, including passport theft, should be reported to the local police and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula
Tensions on the neighbouring Korean Peninsula could escalate with little notice and the security situation could deteriorate suddenly. Tensions may increase before, during and after North Korean nuclear and missile tests, military exercises or as the result of incidents or military activities at or near the inter-Korean border. Monitor developments, remain vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities. We strongly recommend that Canadians register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive latest updates.
Women should exercise caution at all times and should avoid travelling alone in taxis at night when possible.
Check our safe-travel guide for women.
Driving habits in Taiwan are often more erratic and reckless than in Canada. Mountain roads are narrow, winding and poorly banked. Some roads can become impassable due to heavy rain and landslides during the monsoon and typhoon seasons. Consult the Directorate General of Highways before travelling for up-to-date information on road conditions.
Substandard road conditions and local disregard for traffic laws result in frequent accidents. Several foreigners have been involved in accidents that caused serious and even fatal injuries. Motorcycles and scooters weave in and out of traffic. Driving or riding motorcycles is dangerous and should be avoided, even by experienced motorcyclists. Pedestrians should always exercise caution when crossing the road. Be aware of your surroundings at all times if you plan to drive a vehicle in Taiwan.
Traffic congestion is severe in urban areas.
Taxi drivers tend to speak little or no English; provide the driver with your destination written in Chinese.
Strikes and demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Taiwan. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Taiwan.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadian passport holders do not require tourist or business visas for stays of up to 90 days. Once in Taiwan, they may extend their stay for an additional 90 days by placing a request with the Taiwanese Bureau of Consular Affairs. Canadians planning to stay in Taiwan for more than 180 days should obtain a visa before they arrive.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays of up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays of up to 90 days
Student visa: Required
Working visa: Required
You must have an onward or return ticket to visit Taiwan.
Passengers are requested to undergo non-invasive temperature screening upon arrival at international ports and airports as a preventative measure against pandemics. Passengers with flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, muscle aches, lethargy and sore throat) will be sent to the hospital for further checks and treatment.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in East Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Eastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, crimean congo haemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, malaria, and tick-borne encephalitis.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
- In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Eastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children. Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are adequate for routine and emergency medical procedures. Some medical clinics or hospitals may have English-speaking staff. Up-front payment is often required before treatment. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation.
Learn more about travel health and safety.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and include the death penalty.
Foreigners involved in litigation are forbidden from leaving Taiwan until the dispute is settled. Litigation is often a lengthy process and local authorities will not accept a bond or deposit to guarantee court appearances.
The carrying and possession of some prescription drugs can invoke long jail sentences and heavy fines. Depending on the classification, name and quantity of the medicine, you may be required to apply for a permit in order to bring it into Taiwan.
Quantity and other limitations of medication for personal use (non-narcotic): Taiwan Customs Administration
Application to carry controlled drugs: Food and Drug Administration
Full schedule of penalties: Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act
An International Driving Permit is recommended. The use of cellular phones while driving is strictly prohibited.
Teaching English in Taiwan
Contracts to teach English (arranged by recruiters in Canada) should be carefully reviewed before being signed. Ensure all terms and conditions of employment are clearly stated in the contract before accepting an offer. Written contracts are usually binding documents. Verbal agreements may, in certain circumstances, take precedence over written agreements. English teachers should always ensure to obtain proper work permits before they arrive in Taiwan.
Consult our publication entitled Teaching English in Taiwan for more information.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Taiwan.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Taiwan, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
Men between the ages of 18 and 45 who hold a Taiwanese passport or who were born in Taiwan may be subject to compulsory military service. It is imperative that such persons contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ottawa before visiting Taiwan. Dual citizens who visit Taiwan on their Canadian passport may also be required to perform compulsory military service.
See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan dollar (TWD).
Credit cards are accepted in many shops, restaurants and hotels in major cities, but are not widely accepted elsewhere. Foreign currency and traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at most major banks and hotels.
Natural disasters and climate
Typhoons and monsoon
The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from May to June. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides.
Typhoons usually occur between May and November. These storms can result in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and can hamper the provision of essential services. You should monitor alerts for the latest on potential storms.
Taiwan is in an active seismic zone and prone to earthquakes.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 110
- medical assistance: 119
- firefighters: 119
Taipei - Trade Office of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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