eVisa: Traveling to the USA from Taiwan

Embarking on a journey to the United States is an exciting prospect for many travelers from Taiwan. The blend of vast landscapes, iconic cities, and diverse cultural experiences make the US a premier destination for tourism, business, and study. However, for Taiwanese citizens, the process of applying for the right travel authorization, such as the Visa Waiver Program’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), can be complicated. Ensuring a seamless process requires attention to detail to avoid common mistakes that could lead to delays or denials.

Understanding the intricacies of US travel authorization is crucial, and we’re here to guide you through the typical pitfalls Taiwanese applicants encounter. A successful application starts with careful preparation and a clear understanding of the requirements. With careful adherence to guidelines, applicants can look forward to exploring everything from the bustling streets of New York City to the serene vistas of the Grand Canyon.

Starting with Incorrect Information

One of the most common mistakes in the US visa application process is providing incorrect information. This can range from simple typos in personal details to inconsistencies in travel plans or background questions. It’s imperative that Taiwanese applicants double-check all the data they input into their ESTA application form. Inaccuracies can lead to delays and, in some cases, may require starting the application process from scratch.

Lack of Required Documentation

Another frequent error is not having the necessary documentation on hand. Before starting the application process, ensure that you have a valid Taiwanese passport with an embedded electronic chip, also known as an e-passport. Keeping relevant travel itineraries, employment details, and your most recent passport handy will also streamline your application.

Waiting Until the Last Minute

Procrastination can be a significant hurdle in obtaining a US travel authorization. Although most ESTA applications are processed swiftly, some may require additional time for approval. Taiwanese citizens should apply for their ESTA at least 72 hours before their travel date, but ideally, as soon as travel plans are confirmed. For those who require an ESTA urgently, expedited processing options are available.

Omitting Important Details or Changes

Omitting critical information or failing to report changes can delay or derail your travel plans. If you have a history of visa issues, criminal records, or if you’ve recently traveled to certain countries with travel restrictions to the US, it’s essential to disclose these details. Furthermore, if your passport details change after applying for an ESTA, you must update your application accordingly.

Assuming Previous Denials do not Affect New Applications

If you’re a Taiwanese citizen who has been previously denied a US visa or ESTA, this will impact your future applications. It’s important to address the reasons for the past denial and ensure those issues have been resolved or clarified in your new application. Additionally, Taiwanese applicants should not assume that a previous visa approval guarantees future ESTA authorizations.

Choosing the Wrong Payment Method

Completing the payment stage of the application is as important as the information provided. Applicants sometimes choose payment methods that are not accepted, resulting in an incomplete application. We accept a variety of payment options, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit cards to facilitate a smooth transaction.

Ignoring Eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program

Many Taiwanese travelers may not realize they are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It allows for visa-free travel to the US for short visits. Understanding your eligibility can save you time and effort, and a visit to our page on VWP Countries can clarify any uncertainties.

Considering ESTA as a Visa Guarantee

An approved ESTA does not equate to an unconditional entry permit to the United States. Border officials at the port of entry have discretion in permitting entry, and they consider the ESTA as just one part of their decision-making process.

FAQs for Taiwanese Applicants

What do I do if I make a mistake on my ESTA application?
If you realize a mistake after submission, you’ll have to apply for a new ESTA with the correct information.

How long is an ESTA valid?
An ESTA is typically valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Can I renew my ESTA?
You cannot renew an ESTA, but you may apply for a new one if your current authorization expires.

How will I know if my ESTA application is approved?
You will receive an approval email, typically within 72 hours of application, with your travel authorization.

If I have dual citizenship, which passport should I use to apply for ESTA?
You must use the passport from the VWP-eligible country you wish to travel under.


Applying for a US visa or ESTA doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Armed with correct information and a clear understanding of the process, Taiwanese citizens can avoid common errors. Remember, if in doubt, give yourself plenty of time, and consult the comprehensive guidelines provided on our application page to help ensure your journey to the United States is as smooth as the aspirations drawing you there.

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