Fri, Jul 13, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Visa-free program extended for Southbound nations

Staff writer, with CNA

Tourists from Southeast Asian nations visit the Atayal Resort in Nantou County in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Atayal Resort

Taiwan is extending its trial 14-day visa-free entry program for nationals from Brunei, the Philippines and Thailand for another year beginning from Aug. 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday.

“The measure is being continued to attract visitors from New Southbound Policy partner nations for tourism and business purposes, and to increase people-to-people exchanges,” the ministry said.

It would be effective through July 31 next year and could be extended again, depending on a review of the results, it said, adding that Taiwan enacted the policy in August 2016 and it has achieved the expected results.

Tourism Bureau statistics showed that nationals from New Southbound Policy nations visited Taiwan 2.28 million times last year, a significant year-on-year increase of 27.65 percent compared with the 1.79 million visits in 2016.

The decision to extend the program was made following a June 11 interministerial meeting convened by the ministry and attended by officials from government agencies overseeing national security, police administration, investigation, immigration, tourism, economy and trade, the ministry said.

Those who wish to make use of the visa-free entry to Taiwan are required to hold a passport that is valid for at least six months, a confirmed return plane or boat ticket, or a confirmed plane or boat ticket and a valid visa for an onward destination, it said.

Visitors should also provide confirmation of hotel reservations or an address and contact details for their stay in Taiwan, a financial statement, and have a clean criminal record, which would be verified at immigration on arrival at an airport or seaport in Taiwan, the ministry said.

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