Wed, Dec 31, 2008 - Page 3 News List

New travel card rules to take effect

By Lo Tien-bin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The airport fast-track service will be extended to senior foreign business leaders and leading academics, their spouses and family beginning tomorrow, in a government measure to attract international talent to Taiwan.

Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) on Friday ratified the measures for airport fast-track service for applications for academic or business travel cards.

Ho Jung-tsun (何榮村), deputy director-general of the National Immigration Agency, said the measures were aimed at attracting internationally recognized figures in business or academic circles, such as those who have been honored with the Nobel Prize or who are winners of international competitions.

He said that the airport fast-track service was a demonstration of the country’s respect for distinguished foreign professionals.

The agency expected to see several hundred travel cards issued in the initial stages of the implementation, Ho said.

Government agencies would be able to apply for the cards on behalf of foreign guests they have invited, Ho said.

The travel cards will be valid for a period of three years, with multiple-entry allowed and a maximum of 30 days per visit.

The travel cards will be issued to several categories of foreigners: internationally renowned figures in business or academic circles, winners of internationally recognized competitions and tenured professors of universities in other countries who are awarded lifetime achievement honors.

Businesspeople who have invested more than US$100 million in a foreign enterprise, chief executive officers of such enterprises or of their regional headquarters, key business leaders and professional academics who have made special contributions to the nation’s economic and academic development also qualify for the card.

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