Sat, Nov 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

AIT director lauds first year in VWP

Staff writer, with CNA

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Christopher Marut yesterday congratulated Taiwan on a successful first year of membership in the US’ Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Taiwan became the 37th member of the program one year ago.

“As we celebrate the first year of Taiwan’s participation in the VWP, we congratulate all of those on both sides who have worked so hard to realize this success,” Marut said in a statement.

As a result, travel between Taiwan and the US has greatly increased.

Taiwan’s accession in November last year was the result of a long-term cooperative effort between the US and Taiwan, he said.

“That cooperation continues to deepen and grow, reflecting the strength of our unofficial ties and our shared commitment to build upon this important milestone in the US-Taiwan relationship,” Marut added.

Since Taiwan’s admission to the program on Nov. 11 last year, eligible Republic of China passport holders have been able to enter the US for stays of 90 days or less. To be able to travel under the VWP, travelers must first receive authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and meet all eligibility requirements.

US statistics shows that about 300,000 travelers from Taiwan have visited the US each year since 2004. With the implementation of the VWP, visitor arrivals from Taiwan are expected to show an increase of 47 percent by 2017.

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