Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Filipinos visa-exempt from June 1

PARTIAL ROLLOUT:Full implementation of visa-exempt entry for Philippine nationals has been delayed, but visitors can already benefit from a temporary scheme

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan has decided to expand conditional visa-free privileges for Philippine visitors before a postponed plan to provide Philippine nationals with visa-exempt entry is implemented, according to Taiwan’s representative office in Manila.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week announced that the implementation of visa-free entry for Filipinos would be delayed.

The decision was made to “complete relevant administrative procedures and interagency coordination,” the ministry said.

However, until the introduction of visa exemption, Philippine nationals wishing to visit Taiwan for tourism or a short visit would still be able apply for an entry permit through existing visa application channels, as they qualify for Taiwan’s e-visa program, Representative to the Philippines Gary Lin (林松煥) said yesterday.

The ministry has decided to expand the eligibility of the Travel Authorization Certificate for qualified Philippine travelers from June 1, Lin added.

Philippine nationals who have held a Republic of China (Taiwan) visa over the past 10 years can apply for the certificate free of charge, with the exception of labor visas with remarks “FL” or “X,” he said

The travel certificate allows multiple entries, remains valid for 90 days and allows a maximum stay of up to 30 days per entry, according to the ministry.

Lin said he believed the new measure, which amounts to a visa exemption under certain conditions, would help increase the number of Philippine visitors to Taiwan before the introduction of the visa waiver program, adding that visa privileges for Philippine nationals were one of his office’s priorities.

During an interagency meeting last month, it was decided to expand visa privileges for visitors from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines, while streamlining the visa application process for visitors from other South and Southeast Asian countries.

At the time, the ministry announced that it would offer visa-free treatment to visitors from the Philippines beginning on June 1 on a one-year trial basis.

The plan is part of the government’s efforts to promote exchanges with the Philippines under President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) “new southbound policy,” which aims to advance ties with Southeast and South Asian countries.

As part of the policy, authorities have streamlined visa procedures for visitors from nations in the regions, such as including the Philippines in the e-visa program in October last year.

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