Thu, Sep 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Philippine nationals could get visa-free entry soon: ministry

Staff writer, with CNA

Residents of the Philippines could become eligible for visa-free entry to Taiwan next month if the details of the new policy are hammered out at an upcoming meeting, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.

An interministerial meeting of officials from national security, police, immigration and other government agencies scheduled for later this week is to discuss related issues, said the official, who asked not to named.

If details related to implementation of the policy are finalized during the meeting, the new visa-free entry rules could come into effect next month, the official said.

In an effort to promote the New Southbound Policy, the ministry on April 10 convened an interministerial meeting to explore the feasibility of granting visa-free entry to nationals from countries targeted by the policy, including the Philippines.

The New Southbound Policy aims to enhance Taiwan’s relations with countries in Southeast and South Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

However, the ministry in May said in a statement that it was postponing a plan to grant Philippine nationals visa-free entry in June, citing the need to “complete relevant administrative procedures and interagency coordination.”

The announcement came just weeks after the ministry had said it would implement the policy by June.

At that time, the ministry said it expected to make public the full details and start date of the visa-free travel plan for the Philippines this month.

The government relaxed visa rules for citizens of 10 ASEAN member states and India, effective from Aug. 1 last year, and included the Philippines in its e-visa program on Oct. 7 last year.

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