Fri, Nov 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Uruguay grants Taiwanese visa-free privileges

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese traveling to Uruguay can enter the country visa-free after the South American nation became the 169th area or country to grant the privilege to Republic of China passport holders.

Since Oct. 19, holders of ROC passports with more than six months of validity are allowed to enter Uruguay without a visa for tourism or business activities and for a stay of up to 90 days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release on Wednesday evening.

Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) yesterday told a news conference in Taipei that the change was due to long-term efforts by the Taipei Commercial and Cultural Office in Argentina, which is in charge of consular and diplomatic affairs in Uruguay in the absence of a representative office in the country.

Lee said he believed that Uruguay’s decision to grant visa-waiver treatment would help boost tourism, trade and people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.

“The 169 countries or areas already cover nearly 90 percent of the destinations most visited by Taiwanese, but our endeavor to increase that number will continue, because that would help people save tens of billions of dollars in visa application fees each year,” Lee said.

Taiwanese made a combined 15.6 million visits abroad last year, up from 14.5 million in 2016, Ministry of Transportation and Communications data showed.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, the number of countries or areas that grant ROC passport holders visa-free entry, visa upon arrival, or electronic visa issuance has increased from 164 to 169.

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