New Southbound Policy Portal
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on July 12 the extension of its trial 14-day visa-free entry program for nationals from Brunei, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The decision followed a June 11 interministerial meeting convened by MOFA and attended by officials from government agencies overseeing national security, police administration, investigation, immigration, tourism, and economy and trade. The trial of visa-free treatment for nationals from these three countries will continue for another year from August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019.
Applicants are required to meet the following:
• hold a passport valid for at least six months
• hold a confirmed return plane or boat ticket, or a confirmed plane or boat ticket, along with a valid visa, for an onward destination
• provide confirmation of hotel reservations or an address and contact details for their stay in Taiwan, and a financial statement
• have a clean criminal record, as verified at immigration on arrival at an airport or seaport in Taiwan.
This measure is being continued to attract visitors from New Southbound Policy partner countries for tourism and business purposes, and to increase people-to-people exchanges. Also factoring into the decision to extend the trial period was the average length of stay by quality tourists and businesspeople. The government thus decided to extend the visa-free treatment measure for another year for citizens of Brunei, the Philippines, and Thailand for 14-day stays; the measure will be effective through July 31, 2019. The program may be extended after a review of the results.
According to statistics from the Tourism Bureau, nationals from New Southbound Policy partner countries made a total of 2,284,382 visits to Taiwan in 2017, a significant year-on-year increase of 27.65 percent over the 1,789,503 visits made in 2016. This shows that the visa-free policy has achieved the expected effect. (E)