TAIWAN – Upcoming Relaxation of Visa Rules for Nationals of Southeast and South Asian Countries
Effective 1 June 2017, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will further relax visa rules for visitors from countries in South east and South Asia covered by the “New Southbound Policy”.
What are the changes?
- The visa exemption trial programme for nationals of Thailand and Brunei will be extended to 31 July 2018. The trial was introduced in August 2016, and allows nationals of Thailand and Brunei to enter Taiwan visa-free for stays of up to 30 days.
- A visa exemption trial programme will be introduced for Philippines nationals for a period of one year. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet confirmed the implementation date of this new trial programme.
- The eligibility criteria for online visa applications will be eased for nationals from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam. People who have been issued with a Taiwan visa (excluding work visas) over the previous ten years, and who have no record of violating Taiwanese law, may apply for a Travel Authorization Certificate for multiple stays of up to 30 days in a 90-day period, via the Online Application portal run by the National Immigration Agency.
- Effective 1 June 2017, nationals of Sri Lanka and Bhutan will be eligible for tourist visas.
- Effective 1 June 2017, business travellers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka may apply for an eVisa to Taiwan at the recommendation of local offices of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).
The measures extend Taiwan’s strategy of strengthening economic relationships with South and Southeast Asian countries, known as the “New Southbound Policy”, introduced on 1 August 2016. See our previous alert on this here.
- Employers of business travelers to Taiwan from Southeast or South Asian countries should consult a visa specialist to confirm the latest entry requirements.