Beginning November 1, 2017, Taiwanese passport holders will be eligible to join the US Global Entry program, designed to expedite immigration and customs processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. US citizens enrolled in a US Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Program (e.g. Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI) will be eligible to register for e-Gate, an automated border control system for entry into Taiwan, for a fee of NT$3,000 (~US$100). Taiwan will be the 12th country in the world to be eligible for Global Entry, while the US is the first country to be eligible for Taiwan’s e-Gate.
This development follows the fifth anniversary of Taiwan’s inclusion in the US Visa Waiver Program, which led to almost 60% increase in Taiwanese visitors to the US. American Institute in Taiwan Director Kin Moy and Taiwanese Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong announced the launch together with representatives from the US Customs and Border Protection, Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Taiwanese National Immigration Agency.
To further attract visitors from Southeast and South Asia and in continuation to its visa policy from last year, visa-free travel for citizens of Brunei and Thailand will be extended to July 31, 2018. Citizens of the Philippines will be able to travel to Taiwan without applying for a visa starting June 1, 2017 in an one-year pilot program. Citizens of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam who have received a Taiwan visa (excluding the foreign worker visa) will be eligible to apply online for a multiple-entry permit. Citizens of Bhutan and Sri Lanka will be eligible for tourist visa. Business travelers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka will be able to apply for the eVisa with recommendation from the local office of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).
For more information, contact Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bureau of Consular Affairs or the nearest Taiwan embassy/consulate/representative office.
Starting 1 August 2016, citizens of Thailand and Brunei will be able to visit Taiwan for 30 days without applying for a tourist visa in an one-year pilot program. Citizens of Brunei are already able to receive visa on arrival and the eVisa. In addition, citizens of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam who have received a visa from Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Schengen Area, the UK, or the US within the last 10 years will be able to visit Taiwan visa-free for 30 days by going through an online verification process starting 1 September 2016. For more information, contact Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bureau of Consular Affairs or the nearest Taiwan embassy/consulate/representative office.
Citizens of Malaysia and Singapore are already able to visit Taiwan for 30 days without a visa. Taiwan’s transportation ministry estimates an annual increase of 280,000 visitors from ASEAN countries after the new visa policy is implemented.
A month ago a friend came visit me in Taiwan. He (from Missouri, US) didn’t know much about Taiwan, and probably came because it was on the way to somewhere else. We didn’t really do any of the touristy stuff, because he wasn’t in Taiwan for a very long time, and I figured the best way to introduce someone to Taiwan is to have him/her live like a Taiwanese. So we just hung out, went to downtown for a few times, and ate a lot of really really good food. I tried my best to explain Taiwan’s political situation to him, and I could just see mounting confusion when I started switching between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan.
It is confusing, because China means People’s Republic of China to the rest of the world. In the new Batman v Superman movie, Senator Finch told Lex Luthor that “calling a jar of piss ‘Granny’s peach tea’ won’t make the pee taste good.” Calling Taiwan the Republic of China doesn’t make Taiwan an alternate or real China to the rest of the world. Yet, because of international reality and perhaps a desperate attempt to cling onto the ghost of China’s glorious past, Taiwan’s KMT government has been having a row with its own citizens for the past year or so over the ROC passport cover.
The current passport of Taiwan looks like this: Continue reading “Taiwan Passport Sticker Movement”
US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that Taiwan will become the 37th country to be included in the US Visa Wavier Program (VWP). Beginning November 1, 2012, citizens of Taiwan holding passport with an ICAO-compliant chip and a National ID Card number 國民身分證字號 will be able to travel to the US without a visa (application to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization required) and stay up to 90 days. Purposes other than tourism and short visit will still require the application of an appropriate US visa. US citizens can already travel to Taiwan without applying for a visa and stay for up to 30 days. The government of Taiwan is reciprocating to grant US citizens visa-free stay for up to 90 days, effective November 1, 2012. For more information, please visit the American Institute in Taiwan 美國在台協會.
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 外交部領事事務局, holders of a ROC passport can travel to 131 countries and territories around the world visa-free or can be granted a visa on arrival.
Picture above: a passport of the Republic of China (Taiwan) 中華民國護照. NOT to be confused with a passport of the People’s Republic of China 中華人民共和國護照, which has a dark-red cover. Different visa requirements are applied to holders of a PRC passport.