Taiwan renews visa-free trial

TAIPEI, 15 July 2019: Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the extension of visa-free entry for nationals from Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei and Russia

Earlier this month ministry said the visa-free period extension would commence 1 August and expire 31 July 2020, when a further review would take place

The decision followed meetings with relevant agencies including national security, immigration, police, judicial, tourism and economic agencies who met under the umbrella of the “New Southbound Policy” that identified countries that could generate more tourists.

The one-year extension is part of a trial programme that eased visa regulations in 2018.  After the 2020 deadline, Taiwan will reassess, the visa-free plan.

Since Taiwan introduced improved visa privileges under its New Southbound Policy back in 2016, tourist arrivals from countries under the visa-free scheme have risen steadily, reaching a record high of 2,607,982 in 2018, up 13.61% over 2017.

These figures demonstrate that the visa-free policy has contributed to increased inbound tourism.

Meanwhile, with the resumption of direct flights between Taiwan and Russia on 24 May, an extension of the trial programme for Russian nationals should attract more tourists and bolster people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.