Taiwan clarifies visa-exempt list

SINGAPORE, 9 September 2022: Taiwan confirmed on Wednesday that citizens of  Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines, Japan and Korea are not eligible for visa-free entry that will be reinstated on 12 September.

Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs clarified after media reports suggested ASEAN nations were on the visa exemption list. They are currently on the suspended list until further notice. Other nations on the suspended list are Chile, Dominican Republic, Israel, Nicaragua and Russia.

Taiwan kept entry and quarantine rules when most Asian nations eased rules. However, it cut the mandatory quarantine for arrivals from seven to three days in June. Upon arrival, all travellers entering the country must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Taiwan said the decision to resume the visa-free entry of citizens from several countries was based on the fact that most countries had reopened their borders. It cited the need to balance Covid-19 control measures with the need to stimulate economic recovery.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs list below identifies the nationalities eligible for visa-free travel. Under the ruling, the stays vary depending on the country, but 90 days is the maximum. Nationals of ASEAN countries will get a 30-day stay under the visa-exemption scheme when the suspension ends.

The Taipei Representative Office in Singapore said on Tuesday that a “press release on the adjustment of border control measures issued on Monday had been misunderstood. Some media and the public misunderstood that from 12 September, Singaporeans can enter Taiwan without a visa.”

Type

Visa-Exempt Entry

Applicable foreign nationals starting from 12 September, 2022

  1. Nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 90 days: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini*, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras*, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Island*, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia*(effective till 31 March, 2025), Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu*, the United Kingdom, the United States of America*,and Vatican City State.
  2. Nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 30 days: Belize*, Nauru, St. Kitts and Nevis*, Saint Lucia*, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Temporarily Suspended

Chile, Dominican Republic, Israel, Japan*, Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand*, Brunei*, Philippines*, Russia*

Meanwhile, Malaysia has scrapped its mask mandate for indoor settings, with premise owners allowed to decide whether to impose their face mask requirements.

“Face masks indoors will be optional effective immediately,” said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, adding that masks remain mandatory on public transport and healthcare facilities, CNA reported in its morning online edition yesterday.

Healthcare facilities include hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, while public transport covers e-hailing services, flights, taxis and trains.

Masks are still “highly encouraged” for crowded indoor settings. High-risk individuals, those who are ill or symptomatic, and those who interact with the vulnerable are encouraged to wear masks.

Malaysia did away with outdoor masking from May this year but continued to require them indoors and on public transport.

(Source CNA and additional reporting)