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Taiwan extends visa waiver for Brunei, Philippines, Russia, Thailand passport holders

By Deepak Arora

TAIPEI, July 3: A trial program offering passport holders from Brunei, the Philippines, Russia and Thailand visa-free entry to Taiwan for up to 14 days will be extended for another year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Citizens from the four countries can continue enjoying visa waiver privileges through July 31, 2020. Applicants must have a standard passport valid for at least six months, verifiable local contact information, a return or onward ticket with required visas, confirmation of accommodation and finances, and a clean criminal record.

According to the MOFA, the trial has yielded positive results since its introduction as part of the government’s New Southbound Policy. Total arrivals from the 18 NSP target countries increased 13.61 percent year on year to 2.67 million in 2018, the ministry added.

Commenced last September, the waiver for Russian citizens expanded the scheme beyond NSP countries. The MOFA said the change has helped promote tourism and trade ties, with statistics from the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showing that arrivals from Russia grew 83 percent year on year to 3,974 in the first quarter of 2019.

A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the NSP is enhancing Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

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