Taiwan visa waivers for visitors from Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Brunei to last 3 years
Instead of once each year, the government is thinking about reconsidering the extension of visa waivers for visitors from the Philippines, Thailand, Russia and Brunei once every three years, a government member said Friday (August 30).
However, a meeting Thursday (August 29) decided that visa waivers for Indonesian and Vietnamese citizens were still off the table because too many of those nationals overstayed their visa, Minister without Portfolio Chang Jing-sen (張景森).
The meeting between representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Transportation mainly discussed ideas to promote tourism in the wake of China’s ban on individual travelers going to Taiwan, which went into effect last August 1.
The total number of visitors from China fell to 2.69 million last year and was likely to dip further to between 1.4 and 1.6 million in 2020, the Central News Agency quoted Chang as saying. The minister described the fall in Chinese arrivals as the start of a transformation of Taiwan’s tourism sector, with the process expected to be completed in 2024, when the island would no longer be primarily reliant on the Chinese tourists.
Even though Vietnamese and Indonesian visitors were unlikely to receive visa waivers soon, Chang still said the visa procedure for groups from those countries might be simplified, shortening the application process by two weeks. He also suggested Taiwan might follow Japan’s example and raise fines for overstayers.
The Taipei City Government’s proposal to give visa waivers to visitors from certain Middle Eastern countries, such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates was still under consideration, Chang said.
By Taiwan News