Taiwan has, today, announced that the Visa-free program for passport holders of Philippines, Thailand, Brunei and Russia will be extended for one extra year. The reason behind this extension is that the Taiwan government has seen significant growth in tourist numbers from the countries mentioned above since the program was first announced.
As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, the visa-free trial program was originally set to expire on July 31 but the Ministry has now announced an extension. The statement says that ” Following a May 24 cross-ministerial meeting attended by representatives of government units in charge of national security, the police, the investigation bureau, immigration, tourism and the economy, an agreement was reached to extend the program for another year “
According to the government data, the program which grants visa-free entry for citizens from different countries for stays up to 14 days has helped increase visitor arrivals and it shows that the program has been a successful one.
As far as the statistics from Tourism Bureau are concerned, nationals from 18 New Southbound Policy partner countries including which are Association of Southeast Asian Nations Countries including Philippines, Thailand, Brunei and Russia have increased the visits to the country bu over 13.61%. There were a total of 2.6 million visits to Taiwan in 2018 whereas the numbers were 2.29 million visits in 2017 which shows a significant increase.
Also, the ministry figures show that Russian passport holders have also taken full advantage of the visa-free entry as there has been a 65% increase since September 2018 of the amount of Russians travelling to Taiwan from an year earlier.
The new expiration date of the visa-free program will be July 31, 2020 and the MOFA has said that the government will conduct a new review to see if there should be an extension on the visa-free privileges for the countries once again.