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MOFA announces one-year extension of trial visa-free entry from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020 for nationals from Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei and Russia
Date: 2019/07/02    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
July 2, 2019
No.158

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on July 2 a one-year extension of its trial program concerning visa-free entry to Taiwan for nationals from Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei and Russia. The decision, approved by the Executive Yuan, was made at a May 24 meeting convened by MOFA and attended by relevant national security, immigration, police, judicial, tourism and economic agencies to discuss adjustments to visa measures for New Southbound Policy partner countries as well as Russia. The one-year extension to the trial program will start from August 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Before the end of this period, a reassessment will be made of the program’s results to determine whether it will be further extended.
 
Since Taiwan started according greater visa privileges to New Southbound Policy partner countries in 2016, the number of visitors from these countries has risen steadily, reaching a record high of 2,607,982 in 2018, up 13.61 percent over 2017. These figures demonstrate that this visa policy has contributed to increased inbound tourism. Meanwhile, with the resumption of direct flights between Taiwan and Russia on May 24, an extension of the trial program for Russian nationals is expected to attract more tourists and bolster people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
 
MOFA will continue to work with other government agencies to review the trial program and actively seek further visa privileges from the governments of partner countries for Taiwanese nationals, so as to advance Taiwan’s overall national interests.(E)