Taiwan eases visa rules for PH passport holders

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Starting last September 1, qualified Philippine passport holders may now visit Taiwan for up to 30 days without a visa, according to new rules set by the Taiwanese government.

Filipinos who have either a residence/permanent residence card, valid visa, or an expired residence card or visa that is less than 10 years old, issued by certain countries, can enter the country visa-free.

The countries included in the list are Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States, according to an update from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines.

Aside from the residence permit/visa from the abovementioned countries, visitors should also have return tickets and must not have worked as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan before.

The Travel Authorization Certificate can be applied for online, the TECO said.

Previously, all Philippine passport holders needed to apply for a visa before they could visit Taiwan.

The new entry rules are also in effect for passport holders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and India. This, the Taiwan government said, is an extension of a pilot program that first covered visitors from Thailand and Brunei. 

"The adjustments come following the consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Immigration Agency, and the Tourism Bureau which aims to furthering the interactions with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," a TECO press release last September 21 said.

"At present, nationals of Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan," the TECO added.

The TECO website provides more details on the visa-free entry rule. – Rappler.com