Visa-free travel programs extended for Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines

6 Jul 18

TAIWAN

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Taiwan has announced that it will extend visa-free programs for nationals of Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines.

What does the change mean? Nationals of Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines will be able to travel visa-free to Taiwan for stays of up to 14 days for tourism or business. The programs are set to expire on July 31, 2019.

  • Implementation time frame: Between now and July 31, 2019.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visa waivers.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines traveling to Taiwan for short-stay business or tourism.  
  • Impact on processing times: The extension will save eligible travelers the time it takes to apply for and receive a visa before travel.

Background: Last year, Taiwan extended a visa-free pilot program for nationals of Brunei and Thailand. Later, it launched a visa-free travel program for Philippine nationals. The programs were set to expire on July 31, 2018, but have now been extended by one year. Nationals of all three countries will be eligible for stays of up to 14 days. Previously, nationals of Brunei and Thailand were eligible for stays of up to 30 days, while Philippine nationals were eligible for stays of up to 14 days.

Nationals of Brunei and Thailand will continue to be eligible for stays of 30 days through July 30. The 14-day cap will apply from Aug. 1, 2018, to July 31, 2019.

Visa-free entry requirements have not changed. Travelers must have (1) an ordinary passport with at least six months of validity from the date of entry; (2) a return ticket or a ticket for an onward destination (plus a visa, if required); (3) proof of accommodation booking, a host’s contact information or arrangements or details of a tour or of an event or meeting; and (4) a completed arrival card. Travelers must present their passport and arrival card to authorities at the airport or seaport upon arriving in Taiwan.

BAL Analysis: While nationals of Brunei and Thailand will no longer be eligible for 30-day visa-free stays, the extension of visa-free travel programs for 14-day visits represents Taiwan’s overall goals of facilitating business travel, strengthening economic ties and encouraging investment, especially with its neighbors in Asia.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Taiwan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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