Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

U.S. officials to visit Taiwan for Visa Waiver Program evaluation

U.S. officials to visit Taiwan for Visa Waiver Program evaluation

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) A group of U.S. officials will visit Taiwan this week to review procedures for passport checks and border controls as part of an evaluation of the country's bid for inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), an official of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said Monday. AIT Public Affairs Section Chief Sheila Paskman said the Department of Homeland Security delegation is a working-level group and that the evaluation is a necessary procedure in Taiwan's acquisition of visa-free treatment from the United States. However, she declined to specify exactly when the team will arrive, how many people it will comprise, or what its itinerary in Taiwan will be. She also said she did not know whether or not the team will let Taiwan know the results of its evaluation. Thomas Chen, head of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that the U.S. team will mainly check on the procedures involving passport applications, passport fabrication and passport issuance. The team will advise on how to make improvements if necessary, Chen said, noting that if there is nothing that needs to be improved, it will report the evaluation results to the relevant U.S. authorities, who will then make the final decision on whether or not Taiwan can be included in the VWP. The AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties, announced last December that Taiwan had been listed as a possible VWP subject. The AIT stressed that Taiwan is currently only a candidate for the VWP and that Taiwanese nationals still need a visa at present if they want to enter the United States. There is no timetable for the visa-free bid, it added. (By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-05-07 07:20 GMT+08:00