Taiwan set to extend visa-free program for Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Russia

Taiwan poised to extend visa-free treatment for Philippine, Thai, Brunei, Russia passport holders

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Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, and Russia passports. (Wikipedia photos)

Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, and Russia passports. (Wikipedia photos)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan is poised to extend the visa-free program for passport holders from the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Russia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday (June 10) announced that a cross-ministerial meeting decided to extend the visa-free program for citizens of the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Russia, but formal approval of the results by the Cabinet is still pending. Minister without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) told CNA that the Cabinet wishes to extend the program.

MOFA said that it recently invited officials from national security, immigration, police, investigations, tourism, economy, and trade agencies to discuss whether to continue the program. The meeting conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the visa-free program and came to the conclusion that it should be continued.

The findings of the meeting will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval and will be published after receiving the Cabinet's permission. Chang told CNA that the position of the Cabinet is to extend visa-free treatment for stays of 14 days to citizens of the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Russia for another year.

After a successful trial run of the program, MOFA on July 12, 2018 announced that it would extend visa-free entry for the Philippines, Thailand, and Brunei for trips of 14 days at a time for one year. In September of last year, visa-free entry was extended to Russian nationals for stays of 14 days.

Visa-free treatment for the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Russia is now set to expire on July 31.

Citizens of the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Russia are eligible for visa-free entry on the condition the applicants can provide the following:

1. Standard passport valid for at least six months.

2. Confirmed return plane or boat ticket, or a confirmed plane or boat ticket, along with a valid visa, for an onward destination.

3. Hotel reservation or accommodation address, contact information and proof of adequate finances.

4. A clean criminal record, as verified at immigration on arrival at an airport or seaport in Taiwan.