Taiwan increases visa-free treatment for Russian citizens to 21 days

Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines also granted visa waivers for another year

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BOCA Director-General Chen Chun-shen (Source: CNA)

BOCA Director-General Chen Chun-shen (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will extend the visa-waiver program for Russia by one more year on a trial basis, allowing Russian travelers to stay in Taiwan for 21 days without a visa, confirmed the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) on Thursday (July 4).

BOCA Director-General Chen Chun-shen (陳俊賢) said at a press briefing on Thursday that while citizens of Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines continue to enjoy 14 days of visa-exempt travel in Taiwan, the government has decided to grant visa waivers to Russian nationals for stays of up to 21 days, reported the Central News Agency.

Chen added that Russian tourists have demonstrated greater spending power while violating few regulations in Taiwan over the last year. The government hopes that a more generous visa-exemption arrangement will boost the number of Russian tourists in the country, he said.

Through a press statement issued on Tuesday, BOCA announced that Taiwan will extend its visa-waiver trials for Thailand, Brunei, the Philippines, and Russia until July 31, 2020.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) convened a cross-ministry meeting in May to evaluate the visa-waiver programs introduced last year. The decision to prolong those programs had been approved by the Executive Yuan, the statement said.

Direct flights between Taipei and Moscow resumed in May after a three-year hiatus. The number of Russian tourists traveling to Taiwan had increased by 65 percent since the visa waiver for Russians was first implemented in September of last year, MOFA said in May.