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Taiwan relaxes visa for PHL, five other ASEAN countries, India

To attract more travelers, Taiwan has relaxed its visa policy for the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and India, its representative office in Manila said Wednesday.

Eligible applicants from these countries will be issued multiple-entry visas valid for three months and allows single stays of up to 30 days if they hold permanent resident certificates issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Schengen Agreement signatories, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Holders of a visa or a resident card from one of these countries “either valid or expired within 10 years from the date of expected arrival in Taiwan” are also qualified to apply under the simplified visa scheme.

The new policy was enforced on September 1.

Visa applications should be filed online here to obtain a Travel Authorization Certificate, which is free of charge.

“The adjustments come following 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,” Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) said in a statement.

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

Taiwan’s new visa regulation, TECO said, also eases application for those joining group tours from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.

Travel agencies representing tourist groups from these countries can file applications here after receiving a permit from the Tourism Bureau’s overseas offices.

A 30-day single-entry eVisa will be issued to the qualified members of the group.

“These programs are expected to attract more travelers to Taiwan for short-term tourism, business, visits to relatives, and cultural exchanges,” TECO said.

It also aims to further increase interactions between Taiwan and ASEAN member states, as well as India, while implementing a people-centered “New Southbound Policy,” it said.

Manila and Taipei have no formal diplomatic ties in deference to the One-China Policy. Taiwan is represented by TECO, which acts as its de-facto embassy in the country.

Taiwan, a self-ruling democratic island which separated from mainland China in 1949, is regarded by Beijing as its renegade province. —KBK, GMA News