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The eVisa program will officially launch in Taiwan on January 12. Foreign visitors not in the visa waiver program and who are eligible can apply for an eVisa on the Internet before embarking on their trips. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) says that this program will boost Taiwan’s tourism and attract more visitors.

►Related News: Six More Visa-free Countries for ROC Passport Holders

CNA reports, Lo Tien-hung, deputy director-general of MOFA’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA), states that MOFA started planning the online eVisa program last year and it will officially launch on January 12, following the international trend of digitalizing tourist documents and improving cooperation with other countries regarding visa treatment.

According to Lo, the eVisa system will allow eligible foreigners from countries not included in Taiwan’s visa waiver program to apply for an eVisa on a convenient one-window online platform, which combines three application procedures:

1. Filling in the application form
2. Paying the fee by credit card
3. Getting verification for the visa application

The system help applicants save the time and money that would be wasted in the past because of complicated procedures, including having to go to Taiwan overseas offices in person to apply for a visa and waiting for the office to send the documents.

The application fee for an eVisa is NT$1600 (approximately US$48). Foreigners who acquire an eVisa can stay in Taiwan for 30 days and no extention is allowed. MOFA says that the operation of the eVisa program will be divided into several stages. In the initial stage, the system is only open to applicants with purposes of business travel, tourism, short family visits and partaking in international conferences. Foreigners can apply for an eVisa if they match one of the following conditions:

1. Coming from countries Taiwan provides landing visas for: Brunei, Turkey, and the Republic of Macedonia.
2. Coming from the 21 countries Taiwan has diplomatic relations with (except for the Vatican City State): Belize, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Dome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, and Tuvalu.
3. Coming from countries that mutually improve visa treatment with Taiwan: Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.
4. People invited to Taiwan on the purposes of participation in international conferences, sports events or commercial exhibitions, and eligible for landing visa applications.

Three More Countries Granting Taiwan Better Visa Treatment

Liberty Times reports, MOFA announced at the end of last year that Republic of China (ROC) passport holders now have visa-free, landing-visa or eVisa entry to three more countries. The number of countries granting Taiwan visa-exempt entry, landing-visa entry or eVisa application thus increases from 158 to 161.

MOFA has confirmed that starting from January 1 this year, the Republic of Chile grants ROC passport holders visa-exempt entry. ROC passport holders can also visit the Republic of Uzbekistan with a landing visa and the Republic of Rwanda with an eVisa.

Translated by Bing-sheng Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang