Taiwan eases visa process for conference and expo visitors

Delegates attending business events in Taiwan can now use a simplified visa application process if they have been invited to attend an international event.

Meet Taiwan, which operates under the island’s Board of Trade to promote meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions internationally, says the eVisa Program  offers eligible applicants a one-stop service enabling them to fill in a eVisa application form, submit the application, and pay the visa fee with a credit card online. When an application is approved, the applicant receives confirmation by email and can print out the eVisa to enter Taiwan.

The new measure also meets the global trend for electronic travel documents, simplifies foreigner visa requirements according to Taiwan's Tourism Action Plan 2015-1018, and encourages other countries and regions to extend their visa waiver programmes and visa facilities to Republic of China passport holders.

Meet Taiwan says applicants will be saved the time and expense of getting a visa at a Republic of China (Taiwan) overseas mission office in person. This would reduce the amount of travel documents and simplify the visa process, while remaining compatible with Taiwan's homeland security.

Foreign nationals seeking to conduct business, engage in tourism, visit relatives, or participate in international conferences are eligible for an eVisa if they meet relevant criteria and are from the following 27 countries: Belize, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Turkey, and Tuvalu.

Prior to the launch of the eVisa program, only passengers entering the Republic of China through the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport could apply for a landing visa; now, the ports of entry cover all international airports in Taiwan.

Foreign nationals seeking to apply for an eVisa to participate in international conferences or trade fairs held in Taiwan may contact the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs  through the event’s organiser in Taiwan one month prior to the arrival date.

The e-visa announcement comes as Taiwan’s MICE Promotion Program (Meet Taiwan) marked a successful 2015. According to statistics released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Taiwan ranked fourth in Asia for association conferences, exceeding Singapore, Thailand and India.

Taiwan will also host the 2021 Rotary Convention, which is expected to bring as many as 36,000 Rotary members and families from across the world. The event promises to be the largest international convention Taiwan has held in 20 years.

The four-year MICE Promotion Program project is now entering its last year, with targets set on bringing at least 330 international conventions, corporate meetings, and incentive tours to Taiwan in 2016, anticipating more than 243,000 MICE visitors from abroad.

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