The United States announced that it will include Taiwan in its Visa Waiver Program starting Nov. 1.
The United States has offered Taiwan a hard-to-get waiver on travel visas, giving wider global reach to a diplomatically isolated island and advancing Washington’s growing long-term partnerships in Asia.
US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced yesterday in Washington that Taiwan had become the 37th place – the fifth in Asia – to be exempted from travel visas to enter the US. Beginning Nov. 1, Taiwanese can stay up to 90 days without spending any time or money on obtaining the documents.
The move helps Taiwan expand its influence by making US travel more accessible to tourists, businesspeople, and academic conference participants. The US, in turn, can advance part of its pivot-to-Asia strategy by forming closer economic, trade, and commercial ties to Taiwan.
“Visa waivers offer the kind of convenience and freedom that make the average people in Taiwan get a better sense of what international space really means to them,” says Raymond Wu, managing director of Taipei-based political risk consultancy e-telligence.