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Visa waiver eases travel for Taiwanese

Published November 5, 2012

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — The industry’s Taiwanese contingent may find it friendlier to travel to the U.S. in the future thanks to a newly eased visa requirement. 

As of Thursday, the U.S. government no longer requires Taiwan passport holders to obtain a visa to visit the U.S. for business or tourism for 90 days or fewer, according to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security. Taiwan joins a list of 36 other visa-free countries that the U.S. considers of little threat to national security or whose residents are not likely overstay their stay in the U.S.  

With a significant part of the industry’s manufacturers based in Taiwan, the relaxed rules should make it easier for Taiwanese to travel back and forth to the U.S for business. In an increasingly global trade environment, principals of Taiwanese companies often visit the U.S. multiple times per year to attend tradeshows, consumer events like the Sea Otter Classic or visit their U.S. subsidiaries. As an example, every year, about 200 Taiwanese buyers and exhibitors fly to Las Vegas to attend Interbike, said Justin Gottlieb, the show’s PR director.

To be eligible, Taiwan passport holders are required to apply for advanced permission online through Electronic System for Travel Authorization and pay an administration fee. 

In 2011, 243,186 visitors from Taiwan traveled to the U.S., according to the DHS, a number that stands to rise significantly under the waiver program.  

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