Taiwan announces visa-free travel for Pinoys starting November 1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 16) — It's official Filipinos can travel visa-free to the Republic of China, or Taiwan, starting November 1 this year.

The trial period for the visa-free entry covers only visits for up to 14 days for activities such as tourism, business, visiting relatives, and attending functions or events. The period will run until July 31 next year.

To take advantage of visa-free entry, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) says Philippine passport holders must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a regular passport with remaining validity of at least six months from the date of entry;
  • Possess a return ticket or a ticket for the traveler's next destination, and visa for that destination if required;
  • Not have a criminal record in Taiwan;
  • Have proof of accommodation (hotel) booking or host/sponsor's contact information, or details of the tour or travel itinerary, or of the event or meeting

Diplomatic and official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free privilege, TECO said.

Visitors who intend to stay in Taiwan for more than 14 days to study, work, or engage in other activities must still acquire an appropriate visa, it added.

Relaxed visa restrictions are part of the "New Southbound Policy," a Taiwanese initiative to "build closer people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community" between the two countries, said TECO.

"Through these significant efforts, we will surely enhance our bilateral tourism, economic, cultural, educational and other areas of cooperation and exchanges which will eventually bring mutual benefits to the peoples of Taiwan and the Philippines," said Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Taiwan Representative to the Philippines.

Lin also urged the Philippine Government and Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan to grant visa-free entry to Taiwanese nationals as well.

Taiwan's approval for visa-free travel was first announced in late September.

Related: Taiwan approves visa-free travel for Filipinos

Previously, Filipinos could get a free Travel Authorization Certificate and apply for the e-visa (online visa), which is valid for three months upon approval of the e-visa.

Taiwan also eased visa-free requirements for Filipinos who already possessed a resident card or visa for Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Travelers who enter Taiwan before November 1 with valid TACs will be able to stay for up to 30 days. However, the certificates will no longer be valid after the visa-free entry period begins.

E-visas approved before November 1, including those on the day itself, will still be valid for entering Taiwan for up to 30 days.