Updated October 16 2017: It’s official! Filipinos can now enter Taiwan visa free starting November 1, 2017. The new policy will be implemented on a trial basis for nine months, which is until July 31, 2018. Travelers can enjoy 14 days of visa-free travel in Taiwan. You get to visit tourist destinations like Taipei 101, Taroko National Park, the Chimei Museum, and the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
Previously slated to be approved last June, it was explained in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) website that the delay was in order to “complete relevant administrative procedures and inter-agency coordination.” Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Representative of the ROC (Taiwan) to the Philippines, says the delay is to ensure smooth operations and the security of travelers.
Angelito Banayo, chairman and CEO of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, earlier said that the delay was due to “technical problems.” MOFA had earlier announced that Filipinos will be granted visa-free access to Taiwan starting June 1, 2017.
Thai and Brunei nationals, on the other hand, can enjoy a year of visa-free travel. Both countries previously had a 30-day visa exemption. Tourists from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos also get multiple entry visas.
The New Southbound Policy
The new visa policy is part of Taiwan’s efforts to encourage more tourist visits from South and Southeast Asian countries. Dubbed the “New Southbound Policy”, it aims to forge closer trade and economic ties with South and Southeast Asian nations.
Since the implementation of this policy, Taiwan has seen anincrease in tourist arrivals from South and Southeast Asian countries. In January 2017, 68,000 people from South and Southeast Asian countries visited Taiwan. This is an increase of 42.8% from 2016 and is the biggest growth in four years, according to government data.
With this new policy, Filipinos can now go to 62 countries either visa-free or with visa on arrival. In Southeast Asia, Filipinos can go to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In South America, Filipinos can go to Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Haiti.