TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Thursday (September 22), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced it will restore visa-free treatment in 11 of 12 countries previously barred from restoring Taiwan’s visa-waiver policy. The restoration of the policy, which allowed 51 other countries visa-free treatment, partially ended a travel ban introduced on March 19, 2020 in the early stages of the pandemic.
On Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced that the cabinet has approved the first stage of easing border restrictions on Taiwan, with the changes taking effect on September 29, while the second stage is expected to take effect on October 29 in will come into force. 13.
The first phase will expand visa-free entry, increase passenger quotas, introduce the “one person per room” rule and end saliva tests on arrival. In the second phase, the weekly approach quota will be increased to 150,000, the “0+7” plan will be introduced, the borders will be opened to travelers from countries that have not previously been visa-free, and the travel group ban will be lifted.
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that citizens of countries that previously had visa-free status will again be able to travel to Taiwan visa-free from September 29. Visitors from eligible countries can participate in business, exhibitions, fact-finding missions, international exchanges, sightseeing, family visits and social visits without the need to apply for a permit.
However, if they wish to engage in other activities, they must obtain official approval from a central government agency by applying for a special entry permit (visa) at one of the foreign missions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At present, the total number of people entering Taiwan is still subject to quotas, and quarantine measures for incoming passengers will continue to be enforced under the current “3+4” quarantine formula.
On September 12, the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) announced that visa-free entry had been restored for 54 countries, including five diplomatic allies. However, it excluded 12 countries, namely Chile, Dominican Republic, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Nicaragua, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines and Russia.
In Thursday’s announcement, Taiwan said visa-free treatment would resume on September 29 for almost all previously excluded countries, with the notable exception of Russia. The duration of the visa exemption varies between 90 and 14 days.
All arriving passengers must adhere to the “3+4” scheme, which includes three days of quarantine and four days of self-monitoring, either in a quarantine hotel or a residence that meets the criteria of the “one person per household” principle . From September 29, arriving passengers undergoing the “3+4” quarantine formula can spend the entire seven days in a dormitory with others as long as they can follow the “one person per room” principle.
From Oct. 13, Taiwan is expected to roll out its “0+7” plan, which will scrap quarantine in favor of seven-day health surveillance. On that date, Taiwan will also open its borders to travelers from countries that have not been granted visa-free treatment and end the ban on tour groups from abroad.
Nationals of these countries began receiving visa-free privileges valid for 90 days on September 12:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini*, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras*, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia , Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands*, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia* (valid until March 31, 2025), Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu*, United Kingdom, United States of America* and Vatican City State.
Nationals of these Taiwanese diplomatic allies were eligible for the visa waiver program for stays of up to 90 days as of September 12:
Belize*, Nauru, St. Kitts and Nevis*, St. Lucia*, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Nationals of these countries will receive visa-free privileges valid for 90 days from September 29:
Chile, Israel, Japan*, South Korea, Nicaragua.
Nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa waiver program, which is valid for 30 days on September 29:
Dominican Republic, Singapore, Malaysia.
Nationals of Thailand are eligible for the Visa Waiver Scheme, which is valid for 14 days on September 29.
Brunei nationals are eligible for the Visa Waiver Scheme, which is valid for 14 days on September 29.
Nationals of the Philippines are eligible for the visa waiver program, which is valid for 14 days on September 29.
The extension of Russia’s visa-free program, which expired on July 31, 2022, is placed “under review.”
*For more eligibility information, visit the BOCA visa-free entry website.