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Taiwan applies stricter e-visa policy to Vietnam

Taiwan applies stricter e-visa policy to Vietnam

Thursday, September 14, 2023, 17:32 GMT+7
Taiwan applies stricter e-visa policy to Vietnam
This image shows travelers at a tourist destination in Taiwan. Photo: N. Binh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese tourists' application for an e-visa to enter Taiwan using visas granted by South Korea and Japan will no longer be accepted from Thursday, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Ho Chi Minh City.

The policy change, effective from 10:00 am on September 14, 2023, is applied only to e-visa applicants from Vietnam, not to those from other Southeast Asian countries, the TECO reported on Wednesday, citing the Taiwanese immigration agency. 

Accordingly, Vietnamese passport holders who submit online applications for e-visa to Taiwan "with a visa, resident certificate or permanent resident certificate issued by Japan/Korea as supporting documents will no longer be eligible for a Travel Authorization Certificate (TAC)” from Taiwanese authorities. 

Those who have been already granted a TAC, which works as a multiple-entry visa, before or on September 14 still may enter Taiwan by presenting the valid TAC and related documents as required.

On August 1, 2019, Taiwan began implementing a conditional visa exemption policy for a number of countries, including Vietnam.

Accordingly, visitors who possess one of the visas that are valid or have expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan issued by the U.S., Canada, the UK, South Korea, Japan, any of the EU and Schengen countries, or electronic visas of Australia and New Zealand, will be eligible for a TAC to stay in Taiwan within 14 days.

The new change means Vietnamese tourists wanting to get an e-visa for travel to Taiwan by using such visas must shift back to the normal visa application process, which usually takes about eight days to get results, instead of receiving immediate response as in the aforementioned e-visa issuance protocol. 

With the new rule, the number of travelers registering for tours from Vietnam to Japan and South Korea will significantly shrink because many of them want to travel to the two countries just for the purpose of obtaining the Japanese or South Korean visas, which facilitate them getting an e-visa to Taiwan, Vietnamese tourist companies said.

Local travel firms also said they were surprised by such a policy change as many Taiwanese tourist companies are introducing various attractive destinations in Taiwan to Vietnamese travelers to persuade them to tour the island.

Over the first six months of 2023, 190,195 Vietnamese traveled to Taiwan, equal to 95 percent of the figure for the same period of 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic was yet to break out, according to Taiwan’s tourism statistics.

Tourist experts attributed this encouraging result to Taiwan’s effective travel promotion programs and its conditional visa-free entry policy that has been applied since August 1, 2019.

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Vinh Tho - N. Binh / Tuoi Tre News

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