By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan officially launched an electronic visa (eVisa) application system Tuesday, with citizens of 27 countries to benefit in the first stage of the system’s implementation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) officials have announced. Roger Luo (羅添宏), deputy director-general of MOFA’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the eVisa system is now open to 21 of the 22 countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan — excluding the Holy See — as well as Turkey, Macedonia, Brunei, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Foreign nationals, regardless of their nationality, who have been invited to attend international conferences or activities in Taiwan — organized, co-organized or sponsored by central government agencies or certain nongovernmental organizations — are also eligible for an eVisa, he added. The policy has made Taiwan the 23rd country in the world to launch an online visa application system, he said. “The program that will largely facilitate the visa applications of foreigners has been launched in the hope of attracting more foreign visitors to Taiwan,” Luo said.
Under the new system, applicants will enjoy convenient single-window online services for entry permits to Taiwan and they can do so anywhere in the world as long as they have Internet access.
The ministry will evaluate the possibility of expanding the system to more countries if more offer R.O.C. citizens visa privileges, he added. The 21 diplomatic allies are Belize, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, St. Christopher (Kitts) and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, the Solomon Islands, Swaziland, and Tuvalu. According to MOFA, in the first stage, travelers from the designated countries will be allowed to apply for eVisas for business or tourist visits, as well as for visiting relatives and attending international conferences or sporting events in Taiwan. The validity of an eVisa is three months from the issue date. The eVisa is a single entry visa that cannot be extended. Unless reciprocity is applicable or stipulated otherwise, the application fee for an eVisa is NT$1,600. Including an NT$32 processing fee for the online credit card payment, the total amount is NT$1,632, it said. An eVisa applicant’s passport must be an ordinary, official or diplomatic passport with a remaining validity of at least six months. Emergency, temporary and other informal passports or travel documents cannot be used to apply for an eVisa, MOFA said. To apply for an eVisa, applicants should visit https://visawebapp.boca.gov.tw/BOCA_MRVWeb/subroot/MRVWeb0_form.jsp When an application has been approved — which usually takes two to three working days — the visa system will automatically send a notice to the applicant’s designated email account containing a Web link to download and print the eVisa.