WASHINGTON, D.C.-Taiwan has been included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, allowing its travelers to visit the U.S for tourism and business purposes for up to 90 days without a visa.
According to the the announcement from the Department of Homeland Security, Taiwan's inclusion in the program will be effective on Nov. 1, 2012.
The announcement follows efforts by a number of Members of Congress urging DHS to include Taiwan under the visa waiver program.
Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) cosigned a letter with American Samoa Delegate Eni Faleomavaega urging the Obama Administration to make this change. Congress has recognized the significant economic benefits from adding Taiwan to the program.
“I am pleased that the Obama Administration has extended visa-free travel to the U.S. for visitors from Taiwan starting this year,” said Bordallo. “This announcement will help facilitate cultural exchange and is a significant development in the relationship between our countries. Adding Taiwan to the visa waiver program will also mean increased travel to the U.S., including Guam. Guam has seen an increase in tourism and business opportunities stemming from Taiwan's inclusion in our Guam visa waiver program, and this impact is evident in our island's thriving Taiwanese community. I am hopeful that Taiwan's inclusion in the U.S. visa waiver program will likely have the same effect on a national scale and will be beneficial for our country's tourism industry and many American workers. I am also hopeful that this announcement will lead to increased flights between Guam and Taiwan facilitating economic opportunities for our island.”