Taiwan extends visa-free privilege for Filipino travelers until July 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 20) – Taiwan is extending its trial visa-free entry for Filipino travelers from Aug. 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022, the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Tuesday.

This move is in line with Taiwan's "New Southbound Policy" (NSP) under which its MOFA also allows visa-free entry to nationals from Thailand, Brunei, and Russia.

The Taiwan MOFA said their decision was reached after evaluating the convenience brought by the relaxation of visa rules in the past years and to revive mutual bilateral exchanges and tourism in the post-pandemic era.

"MOFA will continue to review and fine-tune visa policy, seeking to strengthen bilateral exchanges and attract more visitors while still ensuring border and public security," the ministry said in a statement

Taiwan has been extending its visa-free privilege for Filipinos since the trial program began on Nov. 1, 2017.

The foreign affairs ministry, however, clarified that the extension of visa-free treatment to the Philippines and three other countries is separate from Taiwan's ongoing ban on entry of foreign tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The aforementioned adjustments to and extensions of visa measures for nationals from NSP partner countries and Russia are based on previously existing policies and do not indicate an opening-up of Taiwan to foreign tourists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic," the ministry added.

Foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Taiwan depending on the Central Epidemic Command Center's assessment of the pandemic.