13 May 2009

Taiwanese reminded of conditions of UK visa free travel

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Taiwanese travellers to the UK are reminded of their obligations in their UK visa agreements for visa-free travel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that while no UK visa is needed for Taiwanese tourists visiting the UK, other documents are essential and failure to produce these will result in being barred from entering Britain.

The UK government now allows Taiwanese tourists six months in Britain without a UK visa, as part of a new visa waiver initiative introduced in March this year.  As part of the agreement, however, Taiwanese tourists need to provide several forms of identification and proof of their travel itineraries in Britain.

Anne Hung, director-general of the ministry's Department of European Affairs, was reported by the Taipei Times to have told a press briefing that several incidents had been reported to her office of Taiwanese being refused at the border.

"Though Taiwan citizens enjoy visa-free entry to the UK, they still need to follow related requirements when entering the country, such as bringing necessary documents related to the purpose of their visits."

While the Taiwanese are now enjoying visa-free travel to the UK, the British authorities are staying on high alert for Chinese using Taiwan as a porthole for illegally entering without a UK visa.

Now that the doors have been opened to Taiwanese tourists, the UK will be expecting many more arrivals in the coming years.  In 2008, over 40,000 Taiwanese tourists applied for a UK visa and around 15,000 Taiwanese studied in Britain.


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