05 December 2012

US Visa Waiver Program rolled out successfully in Taiwan

Taiwan's participation in the US Visa Waiver Program has been labelled a success after its first month in operation with a 99% approval rate.

US visa

Taiwan became the 37th country to join the US Visa Waiver Program in October.

Despite its ambiguous international status, Taiwan became the 37th country to join the US Visa Waiver Program in October and has already been labelled a success by Taiwan's director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of North American Affairs.

Bruce Linghu said there had been an approval rate of 99%, with only a handful of Taiwanese travellers being rejected due to lying about having previous been denied a US visa or what their intentions were in the US.

The US Visa Waiver Program, which can be quickly obtained online, allows holder to enter the US for up to 90 days for business of leisure and is valid for two years.

Taiwan's participation in the program has proved controversial, not least because of its tenuous relationship with China but also because other countries - particularly the few left in Europe that remain outside of the program as well as Hong Kong - are still waiting to join.

Meanwhile however, Taiwan's joining has been hailed as a sign of strengthening relations between the US and Taiwan and Mr Linghu said he is hopeful that a bilateral agreement will soon be reached allowing privileges and immunity for diplomats.

"We hope the talks will be complete as soon as possible."

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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