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Taiwan Designated as Visa Waiver Country

The Department of State has published a final rule designating Taiwan as a country eligible for participation under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”). The designation will permit eligible travelers from Taiwan to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrant visitors without being required to first obtain a visa. The Secretary of State nominated Taiwan for participation in the VWP on December 22, 2011, and under the recently published final rule, Taiwanese nationals may travel under the program as of November 1, 2012.

Under the VWP, nationals of certain countries that have agreements with the United States are permitted to enter the U.S. for business or pleasure without first obtaining a visa. There are currently 37 countries that participate in the VWP, including Taiwan. Visa Waiver travelers are permitted to remain in the U.S. for a period of 90 days or less.

Nationals of Taiwan are eligible to apply for admission under the VWP at a U.S. port of entry if they possess Taiwan electronic passports with valid personal identification numbers and are otherwise eligible pursuant to statutory and regulatory requirements. Additionally, even though a visa is not required under the VWP, applicants must still apply for authorization prior to travel.

The full text of the final rule can be accessed here.

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About this Author


William J. Flynn, III is the Practice Leader of the International Practice Group.  His practice includes a large immigration practice representing foreign nationals and U.S. corporations that employ foreign nationals. In this capacity, he represents clients before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of State.