Taiwan said Friday it was extending visa-free entry for Filipinos by one year, or until July 31, 2021. However, restrictions on outbound travel due to COVID-19 remain and as of Thursday, only essential foreign trips are allowed.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office announced the visa-free extension late Thursday. It will also apply to Thailand, Brunei and Russia under Taiwan's "New Southbound Policy" of expanding foreign relations in the Asia Pacific region. Taiwan is also handling the pandemic better than its neighbors.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also decided on the following:
- The Project for Simplifying Visa Regulations for High-end Group Tourists from Southeast Asian Countries will continue for another year, until Dec. 31, 2021.
- From Aug. 1, 2020, those applying for conditional visa-free entry who hold visas for Japan or South Korea must present a record of entry into one of these countries.
Taiwan’s MOFA said the extension and adjustment of visa measures “do not take precedence over temporary border control measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The entry of foreign nationals is still subject to the Central Epidemic Command Center’s assessment of the COVID-19 health crisis.
Filipino visitors to Taiwan doubled in 2019 due to the visa-free policy, according to the ministry.
The Philippines' pandemic response task force earlier said only essential travel would be allowed, those leaving for work, businesses, medical emergencies, and humanitarian purposes.