Taiwan sees increase in first-time in-person biometric passport applications
01 January 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.Taiwan's Foreign Ministry announced that more than 300,000 citizens have applied for their first-time biometric passports in person this year; Now a requirement in Taiwan for all first time passport applicants. Millions of Taiwanese citizens have now obtained the new biometric passports.
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Previously, only around 25 percent of Taiwan citizens obtained their passports after applying in person, with the remaining 75 percent applying for passports through travel agencies acting on their behalf, according to Chen.
Additionally, a total of 3.88 million Taiwan passport holders have changed their old passports to biometric electronic ones. This move has also contributed to making it easier for Taiwan to gain visa waiver privileges in the US as they require biometric passports.
This year, Taiwan also signed several agreements with the US which it is hoped will enable Taiwanese nationals to qualify for visa-free treatment; including a US-Taiwan information-sharing agreement on counter-terrorism in August and another on lost or stolen passports in May.
The American Institute in Taiwan announced on 22 December that Taiwan was an eligible candidate for the visa waiver program, although the US did not set a timeframe for when Taiwan might actually qualify.
Once admitted into the program, Taiwanese nationals traveling to the US for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less will not need to obtain a visa. Currently, 36 countries have been granted visa-free travel for stays of up to 90 days in the US.
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