Taiwan’s visa waiver program not influenced by Trump order: AIT

Taipei--An American official in Taipei said Sunday U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order on Jan. 27 banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days will not impact the country's visa-free treatment of Republic of China (Taiwan) passport holders.

Trump's executive order bans all nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S., which has thrown airports in the country into chaos and sparked protests in many U.S. cities.

Trump's order also suspended the "visa interview waiver program."

Asked if the executive order would affect her country's visa-free treatment of Taiwanese citizens, Sonia Urbom, spokesperson of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan, said no, for the moment.

Urbom said that the "visa interview waiver program" is not the same as the "visa waiver program" (VWP), noting that conditions relating to the VWP overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have not changed.

The visa waiver program still applies to Taiwanese visitors traveling to the U.S., Urbom said, adding that Taiwanese should visit the U.S. government's official website for the VWP if they want to know more about the program.

Taiwan is one of the 38 countries whose citizens or nationals are currently eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP, excluding those who are also nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Sudan, according to the data on website of Bureau of Consular Affairs of U.S. Department of State.

The VWP enables most citizens or nationals of eligible countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.

Local immigration officials, Border Affairs Team of National Immigration Agency in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, were unavailable for comments on if the U.S. order influenced the operation procedure in Taiwan's main gateway.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel