Taiwan announces visa-free travel for Caribbean ‘diplomatic allies’

Citizens from a number of Caribbean countries are now able to enjoy visa-free travel to Taiwan.

Coming into effect immediately, the East Asian state – officially known as the Republic of China – made the decision to ease restrictions “to demonstrate the closeness” between it and its “diplomatic allies” in the region.

Residents of Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines can now visit for up to 30 days.

El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua has restrictions eased to 90-day visa-free visits.

The move follows yesterday’s announcement of visa-free access between Taiwan and Paraguay.

Move to strengthen relations

In a statement from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the decision described as “acting upon the principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity.”

The 10 countries lists already grant visa-free access to Taiwanese nationals, and have been included in Taiwan’s eVisa programme since it was launched in January 2016.

“Given the importance of its enduring friendships with these diplomatic partners, and acting upon the principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity, and a further desire to strengthen the development of bilateral relations, the [Republic of China] decided to grant visa-free privileges to these 10 diplomatic allies from 12 July 2017 in the hope that such benefits will lead to an increase in tourism, business, trade and cultural exchanges at multiple levels.”

WIC News has approached the relevant departments inside the Caribbean countries for their comment.

Only last month the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris, visited Taiwan in an effort to boost bilateral relations.

Under the new rules, nationals from the selected countries can enter the Republic of China as long as they hold a passport valid for at least six months, a return flight or boat ticket (or valid ticket and visa for an onward destination, and have no criminal record.

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