On October 2, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the designation of Taiwan under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”), which will facilitate U.S. travel for thousands of eligible Taiwan passport holders.
Citizens of designated VWP countries are permitted to enter the United States as visitors for business or pleasure for a maximum period of ninety days without a visa. The list of countries currently designated under the VWP now includes: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan.
Like other VWP travelers, eligible Taiwan passport holders will be required to apply for advanced authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”), a DHS Web-based system. Eligible Taiwan passport holders with an approved ESTA will be able to visit the United States without a visa starting from November 1, 2012.