New visa rules for Taiwanese postponed

New visa rules for Taiwanese postponed

Decision follows complaints from Taiwan, which grants visa-free status to Thai visitors

A requirement for individual Taiwanese travellers to submit financial statements when applying for a visa to enter Thailand has been postponed until at least March, according to local reports.

The Thailand Trade and Economic Office (TTEO) in Taipei announced earlier that the requirement for three months’ evidence of financial statements would take effect on Dec 1.

The news angered Taiwanese officials and local travel agents, who noted that Thai citizens don’t need visas to visit Taiwan. That programme was extended on Aug 1 for another year, until July 31, 2020.

Taiwanese media reports said the TTEO was preparing to cancel the new requirements in light of the backlash. But a representative told the Taiwan News that the office was merely postponing the introduction of the tighter visa rules pending a review that could take until March.

China News Agency reported that the plan would be put of until March 1 “to give applicants sufficient time to prepare and to acquaint themselves with the new method”.

If it goes ahead, the requirement would be limited to individual travellers, as authorities want to ensure they have funds to cover their stay in the Kingdom. Members of tour groups only have to provide a letter of guarantee from their place of work or travel operator.

The number of Taiwanese who visited Thailand in the first 10 months of this year totalled 700,356, a 24% increase from the same period last year.

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