On October 2, 2012, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitan announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), thus streamlining travel for thousands of eligible Taiwan passport holders. As of November 1, 2012, eligible Taiwan passport holders will be able to visit the US without visas.Taiwan joins 36 participants in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which permits visa-free travel to the United States for eligible travelers visiting the United States for 90 days or fewer for business or tourism. In Fiscal Year 2011 (FY-2011), the Visa Waiver Program accounted for 18.3 million visits to the United States, or more than 60 percent of tourist and business travelers entering the United States via air.
In accordance with the Visa Waiver Program designation process, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) determined that Taiwan complies with key security and information-sharing requirements such as enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States; timely reporting of lost and stolen passports; and the maintenance of high counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control, aviation and document security standards.
As all Visa Waiver Program travelers are required to do, Taiwan passport holders will now be required to apply for advanced authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a DHS web-based system.
As mentioned above, eligible Taiwan passport holders with an approved ESTA will be able to visit the United States without visas as of November 1, 2012.