Joining the ranks of Britain and Ireland, New Zealand will become the third country this year to grant visa-free privileges to visitors from Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced today.
From November 30, Taiwanese passport holders traveling to New Zealand for less than three months on business, as tourists, to visit friends or relatives, or for short-term study, will no longer be required to apply for a visa before they travel, sparing them the cost of NT$2,850 (US$88.70) for a visitor visa or NT$1,350 for a group visa.
The United Kingdom began offering visa-free treatment to Taiwanese in March this year, allowing stays of up to six months, while Ireland decided to allow 90 days visa-free entry from July 1.
“The MOFA welcomes and appreciates the New Zealand government’s decision, which I believe will further promote substantial bilateral relations between Taiwan and New Zealand and increase the number of Taiwanese tourists to the country,” said Foreign Minister Timothy C.T. Yang at a news conference.
“Under President Ma Ying-jeou’s flexible diplomacy, our top priority is promoting the interests of Taiwanese people, including seeking visa-waiver treatment from other countries,” he added.
The foreign minister also announced that as a reciprocal measure, the government will extend visa-free stays for New Zealand passport-holders from the current 30 days to 90 days from November 30.
A total of 33 countries around the world now offer visa-free entry privileges to Taiwanese citizens.
In a press statement released the previous day by the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (NZCIO), office director Michelle Slade was quoted as saying that “New Zealand has long been a popular destination for tourists, students and business visitors from Taiwan.”
The visa waiver program “should facilitate the further growth of these tourism, education, and trade links,” she added.