The Republic of China (Taiwan) passport ranked 32nd in the latest Visa Restrictions Index released Jan. 9 by London-headquartered citizenship and residency advisory firm Hanley and Partners.
For the 2018 report, the company evaluated passports from 199 countries and territories based on their visa-free and visa-on-arrival privileges in 219 destinations around the globe. According to the index, ROC passport holders enjoy such access in 134 countries and territories worldwide.
The latest tallies compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also take e-visas into account, indicate that ROC passport holders enjoy preferential visa treatment in 166 countries and territories.
Germany topped the Hanley and Partners index for the fourth consecutive year, with passport holders from the European nation permitted to visit 177 destinations without applying for a visa in advance. Singapore was second on the list with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 176 locations globally.
Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong led the way in East Asia in third, fifth and 21st, respectively, while Macau, mainland China and North Korea placed 36th, 75th and 95th.
In terms of residency regulations, official commentary on the index provided by Kate Coddington, assistant professor of geography at Durham University, highlights measures undertaken by Taiwan over the past year to ease visa regulations for passport holders from South Asian nations and Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states.
Taiwan has extended various forms of visa-free and e-visa privileges for periods of up to 90 days to citizens from 14 target nations of the New Southbound Policy. A central plank of President Tsai Ing-wen’s national development strategy, the initiative aims to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, trade and tourism links with the 10 ASEAN nations, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
The commentary also spotlights new measures to attract skilled foreign workers. In November, the president promulgated the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, which relaxes regulations on visas, work permits, residency, health insurance, tax and pensions. And in late December, the Cabinet-level National Development Council announced that it is mulling the creation of a dedicated immigration law to tackle labor shortages.
Source: Taiwan Today (http://taiwantoday.tw/news.php?unit=10&post=127794)