Taiwan moves towards Schengen visa exemption

The European Commission has proposed the addition of Taiwan to the list of countries whose citizens can visit without a visa.

Under the terms of the proposal Taiwanese passport holders would no longer require a visa when travelling to the EU member states for 90 days or less.

“Today’s proposal will enhance EU relations with Taiwan,” said EU home affairs commissionaire Cecilia Malmström.

“It will contribute towards strengthening our trade and investment relations as well as people-to-people contacts,” she added.

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Schengen Area

The proposal could potentially amend Regulation 539/2001 governing the visa policy of the EU Member States by adding Taiwan to the list of third countries and territories for whose citizens a short-term visa is not required.

These already include Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong or South Korea.

Currently, the Schengen area includes 22 EU member states and three associated States (Norway, Iceland and Switzerland).

Once they enter the Schengen area, people can move freely from one country to another.

The visa waiver will also apply to Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus which are not yet members of the Schengen area.

“The EU is Taiwan’s fourth largest trading partner and its first foreign direct investor,” continued Ms Malmström.

“Easier travel conditions for Taiwanese businessmen would also facilitate Taiwanese investments in what is already the biggest single market in the world.”

The proposal requires the approval of the European Parliament and the Council before taking effect.