Visa liberalisation for citizens of Taiwan
Citizens of Taiwan holding passports which include an identity card number will be able to
travel to and throughout the Schengen area without a visa. That is the result of amendments
to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 which the Council approved today. The European
Parliament gave its green light to the amendments already on 11 November 2010.
The visa free regime concerns stays of up to 90 days and will enter into force 20 days
following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is expected to
occur by end December 2010. The visa waiver granted to the citizens of Taiwan is fully
reciprocated: Taiwan decided on 11 November 2010 to lift the visa requirement for
citiziens of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, the remaining three EU Schengen Member
States whose citizens had not profited from visa free travels to Taiwan yet.
The visa waiver is implemented despite the fact that the EU does not recognise Taiwan as a
sovereign state and has no diplomatic or formal relations with Taiwan. The EU has,
however, developed regular contacts and cooperation in economic, trade, research, science
and technology, education and culture as well as environmental issues with the Taiwanese
authorities. As a result, the EU is the largest foreign investor in Taiwan.
Granting Taiwanese citizens visa free access to the EU will reinforce regional coherence as
the EU grants visa free regime to other countries and entities of the region having a similar
level of economic development, such as Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, South Korea and