Taiwan has officially been designated a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country as of October 22, 2012. The VWP designation means that eligible citizens, nationals and passport holders of Taiwan may enter the U.S. without first obtaining a visa.
The common visitor non-immigrant visa is known as a B1 (business) or B2 (vacation) visa. Applying for a B1 or B2 visa involves payment of fees, an application process and an interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate. Once granted, the B1 or B2 visa allows people to visit the U.S. for up to 6 months.
The VWP designation means that Taiwanese will not need to apply for the B1 or B2 visa in order to seek entry into the U.S. However, admission to the U.S. is limited to 90 days rather than 6 months if you have a B1 or B2. There are other restrictions as well. For instance, a person entering the U.S. pursuant to the VWP cannot apply for a change of status while in the U.S.
Adding Taiwan to the list of countries authorized to participate in the VWP will greatly enhance the relationship between citizens of the U.S. and Taiwan by permitting easier travel to the U.S.
If you have any questions about the VWP or other issues relating to visas and immigration, contact the immigration lawyers at Tucker & Ludin either through this website or by calling our office at 727-572-5000.