Canada lifts visa requirement for visitors from Taiwan

Effective immediately, travellers with ordinary Taiwan passports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan no longer require a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

“Canada regularly reviews its visa requirements and has determined that Taiwan meets the criteria for a visa exemption,” said Minister Kenney. “This decision will help boost Canada’s significant trade, investment, cultural and people-to-people links to Taiwan.”
In 2009, more than 51,000 Taiwan travellers visited Canada. More than 150,000 Canadians are of Taiwanese descent.

“The decision to lift the visa requirement means that Canada will benefit from stronger ties between Taiwan and the Canadian-Taiwanese community,” said Minister Kenney.

Canada’s visa policy is based on an assessment of a number of established criteria, including immigration violation rates, asylum claims, the integrity of travel documents and the cooperation on removals by the country or territory in question.

In Taiwan’s case, Canada’s review found, among other things, a very high visitor visa approval rate for travellers from Taiwan. It also found a very low number of asylum claims from Taiwan nationals: 23 claims between 2007 and 2009. The review also found low numbers of immigration violations and removals from Canada to Taiwan. This means that a large number of people were meeting Canada’s eligibility criteria to come and visit.

The visa exemption only applies to holders of ordinary Taiwan passports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that contain the personal identification number of the individual. During a technical visit, Canadian officials observed good passport management practices for ordinary Taiwan passports.