The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that Taiwan has been added to the 36 countries in the visa waiver program. That means starting Nov. 1 it will be possible for Taiwanese tourists to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without burdensome paperwork.
Hawaii in particular could be a beneficiary, so it’s no surprise the news was greeted with approval by both candidates for U.S. Senate.
From Mazie Hirono:
I applaud the Obama Administration for the approval of Taiwan’s entry in to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
Every time we make common sense changes to the visa waiver program, the additional visitors strengthen our state’s #1 industry, tourism, and put money in the pockets of Hawaii’s small businesses, which creates local jobs.
I will continue to push my bipartisan VISIT USA bill, which would strengthen Hawaii’s economy by working to cut red tape and ensuring that Congress provides the resources needed to support this vital industry.
From Linda Lingle:
I am very pleased at the news that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced today that Taiwan has qualified for a ‘visa waiver’ status and will officially join the program in November of this year.
I congratulate the administration of Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou and the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, State and Commerce for this decision, which will help Hawaii’s and our national economy with more visitors from Taiwan.
In my many trips to Taiwan as a Mayor and as Governor, the easing of visa restrictions on business and leisure travelers from Taiwan to the Hawaii and to the U.S. mainland was a constant topic of discussion. I was also privileged to meet President Ma in Honolulu and in Taipei, where we agreed to exert our efforts with our respective governments to secure a visa waiver status for Taiwan. I am pleased to see that the effort has now reached a successful result.
Together with the visa waiver status for Korea and some practical ‘fixes’ to the visa issuance process in China, Hawaii is poised to see and benefit from even more visitors from the Asia Pacific regions.
Notice that Hirono cites Obama’s name while Lingle avoids it. Coincidence?
— Michael Levine