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Taiwan extends visa-free entry to 10 Latin American and Caribbean allies

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Taiwan's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday announced visa-free entry for citizens of its 11 diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean, effective immediately.

The Foreign Ministry said the decision "demonstrated the closeness" between the R.O.C. and its allies in the region and adhered to the "principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity."

Here's what the policy allows:

1. Visa-free stay of up to 30 days for citizens of Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

2. Visa-free stay of up to 90 days for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua

To be let in, citizens of these countries must present a passport that's valid for at least six months. They also need a return ticket or a ticket plus visa to another destination.

They cannot have a criminal record, as verified by the immigration agency upon arrival.

Taiwan made the announcement on visa-free treatment on Wednesday during Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes' official visit to Taiwan.

The Foreign Ministry said the policy marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the R.O.C. and the Republic of Paraguay.

The Paraguayan president's visit came after Panama cut formal ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing on June 13, leaving Taipei with only 20 diplomatic allies.

Paraguay had granted R.O.C. nationals 90-day landing visas on Nov. 20, 2012, while the 10 other allies have already granted visa-free entry to Taiwanese visitors.

(The China Post intern Mareth Chavez contributed in this article.)

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