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Law streamlining mainland entry to Taiwan takes effect

TAIPEI -- A law amendment that streamlines the entry of Chinese people to Taiwan took effect yesterday, making it more convenient for certain Chinese nationals to visit Taiwan.

Under the amendment, some Chinese nationals making professional or business visits to Taiwan for periods of less that 30 days no longer need to have their visa applications reviewed by the authorities at their destinations.

The new rule is applicable to Chinese professional and business people coming to Taiwan on “non-sensitive” visits, such as to receive awards and attend forums, conferences and exhibitions, Shih Tsun-ping, a section chief with the National Immigration Agency, told CNA Wednesday.

It shortens the time needed to obtain entry permits to Taiwan from 10 to three working days for professionals, and from five to three working days for business people, according to the agency.

These “non-sensitive” applicants also no longer have to provide documents such as forum agendas or theses for review, Shih said.

“This makes it more convenient for them to visit,” he said.

As for Chinese professional and business people coming to Taiwan on “sensitive” visits — meaning that the nature of the visits, the people they meet or their own identities are deemed by the government as “sensitive” — their applications will still require to be reviewed by a government joint review committee, Shih said.

These sensitive visits include, for example, visits to local telecommunications or financial facilities, he said.

The new regulation is stipulated under an Interior Ministry amendment to the four regulations governing entry permission for Chinese people to Taiwan, and is aimed at encouraging cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges, according to the ministry.

In addition to the streamlining, the agency said Dec. 29 that it has also enhanced security measures.

Under the amendment, Chinese nationals who the local authorities suspect might overstay their permits or break Taiwan's laws are banned from entry.

Meanwhile, parents of Chinese nationals studying in Taiwan can apply to make short visits to see their children from Jan. 1, according to the amendment.

In addition, parents of Chinese nationals who marry Taiwanese can visit Taiwan under the same scheme.

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