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AIT impresses public with information drive about US visa waiver

TAIPEI--People requiring assistance in registering for travel permits to the United States via an online system said yesterday they were impressed with how the new visa waiver program helps save time and money.

Dozens of people making appointments with the American Institutein Taiwan (AIT) to apply for travel documents said the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which is required under the program,is convenient and efficient.

“It took me less than 10 minutes to complete the six-page form,”said Aline Kao, who plans to visit the U.S. for the first time next month.

With Taiwan's admission to the program Nov. 1, Taiwanese citizens will be freed from the cumbersome process of obtaining a U.S. visa ata cost of NT$4,800 (US$163.9) per application.

The AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties, has been carrying out a campaign that has received broad recognition, with staff visiting places such as night markets and department stores to inform the public of the new requirements.

AIT spokesman Mark Zimmer said that “we know we have to be outside of our walls to reach the Taiwanese people.”

He said the AIT will also set up an information booth at the 2012 Taipei International Travel Fair that takes place Oct. 26-29, to provide consultation services for those intending to travel to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the AIT said those seeking assistance in person can also call 0975-793789 or 0978-329775 to set up an appointment through the end of this month.

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