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Immigration Agency to expedite business travel permits for Chinese

TAIPEI--Chinese visitors coming to Taiwan for business purposes can obtain entry permits in as little as three working days, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said yesterday.

The system was streamlined last December to allow online applications by some categories of business visitors from China, Hong Kong and Macau, cutting the processing time for travel entry permits in some cases from 10 working days to three, the agency said.

There is still some misunderstanding, however, that Taiwan takes 20-30 days to process such applications, the agency said.

Chinese visitors traveling to Taiwan at the invitation of an organization with an annual revenue of NT$100 million (US$3.35 million) or more, can apply online for the entry permit, the NIA said.

They can pay the application fee online and print the entry permit once they obtain approval, the agency added.

In cases where the host organization does not meet the revenue requirement, the travelers are required to file paper applications and the approval process takes 10 working days, the agency said.

This is because such applications have to be processed by other agencies, depending on the purpose of the business visit, the NIA said.

However, the NIA said it is in discussions with other agencies about speeding up the process.

The misunderstanding about the time taken to process business travel permits is linked to the fact that Chinese business travelers also have to obtain approval from their own country, the NIA said.

After they acquire an entry permit for travel to Taiwan, they are required to apply for a travel pass at home and gain approval for the trip from their local authorities, according to the agency.

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