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British Virgin Islands grants Taiwanese travelers visa-free entry

2012/05/10 22:10:07

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Taiwanese passport holders can now enter the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on a visa-free scheme, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

The privilege went into effect April 3, according to a recent confirmation of the agreement by the BVI government, James Lee, director-general of the ministry's Department of European Affairs, told CNA.

In January, the ministry announced that the BVI is the 125th country or region to grant Taiwan citizens visa-free entry or landing visa privileges, but added that the effective date had yet to be confirmed with the BVI government.

The visa-free access will apply to Taiwanese visiting the country for less than six months on business or for tourism, family and student purposes, he said.

The BVI visa-waiver program follows the one adopted by the British government in March 2009.

The BVI is the sixth British overseas territory -- after Bermuda, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos, St. Helena and the Falkland Islands -- to establish such an agreement with Taiwan.

The scheme should boost bilateral ties, increase cultural exchanges and encourage tourism, the ministry said in a statement released in January.

Although the BVI has a small population of 25,000, its tourism and financial service industries have made it one of the most thriving economic areas in the Caribbean, it said.

(By Nancy Liu)