Immigration eases entry for Taiwanese

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 June, 2006, 12:00am

Some Taiwan residents visiting Hong Kong will be able to enjoy visa-free entry from Monday, the government said yesterday.

The new policy would apply only to holders of the 'Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents', commonly known as tai bao zheng, which entitles its bearer to enter the mainland, the Immigration Department said.

Under the new policy Taiwan residents holding this permit can enter Hong Kong for up to seven days, provided normal immigration requirments were met, the department said.

An Immigration Department statement said the change would further facilitate Taiwan residents living on the mainland to visit Hong Kong for business or pleasure.

'This is because it will no longer be mandatory for them to apply for [a permit] through the authorised airlines in Taiwan,' it said.

'Taiwan residents residing in Taiwan and overseas will also benefit, since they now have greater flexibility in planning their journeys.'

According to the government, 346,000 permits were issued to Taiwan residents last year, compared with the 175,000 permits to people of other nationalities who did not enjoy visa-free entry arrangements.

In the first three months this year 101,000 permits were issued to Taiwanese visitors while 43,000 were given to other foreigners.