The American Institute in Taiwan may see start seeing fewer requests for B-1 and B-2 tourist visas, thanks to a new policy announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Citizens of Taiwan are now eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), starting on November 1, 2012.
The VWP allows citizens of 37 countries to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days at a time for purposes of business or tourism. Instead of applying for a visa in advance, which requires showing up for a personal interview and providing extensive documents, VWP travelers simply apply for authorization through what’s known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
The VWP is not without its disadvantages, however. For example, you cannot apply to extend your VWP stay, but must leave the U.S. within the allotted 90-day period. For further details, see Nolo’s article, “Who Can Visit the U.S. Under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).”