On October 2, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows travel to the U.S. without a visa for eligible individuals seeking to visit the U.S. for business or tourism for a period of up to 90 days. VWP travelers are required to apply for advanced authorization through a web-based system called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
There are currently 36 other countries eligible under the VWP, and the VWP accounted for more than 60 percent of tourist and business travelers to the U.S. in FY2011. Records show that 243,186 visitors from Taiwan traveled to the U.S. in FY2011. Effective November 1, 2012, eligible tourist or business travelers from Taiwan with an approved ESTA will be allowed to enter the U.S. on the VWP.