Operational Bulletin 253 - November 24, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Visa requirement for ordinary passport holders in Taiwan

Background

All visitors to Canada require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), except in such cases as prescribed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). Visa requirements for travellers to Canada are the country’s first line of defence in maintaining the health, safety, and security of Canadians. Canada’s visa policy decisions are based on an evidence-based assessment of the established visa review criteria and thresholds.

A comprehensive review of the conditions and trends in Taiwan was conducted and information was gathered during a technical visit in 2009. As a result of the positive trends identified in the review, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has lifted the visa requirement for holders of an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual.

Current status

Effective November 22, 2010, subsection 190(2) of the IRPR was amended to create an exemption from the visa requirement for:

“holders of an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual;”

Following the coming into force of the amendment to the Regulations, overseas offices will no longer process any TRV applications submitted by holders of an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual.

Taiwan also issues a return certificate that functions as an emergency passport, similar to the Canadian Emergency Travel Document. CIC is not exempting holders of the return certificate from the visa requirement. Should a person seek to transit or enter Canada with such a document, a TRV is required, unless the holder qualifies and meets the conditions of the Transit Without Visa Program/China Transit Trial (TWOV/CTT). For more information on the TWOV Program, please visit the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/twov/index.asp.

Holders of passports that:

  • do not contain a personal identification number; or,
  • are not issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan

are required to obtain a TRV prior to travelling to Canada, unless they qualify for the TWOV program or CTT pilot. These passports are often referred to as compatriot passports.

Existing permit holders of valid permits who are holders of an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual should be advised that:

  • if they left Canada and are still holding a valid work or study permit which has been used to enter Canada, they do not need a TRV to return to Canada; or
  • if they are in Canada and holding a valid work or study permit which has been used to enter Canada, they may remain in Canada and continue to work or study according to the validity dates of their permit.
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