Taiwan issues 5th visa extension to foreigners stranded by coronavirus

Taiwan issues 'final automatic extension,' foreigners advised to make preparations to return to home countries

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(Facebook, Stuck in Taiwan/Best place to be photo)

(Facebook, Stuck in Taiwan/Best place to be photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Friday (July 17) announced that it will give its fifth 30-day extension to foreigners stranded by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

MOFA said it would issue its fifth 30-day visa extension for foreigners who arrived on or before March 21 on a visitor visa, a landing visa, or through a visa-waiver program, and have not overstayed their legal stay period. No application is required and the extension takes effect immediately.

However, MOFA stated the total period of stay for individuals on the visas cannot exceed 180 days. The ministry said that because most foreign countries are not restricting their citizens from returning, this will be the "final automatic extension."

The ministry then advised foreign citizens who are impacted by this extension to begin preparations to return to their home countries. The previous extensions were implemented on March 21, April 17, May 18, and June 15.

Taiwan barred all foreign visitors from entering the country on March 19 as the pandemic began to accelerate across the world. After Taiwan was able to bring local coronavirus cases down to zero, the country on June 29 opened its borders to foreign nationals and citizens of Hong Kong and Macau for business and trade or on humanitarian grounds, with the exception of tourists and those making ordinary "social visits."