TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Immigration Agency (NIA) on Wednesday (Jan. 13) announced that it will give its seventh 30-day extension to foreigners stranded by the Wuhan coronavirus.
The NIA on Wednesday said that due to the continued severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will issue its seventh 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.
The NIA emphasized that in order to lessen the movement of people across borders and reduce the "burden of epidemic prevention on local neighborhoods," foreign citizens permitted to stay for 180 days or longer had previously been given six automatic 30-day extensions July 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 14, Oct. 15, Nov. 13, and Dec. 14 of last year. Prior to that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) had given five extensions on March 21, April 17, May 18, June 15, and July 17.
All told, Taiwanese government agencies have issued a total of 12 visa extensions for foreigners since the pandemic began.
Taiwan barred all foreign visitors from entering the country on March 19 of last year 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."
However, in response to the discovery of Taiwan's first imported case of the new mutant coronavirus strain that emerged in the U.K., the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced on Dec. 30 that it would ban foreign arrivals, with a few exceptions, starting Jan. 1, 2021. As of Jan. 15, prior to boarding a flight to Taiwan, passengers must present proof that an approved quarantine facility, such as a quarantine center or official quarantine hotel, has been arranged.
The NIA stressed that "foreigners who have violated laws or regulations, or have been ordered to leave due to irregular actions are no longer eligible for automatic extensions, and must depart before exceeding their allowed duration of stay." For more information, please visit the NIA website.