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Taiwan to extend COVID relief to 27,000 foreign residents in need

Foreigners with APRC will be eligible for same pandemic relief benefits as Taiwanese

Czech mountain trail runner Petr Novotny receiving his permanent residence in March of 2021.

Czech mountain trail runner Petr Novotny receiving his permanent residence in March of 2021. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Cabinet on Thursday (June 24) announced that it will be extending its relief benefits to permanent foreign residents who have been directly impacted by the pandemic.

At a press conference on Thursday, the Cabinet announced its "Stimulus 4.0" (紓困4.0) package to provide relief to residents who have been affected by the recent outbreak and Level 3 restrictions. The NT$4.2 billion package includes low-interest loans, debt deferrals, NT$100,000 in compensation to families of people who die from COVID-19, and a NT$10,000 subsidy for workers who receive less than NT$24,000 per month in labor insurance salary for being unemployed.

In the field of education, it will offer subsidies to substitute teachers and part-time teachers. It will also subsidize high schools whose students' school-enterprise vocational training classes have been canceled, enabling the schools to provide relief to these students

It also said that 27,000 foreigners who have permanent residency status in Taiwan and have been affected by the economic slowdown brought on by the outbreak will be eligible for the same benefits as Taiwanese. The application process for these benefits and subsidies is the same as for Taiwanese.

A National Development Council representative who spoke to Taiwan News said that a number of government ministries are discussing ways to provide aid to foreign permanent residents who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Labor (MOL) have included foreign permanent residents in their relief package plans.

In the case of MOL, foreign workers who have lost their job can apply to receive a portion of their monthly salary. In addition, it will offer foreigners who have lost their job because of the pandemic part-time positions, which are intended to be stopgap measures until more permanent employment can be obtained.

For teachers at cram schools and after-school care centers, the MOE is offering a one-time payment of NT$30,000 to compensate for lost salary and NT$10,000 for living expenses. Only foreigners who have obtained permanent residence in Taiwan are eligible for these subsidies.

Under the "Epidemic Prevention Subsidy for Families with Children" (孩童家庭防疫補貼) relief plan, families, including foreign permanent residents, with children in pre-school or elementary school, or who are special education students in junior high or high school, can receive a subsidy of NT$10,000 per child. Babies born before the end of the Level 3 alert and children under the age of two are also eligible.

In principle, applicants, be they Taiwanese or foreign, can only apply to receive one of these sets of subsidies (with the exception of child subsidies) and they will be paid as long as the age of the children fits into the designated parameters. To find out more information about the new relief package, call the 1988 hotline.

Update: 07/14 6:48 p.m.

Foreign couples with Alien Permanent Resident Certificates (APRCs) have notified Taiwan News that they were told that foreign residents are not eligible for child subsidies. When Taiwan News contacted the NDC representative about the matter, they said that there must have been a mistake and to "give the government time" to sort it out.

Representatives at the 1988 hotline stated that foreign nationals are not currently eligible for the program. Both advised waiting until July 15 to see if the MOE has any other announcements on the subject.