Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Scholarship graduates get immigration extension

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Education and the National Immigration Agency (NIA) have decided to allow foreign students who have received the Taiwan Scholarship and who graduated in the past school year to stay in the country until the end of June next year, the ministry said yesterday.

The ministry’s Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations said in a press release that the government branches reached the decision in a bid to counteract an amendment to the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法) that could inconvenience the students.

The amendment, which cleared the legislative floor on Jan. 23, states that the NIA should cancel the Alien Resident Certificates of foreigners whose reason for staying in the country no longer exists.

The amendment makes it impossible for students in the scholarship scheme to stay in Taiwan for up to a year after graduation, which was previously permitted.

The original one-year “grace period” was intended to help the country attract foreign talent, but under the amendment, students in the scheme who graduate next year will only be allowed to stay for a maximum of three months following graduation, the bureau said.

Students graduating in the summer will only be allowed to stay in the country until Sept. 30 of the same year, while those graduating in the winter will only be allowed to stay until March 31 of the same year, the bureau said.

The bureau said the restriction does not apply to graduates who have already found jobs or who are pursuing further studies in Taiwan, as they can renew their residency application through their employer or educational institution, the bureau said.

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