Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Interior ministry downplays Chinese overstay numbers

Staff writer, with CNA

The total number of Chinese nationals who have overstayed their visa in Taiwan since 1988 has reached about 2,500, according to Ministry of the Interior statistics, but the percentage of overstayers has been lower than in other countries.

Of the 11.9 million Chinese who entered Taiwan between 1988 and last year to visit their relatives and travel, 2,535 of them remained in Taiwan on an expired visa, the ministry said in a statement earlier this month, touting the government’s efforts in cracking down on illegal Chinese visitors.

Those overstaying posed no direct threat to national security, as 684 of them were Chinese spouses of Taiwanese, while another 745 entered the nation to visit their family and relatives, the ministry said.

The ministry added that the majority of Chinese overstayers were eligible to extend their stay in Taiwan.

As for those who came for tourism, only a small number have overstayed their entry permit, the ministry said.

Among the 7.26 million Chinese visiting on tourism visas between 2008 and the end of last year, 193 of them overstayed, it said.

It added that it has deported 142 Chinese tourists, which has brought down the overstay rate to 2.66 per 100,000.

Last year, Chinese visitors to Taiwan reached more than 2.21 million and only 46 people absconded, the ministry said.

As a result, the rate of Chinese overstayers last year stood at 2.08 per 100,000 in Taiwan, which was lower than New Zealand’s 4.6 per 100,000 and France’s 14 per 100,000, it said.

Japan and Australia recorded higher rates of 169 Chinese overstayers per 100,000 Chinese tourists and 272 per 100,000 respectively, the ministry said.

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