Wed, May 15, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ex-Causeway Bay manager’s visa extended to July

Staff writer, with CNA

Lam Wing-kei, former manager of Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay Books, is pictured during an interview in Taipei on Thursday last week.

Photo: CNA

Former Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei (林榮基), who last month fled to Taiwan from Hong Kong, is to be allowed to stay in Taiwan longer to give him time to find employment.

After consulting with the Mainland Affairs Council, the National Immigration Agency has decided to extend Lam’s visa by another two months until July 14, council spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said.

Lam’s previous visa expired yesterday.

The extension was granted because Lam needs more time to apply for a work permit that would qualify him for residency, Chiu said, adding that the government is willing to provide assistance if he has any procedural questions.

Lam told reporters by telephone that he would continue to look for a job that meets the government’s work permit requirements, while seeking to make progress on his long-term plan of opening a bookstore in Taiwan.

Lam said that he has enough savings to support him for one or two years thanks to Taiwan’s relatively low cost of living.

He also said that he last weekend moved out of a hotel in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area and into a friend’s house in New Taipei City’s Xindian District (新店).

Lam on April 25 fled to Taiwan, fearing that he would be sent to China under a controversial extradition bill that Hong Kong is likely to pass in the coming months.

He was reportedly listed as a wanted person by Chinese authorities after he failed to return to China following his conditional release in June 2016 from a months-long detention for selling books critical of the Chinese government and mailing them to people in China.

The 63-year-old was granted a one-month visa upon arrival in Taiwan and is hoping to find a job that would qualify him for residency.

The nation’s lack of a clear legal framework to grant asylum to those vulnerable to political persecution has meant that Lam’s best chance to stay is by getting residency through a work permit.

This story has been viewed 1656 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top