A Chinese-American man recently expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for helping him in his effort to visit his mentally challenged son in China, the National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) service station in Kinmen County said.
The 80-year-old, surnamed Wang (王), was found to have slept for two nights in the hall of the immigration office of Kinmen’s Shueitou Port (水頭碼頭) after he was barred from boarding a China-bound ferry on April 28 because he did not have a Chinese visa.
Wang told agency officials he first traveled from the US to Hong Kong after he was told that the condition of his son in Beijing was unstable.
However, he was unable to enter China from Hong Kong because his passport, which he had just renewed before his trip, did not have a Chinese visa. His old passport was lost.
He said he was anxious to visit his son in Beijing and did not wait for his Chinese visa to be approved before traveling to Hong Kong.
He also did not have enough money left after Hong Kong’s immigration officials redirected him to Taiwan.
Port police in Kinmen contacted the county’s Social Affairs Bureau to see if Wang qualified for emergency financial assistance.
They also called the American Institute in Taiwan’s Taipei Office to seek help.
Although Wang did not qualify for financial assistance at the bureau, his travel expenses and application fees were later covered by a generous female employee of Uni Air, which operates frequent flights between Taipei, Kinmen and Xiamen in China.
On Friday, Wang phoned agency officials to thank them for their assistance, as well as other people who offered help along the way.
He said he has received his Chinese visa and gotten in touch with his grandchildren in Beijing, and will soon be able to travel to Beijing to visit his son.