International students seeking to continue their tertiary education in Taiwan or transfer between universities are not required to leave the nation for a “visa run,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Foreign nationals who hold a visitor’s or resident visa for the purpose of studying Mandarin, academic exchanges, joining family or employment can apply within Taiwan for a student visa for degree programs, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement.
International students with a valid student Alien Resident Certificate can also change schools at the tertiary level without leaving the country, Ou said.
Her remarks followed a petition posted on the Web site Change.org calling for foreign nationals to be allowed to change status without leaving Taiwan, particularly in view of border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Taiwanese government requires foreigners to leave the country if you are changing status (commonly known as visa run),” says the petition, titled Allowing Foreigners Change Status Without Exiting Taiwan.
“Most countries are on lockdown, and there’s very limited to no flight operating. Even though there were flights, why should we risk our lives just to change school or changing status?” it says.
While a visa run is not necessary for students moving from Mandarin language studies to a degree program, it is required for a change in the other direction and a transfer between universities, it says.
However, the ministry said that the information is outdated, as the government in 2018 instituted a new policy to encourage foreign nationals to study and remain in Taiwan.
The only regulation that was retained is that foreign students at the tertiary level are not permitted to switch to Mandarin language study on the same visa upon completion of their studies, Ou said.
This is to prevent foreign nationals working illegally in Taiwan, using language schools as a front, she said.
Foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas are required to leave the nation and apply for a new visa at a Taiwanese embassy or representative office before being allowed to re-enter, she added.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,