Taiwan is to grant visas to an estimated 13,000 foreign students before schools open next month, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said yesterday at a news conference in Taipei after a reporter asked about the status of international students amid a nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert.
The visas are to be granted to those studying for a degree and people enrolled in Chinese-language scholarship programs, but not exchange students or those in short-term language classes, Pan said.
The ministry’s plans for international students were approved last week at a meeting of government agencies, with COVID-19 prevention being the main concern, he said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education via CNA
“The most comprehensive disease prevention measures and border control regulations will be implemented when international students enter the nation,” he said.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Immigration Agency and the Mainland Affairs Council would be involved in the process, he said.
Eligible foreign students have been informed of their acceptance by their schools and the ministry has not made changes to the order in which different classes of students receive their visas, he added.
The Ministry of Education has established a special program to take care of international students who cannot travel to Taiwan due to COVID-19 outbreaks in their home country, Pan said.
They will receive help from a task force established by the education ministry, he said, adding that online learning would be available.
Measures implemented last year that enable students to defer enrollment or extend their student visa due to pandemic-related concerns would continue, he added.
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