Spouses of foreign employees can enter

NO MIGRANT WORKERS, STUDENTS:
The education ministry said it would not consider special entry permit applications due to the risk of new variants and limited capacity

Spouses and minor children of some foreign residents may apply for a special entry permit, the Consular Affairs Bureau said in a statement on Friday.

Dependents of resident certificate holders, excluding migrant workers and students, could apply for the special visa at Taiwanese missions abroad, the agency said.

The move comes after criticism from foreign residents who have been unable to reunite with their families due to border restrictions linked to COVID-19.

Taiwan began imposing stricter border controls in January last year, following the first reports of COVID-19 cases, and the rules have since been adjusted based on the domestic and international spread of the disease. .

After an unprecedented rise in domestic COVID-19 cases that began in mid-May, Taiwan on May 19 banned all foreign arrivals except those with residence certificates.

It has since relaxed the rules, allowing foreign students, Indonesian migrant workers, Taiwanese spouses and minor children to enter the country.

Taiwan A Home for All – an initiative originally comprising six Taiwan-based workers and five students, from Colombia, Indonesia, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, Lithuania, Belgium, Turkey and the United States – requested last month that the exception be extended to dependents of foreign residents.

Five students from these countries and Burkina Faso then joined the group’s call.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) responded to them at the time by saying that responsible representative offices in those countries could accept individual applications for special entry permits, which would be reviewed by the CECC by December 14.

However, only certain agencies would forward requests to the CECC, he said.

The group then filed petitions with the Ministry of Economic Affairs for professionals and the Ministry of Education (MOE) for students.

An American member of the group identified only as Alvin, who is enrolled in a scholarship program at a reconstructive surgery center in New Taipei City, and is therefore considered a student, has since continued to ask the government to let his woman entering Taiwan.

He is happy for the dependents of Taiwanese who can enter the country, and his family understand that handling the COVID-19 pandemic is Taiwan’s priority, but they are disappointed that they cannot reunite, said. Alvin.

A Malaysian named Yeong (楊) who came to Taiwan last year to pursue a doctorate would also not be able to bring her two young children to Taiwan under the relaxed requirements.

Yeong suspended his studies and remains in Malaysia with his children.

She flew to her home country on July 2, when one of her children had to have 12 teeth extracted due to poor dental care while being separated from her mother for 11 months, Yeong said.

“I hope that the MOE can consider the students with their families. My supervisor is worried about my situation, ”Yeong said, adding that she was due to return“ soon ”for committee meetings and seminars.

University staff also informed her that if she did not return to Taiwan, it could delay her graduation, she said.

In response, the Education Ministry said it was allowing entry for international students on Aug. 23, but their dependents’ entry permit applications would still not be considered due to delays. concerns about new variants of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the hotel’s limited quarantine of rooms, tests and medical resources.

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