The China Post news staff
The China Post news staff — In view of the worsening nuclear crisis in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, the United States government is evacuating its citizens from the area, some of them to Taiwan while others go to South Korea, said an American spokeswoman in Taipei, yesterday. Sheila Paskman, spokeswoman for the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), also said routine visa services for Taiwanese applicant will be temporarily suspended until further notice. The U.S. government has announced plans to evacuate dependents of U.S. citizens currently in Tokyo, Nagoya and Yokohama on chartered flights.
“We will help not only dependents, but anyone, as long as they are U.S. citizens and want to leave,” she said. Paskman stated that to help U.S. citizens and their dependents leave for Taipei and Seoul, visa issuance personnel will be transferred to airports. She called on those who have scheduled non-immigrant interviews with AIT officials to visit the AIT website after March 18. In the meantime, AIT services will remain available to U.S. citizens, as well as Taiwanese citizens with emergency visa needs. She said: “We encourage individuals who had non-immigrant visa interview appointments scheduled on or after March 18, 2011, to check AIT’s website for updates on when we can resume routine services.”
“For people who have emergency visa cases, please review AIT’s website at http://www.ait.org.tw for information about what constitutes an emergency and follow the instructions on AIT’s website to submit an e-mail request,” said the AIT in a press release. The AIT spokeswoman would not say when visa services for Taiwanese applicants will resume, as it was not immediately clear when evacuation operations were going to begin, nor was it known how many flights would be involved. “The Japanese haven’t told us how many planes will come, and there are Americans in Japan who cannot find their way to the airport,” she added.