Foreigners in Taiwan express gratitude, but need more help

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many foreigners traveling in Taiwan have suddenly found themselves unable to return home.

Luckily, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a new executive order on May 18 offering travelers, who entered Taiwan before March 21 on a visitor visa, a landing visa or a visa-waiver program, and who have not overstayed their legal stay period, an additional 30-day extension (90 days in total).

To better understand foreigners’ situations in Taiwan, NOWnews reporters interviewed three foreigners (two from Turkey and one from Argentina) in Ximending, Taipei.

They shared some of the difficulties they have faced since being stuck in Taiwan but also expressed their gratitude toward the Taiwan government for extending their stay and praised Taiwan’s virus-prevention efforts.

Ali, from Turkey, revealed that he often visits Ximending these days as he doesn’t have enough money to rent a room. He has nowhere to go, he said. With money running out, he sometimes spends his day at Qtime.

Another foreigner, Nina from Argentina, said that she first planned to stay in Taiwan for 6 weeks but she has now been here for 3 months, with money running out fast too.

Nina said that although the Argentinian government allows them to go back home, she needs to fork US$1,500 out of her own pocket to do so, and the government has no intention to help or support its own people.

“I need a place to stay and work,” Nina added.

When asked about their thoughts on Taiwan’s efforts to contain the virus, all three claimed that Taiwan is the safest place to be right now.

As the interview took place on May 20 — President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration day, the three travelers also shared their thoughts on Taiwan’s first female president. Let’s watch the video to find out about their take on Taiwan.



Names have been changed to protect the interviewees’ privacy)

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