Taiwan offers a fourth visa extension for foreign visitors

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan announced Monday a fourth automatic 30-day visa extension for foreign visitors who entered the country on or before March 21, due to ongoing strict border control measures despite the COVID-19 pandemic recently showing signs of abating.

All foreign nationals who entered the country on or before that date on a visitor visa, landing visa or through a visa-waiver program, with the exception of overstayers, will now be granted an automatic fourth 30-day extension, meaning the duration of their stay has been extended to 120 days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a press release.

However, the ministry reminded foreign visitors that their stay in the country cannot exceed 180 days.

Foreign nationals who have already been in the country for more than 180 days or those who have overstayed their visas are advised to check the National Immigration Agency (NIA) website at https://www.immigration.gov.tw/5475/ to learn how to apply for a special stay extension.

Meanwhile, MOFA reminded overstayers that the NIA is also offering an ongoing voluntary departure program for foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas.

Between March 20 and June 30, individuals who have overstayed their visas and turn themselves in will not be detained or receive a re-entry ban, and will only be fined NT$2,000 (US$66.81), rather than the original standard punishment of detention plus a maximum NT$10,000 fine and a re-entry ban of up to eight years, the ministry said.

Taiwan has previously announced automatic 30-day visa extensions on March 21, April 17 and May 18.

The ministry said the latest extension announcement was made after taking into consideration the fact that nations around the world are still generally enforcing strict border controls and international airlines have yet to resume regular flights, making international travel difficult, even though the pandemic has recently shown signs of easing in some countries.