Taiwan bans entry of foreign nationals

TAIWAN yesterday announced that foreign nationals whose flights departed on March 19 are barred from entering the country.

In an announcement, Taiwan said the decision was in accordance with measures announced by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). 

Exemptions will be granted to Alien Resident Certificate holders, personnel on diplomatic or official business, persons who can prove they are fulfilling commercial and contractual obligations, and persons requiring special permission, it said.

“In accordance with CECC regulations, the exempted foreign nationals listed in the previous paragraph must observe a 14-day home quarantine upon arrival. Relevant government agencies shall be responsible for any necessary arrangements regarding their lodging, movements, and work venues in Taiwan.”

It said the  entry restrictions are subject to change depending on the development of the COVID-19 outbreak. Changes will be announced by the CECC.

“Starting March 19, only the exempted foreign nationals listed above will be allowed entry into Taiwan. Foreign nationals whose flights depart before 00:00 Taipei Standard Time (GMT+8) on March 19 will still be allowed entry, including those who transfer or transit through a third country,” the announcement added

The advisory said foreign nationals who are eligible for visa-free entry or hold a visitor or resident visa and wish to enter Taiwan from March 19 must hold relevant documents to qualify for exempted status. 

These documents must be presented to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) personnel at the port of entry for approval. Those holding special entry permits issued by R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas missions, valid Alien Resident Certificates, or MOFA ID Cards will be allowed entry following inspection by NIA personnel, it said.

Foreign nationals unable to determine whether their documents meet the criteria for exempted status may visit an R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas mission prior to departure to apply for a special entry permit.

Apart from the criteria for exempted status listed above, R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas missions may also grant special entry permits when there are clear and urgent reasons for a foreign national to visit Taiwan based on, for example, humanitarian grounds or approval by competent authorities in Taiwan, it said.

In addition to applying for a special entry permit at an R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas mission, those requiring special permission to visit Taiwan may also present relevant documents to NIA personnel at the port of entry, who will then make a decision whether to approve entry.