The government is considering rules to allow Ukrainian students and academics to enter Taiwan on temporary visas as part of its efforts to assist the European nation amid the Russian invasion, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.
Due to Taiwan’s lack of a refugee act, the government cannot take in a large number of Ukrainians at once, but it is still considering options to take in Ukrainians who want to travel to Taiwan, Wu told a legislative session.
He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday last week announced that Ukrainian nationals could apply to travel to Taiwan if they had relatives in the country who were Taiwanese or had residency.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
As of press time last night, nobody had applied for that category of visa, an unnamed ministry official said.
The foreign ministry is in talks with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Education to offer a special visa to Ukrainian students and academics to enable them to enter Taiwan, Wu said, adding that a final decision would be announced soon.
Applications for a visitor’s visa, which usually allows a stay of 30 days to six months, can be made at Taiwan’s embassies or representative offices abroad, or on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Web site.
Several lawmakers also called on the foreign ministry to allow Ukrainian defense experts and military professionals to travel to Taiwan as a humanitarian gesture, which they said would benefit both nations.
Wu said that this issue is in the military’s jurisdiction.
After Russian invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Kyiv banned all men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country.
Due to restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, only foreign spouses and minor children of Taiwanese or residents of Taiwan are allowed entry.
Wu also announced that the foreign ministry is to send the first batch of supplies donated by Taiwanese to Ukraine today.
The supplies are to be sent to Slovakia by air, where Bratislava would help to distribute the supplies to Ukrainian refugees, the foreign ministry said.
It has been collecting donations of supplies — including sleeping bags, thermal clothing, milk powder, medicines and medical equipment — since Monday last week to help Ukrainians who have fled their country.
The deadline to make donations is tomorrow.
The foreign ministry has received more than 4,000 boxes of donated supplies so far, Wu added.
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