Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) Taiwan will reopen its borders in March to around 5,000 international language students who do not hold the Ministry of Education (MOE) Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, the ministry said.

The new regulations will apply to non-scholarship students who wish to study Mandarin in Taiwan for at least six months, and universities can start making applications on behalf of students from Feb. 14, according to the ministry.

Entry dates have been timed to avoid an influx of passengers around the busy Lunar New Year travel period, the ministry said.

Eligible students must show a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of boarding their flight, and must also pass a PCR test upon arrival and before the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

After quarantine, students will be required to follow self-health management guidelines for an additional seven days and pass a quick COVID-19 self-test before they can set foot on a school campus, the ministry added. .

Following an unprecedented increase in domestic COVID-19 cases last year, Taiwan has banned the entry of all arrivals except citizens and legal residents from May 19, 2021.

International students who have been accepted to institutes of higher education for programs lasting one year or more are generally eligible for a Certificate of Foreign Residence (ARC), and as a student can only apply for and get an ARC that in Taiwan, the current restrictions mainly affect new enrolled students who are still abroad.

Taiwan started granting entry to international students without ARC at the end of August, but only to those who are enrolled in degree programs at Taiwanese universities or who have received the Taiwan scholarship from the ministry. Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the MOE Huayu Enrichment Scholarship.

Under current rules, non-scholarship language students are still not allowed to enter Taiwan, regardless of the length of their program.

(By Hsu Chi-wei and Lee Hsin-Yin)

Final element / ASG