Taiwan is in March to reopen its borders to about 5,000 international language students who do not have the Ministry of Education’s Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, the ministry said.
The new regulations are to apply to non-scholarship students wishing to study Mandarin in Taiwan for at least six months, and universities can start making applications on behalf of students from Feb. 14, the ministry said.
The entry dates have been scheduled to avoid an influx of passengers around the busy Lunar New Year holiday travel period, the ministry said.
Eligible students must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of boarding their flight, and must also take a polymerase chain reaction test upon arrival and before the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine, it said.
After quarantine, students would be required to follow self-health management guidelines for another seven days and take a rapid COVID-19 self-test before they can enter a school campus, the ministry added.
Following a surge in local COVID-19 infections last year, Taiwan from May 19 banned all arrivals except for citizens and legal residents.
International students who have been accepted to programs lasting a year or more are usually eligible for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), and as they can only apply for and obtain an ARC while in Taiwan, the restrictions mainly affect newly enrolled students who are still overseas.
Taiwan in August last year granted entry to international students without an ARC, although only to those enrolled in degree programs at Taiwanese universities or who were granted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Taiwan Scholarship or the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship.
Currently, non-scholarship language students are barred from entering Taiwan, regardless of the length of their program.