Taipei-Indonesian students already enrolled at a university in Taiwan were denied visas because they are deemed to have insufficient financial resources or lack adequate proficiency in Chinese, while a few were found to have applied for visas with fake documents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday.
According to local media reports, Taiwan's representative office in Indonesia has refused to issue or is reviewing the issue of visas to 57 Indonesian students enrolled at Taiwan Shoufu University in Tainan.
Huang Wen-shen (???), director of the International and Cross-Strait Affairs Office at the university, in a Facebook post criticized Taiwan's representative office in Indonesia for refusing to issue the visas.
According to Huang, some of the students have received scholarships from local gold mining companies but were still not granted visas.
Chen Chun-shen (???), director general of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) said at a press briefing Thursday that the students had been denied visas because they were unable to produce evidence of financial resources or adequate Chinese language proficiency, while a few applied for visas with fake documents.
Although mining companies might have undertaken to sponsor some of the Indonesian students studying in Taiwan, Chen said such matters require third-party guarantees and the representative office needs time to confirm the students' funding arrangements before it can issue a visa.
Of the 57 Indonesian students reported, 20 claim to have been granted scholarships from Indonesian mining companies; 20 have been denied visas and the remaining 17 visa applications are under review, Chen added.
Representative offices are required to carefully review visa applications, he reiterated.
Early this month, Indonesia demanded that Taiwan temporarily suspend its New Southbound Policy (NSP) industry-academia collaboration program following allegations that Indonesian university students are being used as cheap labor.
Initiated by Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (???) in 2016, the NSP aims to strengthen Taiwan's ties with the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with Australia, New Zealand, India and other South Asian nations.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel