Taipei, The government clarified Thursday that a group of Sri Lankan students who arrived in Taiwan last year did so on student visas and not tourist visas as reported by local media.
Chen Chun-shen (???), director general of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA), said the student visas were issued to a group of 69 students by its representative office in Singapore in October 2017.
Chen's response came in the wake of a recent incident in which a Sri Lankan student was found working illegally at a poultry processing plant while enrolled at the University of Kang Ning (UKN) in Tainan.
The issue came to light Tuesday, when local media reported that the student's illegal employment was arranged by an agent, adding that a group of students had arrived in Taiwan from Sri Lanka on tourist visas.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) later responded that the incident was an isolated case, adding that disciplinary action to be taken against the university could include the suspension of UKN's right to recruit foreign students, a reduction in its student enrollment quota, or a cut in government subsidies for the next school year.
On Thursday, Chen said that the Sri Lankan students arrived in Taiwan between October and November last year, and in April applied for student resident permits.
The director-general said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) was aware of the situation involving the student working illegally and observed that relevant authorities are still investigating the matter.
The case will not affect future students from Sri Lanka seeking to study in Taiwan, Chen said.