HK girl questioned for working in Taiwan without permit

PHOTO: The New Paper

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Hong Kong university student Wu Shin-chien was cited for working in Taiwan illegally by the National Immigration Agency yesterday over working at the Taitung Chu Lu Ranch. Wu responded to the news sadly saying that she thought the Taiwanese government "strange."

The Taitung County NIA bureau vice captain Yang Shu-dong said foreigners entering with tourist visas cannot work in Taiwan. Taiwan has only established work-study visas with nine countries. As Wu did not have proper work documentation, she was sent to NIA authorities after being interviewed.

Yang referred to an earlier case involving another Hong Kong tourist, who worked in exchange for accommodation at a dormitory. This tourist believed that she was not violating Taiwanese laws since she did not receive payment for her work. However authorities, upon discovering the arrangement, forced her to cease work, fined her NT$70,000 (S$3,200) and barred her from entering Taiwan for three years.

Wu expressed her confusion and frustration at the Taiwanese government. Having cried for an entire evening, she questioned whether or not Taiwan's society was welcoming toward foreigners. According to reports, she had intended to write about her travel and work experiences in Taiwan, but the events of yesterday have shaken her emotionally.

The special assistant to the owner of the ranch said that details of the activity might have caused confusion. Operators said that they would reimburse Wu partially for her losses, but that their activities had already been negatively affected.