One-time relief from visa travel during SARS outbreak

I’m near the end of a 60-day single-entry visitor visa.

It has been nearly impossible lately to dial through to MOFA’s Bureau of Consular Affiairs (BOCA) (02)2343-2885, but I succeeded in getting through today, to ask whether there is any non-travel procedure for renewing a visitor visa during the SARS outbreak.

The officer said that there is one-time relief allowed just now(! :shock: ). In Taipei, one goes to the regular place (BOCA at Chi-Nan Rd., Sec. 1, No. 2, Floor 2) and makes the regular application, with the regular requirement for passport, two photos, and outbound airticket, plus a written statement that your purpose for seeking the special extension is to avoid the SARS hazard involved in offshore travel at this time. Submit your stuff at one of the windows numbered 31 through 33.

The officer said that a 30 day extension of the visitor visa could be allowed. He emphasized that this procedure could be used just once – by using it now, one forfeits the opportunity of using it at any later time.

On the other hand, it was reported int he newspapers thatan unlimited number of extensions could be given, until SARS was under control.
But try to get a straight answer in Taiwan…