Go home in time to hug your loved ones-Expanded Overstayers Voluntary Departure Program
A-Ming, who came from Indonesia, arrived in Taiwan and served as a nursing worker in 2016. Soon after, however, her husband suffered from a rare disease, and the astronomical medical expenses almost left A-Ming completely destitute. Though she sent all of her income back home, it was still not enough to fully cover her husband’s huge medical expenses. Eventually, A-Ming had to leave her employer and become an undocumented migrant worker so that she would have a chance to make more money. Starting a harsh life of hiding from authorities while juggling several jobs, A-Ming only hoped that one day when her husband recovered and she saved enough money to return home, she could go to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) to turn herself in. By then, she would reunite with her husband back home rather than in the hospital.
However, approximately a month ago, her husband’s illness suddenly worsened dramatically. Although A-Ming desperately wanted to go back to Indonesia to take care of him, she could not afford the fines and airline fare. In the process of borrowing money from her friends, A-Ming heard the information that since this April, the NIA had implemented the “Expanded Overstayers Voluntary Departure Program”, which entitled overstayers to receive penalty reliefs, including a minimum fine and no detention. A-Ming immediately made contact with Pingtung County Specialized Operation Brigades for assistance.
On the first day of the program, an officer of the brigade, who learned about A-Ming’s situation and wanted to help her save on travel expenses, drove from Pingtung to Tainan to pick her up during his own spare time. Nevertheless, at the moment they met, A-Ming could not stop crying while looking at her husband’s picture on the cell-phone. It was unfortunate that her husband passed away in the morning of April 1st.
As personnel of both the Specialized Operation Brigades and the Service Center in Pingtung County felt sympathy for A-Ming, they cooperated to speed up her turn-in procedure. Some officers of the Specialized Operation Brigades bargained with travel agencies for a better airfare, while some of the Service Center offered A-Ming emotional support and worked overtime to process the financial penalties as quickly as possible. Some officers of the brigade even voluntarily drove A-Ming to the airport during their leaves, which truly touched A-Ming and brought her to tears.
A-Ming has now arrived home safely and bade farewell to her beloved for the last time. Do not let your hesitations become your next regrets in the same way that A-Ming’s did. Go home immediately to hug your loved ones.