A Vietnamese illegal migrant worker has turned himself in to the Taiwan police in Kaohsiung, where officers first mistook him for a lost tourist in need of directions.

The 29-year-old Vietnamese man surnamed Nguyen visited the Alian Precinct of Kaohsiung City Government Police Bureau. Officers there were puzzled as he only spoke a few words of Chinese, and repeatedly said “home” and “Vietnam”, the Taiwan Times reported on Monday.

Officers continued to communicate with the foreign man, who carried no identification documents, prompting the Kaohsiung police to assume he was a tourist missing his travel documents and in need of directions to his accommodation.

However, by looking him up in their computer system, officers finally realized Nguyen was an illegal migrant worker who had overstayed in Taiwan since December 2015.

For the past three years Nguyen worked illegally, but now he missed his family very much, prompting him to turn himself in to the Kaohsiung police in the hope that they would assist him to return home to Vietnam.