Taiwan: Foreign Residents Must Obtain Upgraded Identification Certificates by December 31
All foreign national residents in Taiwan must obtain the new Integrated Circuit Alien Resident Certificate by December 31, 2009. The new Certificate replaces the previously issued paper-based Alien Resident Certificates.
The Taiwan National Immigration Agency (NIA) has announced that all foreign national residents, including foreign national employees and their families, must obtain the new Integrated Circuit Alien Resident Certificate (IC ARC), also called E-Resident Certificate, by December 31, 2009. The IC ARC replaces the paper-based Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) as an identification card and multiple-reentry permit for foreign national residents. Although the NIA began issuing IC ARCs in July 2007, many foreign national residents still hold the paper-based ARCs.
To implement the upgrade, the NIA will send by mail a “Notification of Replacement with E-Resident Certificate” to all foreign residents within the next few months. Individuals who still hold paper-based ARCs should apply to upgrade their certificates immediately upon receipt of the notification and no later than December 31. Those who already hold the new IC ARCs will also receive this notice but are not required to take any further action.
Individuals must be physically present in Taiwan to submit the IC ARC application. Although applicants may authorize a third party to undertake the filing with the NIA, the application cannot be submitted while the applicant is outside of Taiwan. When applying for an IC ARC, the individual must complete a Multipurpose Application Form and submit his or her original ARC and passport, an ARC replacement notice, and a current, colored identity photograph on white background. Currently, applicants typically receive their new IC ARC within 14 days.
Notwithstanding the December 31, 2009 deadline, the NIA has confirmed that Taiwan’s border officers will still allow foreign residents to travel and reenter Taiwan using a valid paper-based ARC after this date. However, the NIA has advised that Taiwanese banks and business establishments, such as insurance or phone companies, will increasingly expect foreign nationals to present a new IC ARC instead of a paper-based ARC as an identification document for local transactions.
In preparing this alert, Fragomen has worked closely with the law firm of Lee and Li in Taipei, Taiwan. The content herein is provided for informational purposes only.
If you have any questions regarding this alert, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Global Immigration Services or send an email to HKInitiations@fragomen.com.