The Taichung City Government on Thursday began offering online translation via video calls to help immigrants with household registration and other civic administrative processes across its 26 municipal districts.
In August, 56,000 foreign spouses were registered in Taichung, the Taichung Civil Affairs Bureau said, adding that their many backgrounds — with most hailing from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand — pose a problem for household registration office employees.
Some immigrants come alone to apply for marriage registration, register newborn children or apply for naturalization, the bureau said,.
Employees have thus far relied on Internet resources or mobile phone applications to translate foreign languages, which are not reliable, resulting in multiple trips for the applicant, often due to a failure to present suitable identification or required documents, the bureau said.
The bureau in April began a trial with the National Immigration’s Agency’s (NIA) Taichung branch to provide cross-agency video conference services, the bureau said.
NIA translators are available online and help provide translations for foreigners at the household registration offices, the bureau said, adding that the service has received good reviews.
The municipality this week made the collaboration official, the bureau said, adding that translation services can be reserved online or requested on the spot.
Local household registration office personnel assist migrants with technical matters, while the agency provides translators for the languages requested, the bureau said.
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