A government plan to change the format of the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) number to match that of the national identification card is to be implemented in October next year, the National Development Council (NDC) said yesterday.
The issue of the ARC format has been a troubling one for foreign nationals in Taiwan and has been raised many times by foreign chambers of commerce, NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said at the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT), which was releasing its annual position paper.
On the ARC and Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC), the number, which comprises two letters and eight digits, will be changed to one letter and nine digits like the one on national IDs, Chen said.
ECCT chief executive officer Freddie Hoeglund said the chamber welcomed the change, as it would give foreign nationals greater access to online services, which often do not accept the current format.
“This is something actually that we have been driving for over 10 years,” he said. “These issues are very difficult to push forward because it expands over all government agencies and also within the private sector.”
When the plan takes effect next year, about 1 million ARC and APRC holders would be issued the new numbers, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed.
They include 690,000 migrant workers, 30,000 foreign professionals and 300,000 foreign spouses of Taiwanese who have not yet obtained national IDs, the data showed.
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