NIA to revert to issuing paper ARCs

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Nov 04, 2013 - Page 3

To save money and increase efficiency, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) plans to launch a new fraud-proof Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) by the end of the month, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) said.

Although the NIA replaced paper ARCs with IC cards less than four years ago, the agency is set to replace the IC cards with fraud-proof paper ARCs by the end of the month.

“The new paper ARC will have an anti-fraud design and will help to keep costs down, as each IC card costs more than NT$100 to make, while a paper ARC will cost only about NT$6,” Hsiao said. “With the paper ARCs in place, we may save as much as NT$10 million [US$330,000] on the budget.”

Current ARC holders will not have to worry about changing their ARCs, since the IC card ARCs will remain valid until they expire, and the NIA will begin by only issuing paper ARCs to new applicants, Hsiao said.

As well as new paper ARCs, the NIA will also inaugurate a new computerized immigration system at each of its offices, which is to allow people to check on the progress of their applications, Hsiao said.

In related news, Hsiao said that the agency has prevented Chinese visitors who applied to come to Taiwan to undergo plastic surgery from illegally staying in the country, since a new policy was implemented that requires all such visitors to provide a copy of their medical receipts along with their visa applications.

As of September, 78,777 Chinese citizens have visited to undergo plastic surgery and 138 overstayed their visas, but no “runaway cases” have occurred since the new policy has been in place, he said.