Starting on Jan. 2, Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) numbers, which consist of two letters and eight digits, are to be changed to one letter and nine digits, according to the National Immigration Agency.
The letter would specify the area of residence of the cardholder and the digits correspond to the format of Taiwanese ID cards, the agency said, adding that the second digit would indicate the person’s sex, 8 for male and 9 for female.
However, cards with numbers in the old format would still be accepted for the coming 10 years, the agency said.
Cardholders who apply for an extension or a change of any personal information could apply to have their number changed to the new format, it said, adding that this would be free of charge.
The agency said that online applications would be accepted in the following cases: Chinese citizens who come to Taiwan for scientific and technical research, as well as industrial technology research; Chinese who transfer to a branch of their company across the Taiwan Strait; and Chinese who apply to participate in investment operations and management, or professional transnational activities.
Chinese who plan to stay in Taiwan for professional visits can file applications at https://mt.immigration.gov.tw/PB/login/auth?applyType=2B, and Chinese who plan to stay in Taiwan to conduct business can apply at https://mt.immigration.gov.tw/PB/login/auth?applyType=2A, it said.
Chinese who plan to stay in Taiwan for education and hold a single or multiple-entry permit, can apply at https:/coa.immigration.gov.tw/coa-frontend/student/entry, it added.
Foreigners residing in Taiwan to attend school can apply for the new number at a service counter or at https://coa.immigration.gov.tw/coa-frontend/student/entry, the agency said, adding that migrant workers who apply online to extend their ARC or change their information would automatically be given a new number.
In all other cases, applications must be filed at service counters, it said.
National Health Insurance (NHI) cards with identifiers in the old format would still be valid if the holder has obtained an ARC or APRC with a new identifier, the agency said, adding that the identifier on NHI cards can be updated online for a fee of NT$200 or in person at an NHI service center.
The tax filing system would accept numbers in both formats, the agency said.
However, Chunghwa Post accounts bearing the old identifier would need to be changed if an account holder has obtained a new ARC or APRC identifier, it said, adding that this service would be free of charge.
Driver’s licenses in the old format would remain valid, but those who hold ARCs or APRCs with new identifiers could apply for a new license at the Motor Vehicles Office, which would be free of charge, the agency said.
Further information on the new number formats can be found at https://www.immigration.gov.tw/5385/7445/238440/243278/.
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