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Taiwan – Immigration Update (ARC Change)

Change to the numbering system for Alien Residency Certificate (ARC)

The Ministry of Interior of Taiwan has recently announced that it is going to change the numbering system for Alien Residency Certificates (ARC) to have them match the format of Taiwan national identification cards of all Taiwan citizens. It is expected to benefit over one million foreign residents from the new scheme.

The goal with this change is to create a more harmonious living environment for migrants and to implement the government’s policy of attracting and recruiting foreign talent.

With the new measure, it would improve the daily living convenience for expat residents by enabling them to easily make online purchases, book tickets for concerts, use public transport, and register for visits, with as much ease as the locals.

The current ARC numbering system will be changed from two letters and an eight-digit number, to one letter and a nine-digit number to coincide the format of Taiwanese national ID cards.

This is a major institutional change that is ahead of the majority of the world’s countries and in terms of food, clothing, housing, and transportation it marks a major milestone in Taiwan’s immigration policy for resident immigrants by implementing treatment on an equal footing with citizens. In the meantime, there are hopes the new numbering system will help pave the way for retaining and recruiting talent.

Per government official statement: While there is no timetable for implementation, ministries would convene a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the next steps, especially computer system revisions, including the National Health Insurance Administration’s health insurance cards and the Ministry of Transportation and Communication’s driver’s licenses.