New ARC number format launched
The Ministry of Interior held an official ceremony to launch a new number format for Alien Resident Certificates (ARCs) and Alien Permanent Resident Certificates (APRCs). In the ceremony Chiu Chang-yueh, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of the Interior, handed over the first APRC using the new number format to ECCT CEO Freddie Höglund. The new system will be rolled out starting on 2 January 2021 whereby ID numbers on ARCs and APRCs, which currently comprise two letters and eight digits, will be changed to one letter and nine digits, the same format used on the ID cards of Taiwanese citizens.
The new measure will enable foreign residents in Taiwan to make online purchases, book tickets, and register online, all of which have hitherto been challenging or sometimes not possible due to the incompatible number format.
In his remarks at the ceremony ECCT CEO Freddie Höglund said that for over 12 years the ECCT's Better Living committee been advocating equal treatment for foreign residents in Taiwan and since 2010, the chamber has called for changes to the number format of ARCs in order to give foreign residents access to government and commercial online services. He made the point that as more and more government and commercial services are conducted online, this issue has become more urgent with each passing year. Over the years, the ECCT has often reiterated the point that the incompatible number format has not only made life difficult for foreigners already in Taiwan but that it is also one of the factors that make Taiwan less attractive to foreign talent. He therefore thanked the government on behalf of the chamber for following the ECCT's recommendation to change the number format. "By making this change, foreign residents will be able to fully participate in Taiwan's digital economy. It is also another important step in making Taiwan a friendly place that welcomes foreign talent," he said.