Passports no longer needed for ARC holders to open a bank account
An important breakthrough has been made in an issue regarding equality of treatment for foreign residents related to identity numbers that had been raised by the ECCT's Better Living committee in its 2015 Position Paper. On 8 May 2015 the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) published an official ruling that recognizes Alien Resident Certificates (ARC) as equivalent to Republic of China (ROC) identity cards for the purposes of opening a bank account in Taiwan. Prior to this ruling, ARC holders had been required to present their passports as well as their ARCs when opening a bank account. Following the ruling, ARC holders have the option of presenting their ARCs and one other form of identification when opening a bank account, the same requirements as ROC citizens. This progress has been achieved thanks to the effective platform and excellent cooperation between the ECCT's Better Living committees and government authorities, especially the FSC.
Members of the ECCT's Better Living committee have for many years been advocating equal treatment for legal foreign residents in Taiwan in a number of areas. Members have consistently argued that official ID's issued by the Ministry of Interior (both ROC IDs and ARCs) should always be regarded as equivalent. They therefore regard the FSC's action as important progress towards granting equal treatment to legal foreign residents in Taiwan. However, while this step is welcome, ARCs are still not universally accepted for all commercial transactions in Taiwan. Members of the committee therefore maintain the position that the format of ARCs should be compatible with ROC IDs and that their acceptance should be mandatory for all government, non-government and commercial enterprises in Taiwan.