Immigration agency to offer new conveniences in 2018

The NIA will introduce new immigration measures on January 1. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) The National Immigration Agency (NIA) will introduce a number of new measures on Monday that make it easier for foreign nationals to travel to Taiwan or stay in the country for extended periods of time, the NIA said in a statement Sunday.
The new measures include streamlining procedures for Chinese nationals traveling via direct ferry between China and the Taiwan-controlled island chains of Kinmen and Matsu, it said.
Starting Monday, Chinese nationals holding a permit for travel to Taiwan from Fujian Province in China will no longer be required to present a so-called G note detailing the date and purpose of their travel when they arrive in Kinmen or Lienchiang (Matsu) counties, the statement said.
The time needed to review applications by Chinese citizens to visit via direct ferry for academic, sports, religious, artistic, cultural, or business purposes will also be reduced from five to three days, the NIA said.
Meanwhile, foreign students and overseas Chinese students studying in Taiwan will be allowed to apply online for alien resident certificates (ARC), or for extensions of or changes to their registration certificates.
In the case of applying for ARCs, the online application will reduce total processing time to five days, from seven days previously, the agency said.
Taiwanese expatriate students who do not have a household registration in Taiwan and want to apply for an ARC will no longer be required to attach a parental consent form.
The time for processing such applications will also be cut significantly if they apply online, the agency said.
In addition, inspections of customs documents will also be simplified for Chinese nationals and Hong Kong and Macau residents holding an integrated circuit (IC) chip-embedded ARC card, according to the NIA.
Meanwhile, foreign nationals can check online whether they are barred from leaving the country simply by providing the ID number of their alien citizen digital certificate. (By Huang Li-yun, Elizabeth Hsu and Evelyn Kao)