TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — To expedite the process of applying for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) for foreign students undergoing quarantine and to reduce the risk of cluster infections, Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA) has set up a website to enable students to apply for their residence permit online.
In response to an announcement by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Aug. 24 that an estimated 10,000 foreign students from 19 countries and areas, as well as degree students from China, would be allowed to enter Taiwan, the Taipei City Service Center of the NIA last week announced that students will be able to apply for their residence permits via an online application system. The NIA announced that the online service has been created to enable students to apply for their ARCs while still observing their 14-day quarantine and to avoid the average two- to three-hour wait at the local immigration service centers.
The NIA's Taipei City Service Center stated that the peak period of applying for and renewing residence permits for foreigners usually occurs during the summer vacation. Although the number of foreigners coming to Taiwan decreased in the first half of this year due to the impact of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as some countries have been able to bring local infections under control, Taiwan has gradually chosen to relax the restrictions on foreigners entering the country, with foreign students given the priority, in order to protect their educational rights.
In order to prevent Chinese and foreign students from flocking to NIA service stations in the rush to apply for ARCs and increase the risk of cluster infections, the immigration agency is now encouraging the use of the online application service to end the need to queue in person. Although students must first undergo 14-days of quarantine when they arrive in Taiwan, they can go ahead and fill out the necessary paperwork for their resident certificates via the online form.
As processing only takes five working days, students can quickly pick up their permits after they complete their quarantine at the designated service station, resulting in a more convenient and faster application experience than before. In order to facilitate the application process, the NIA has created instructional videos for first-time applications, extensions, and ARC information changes.
Su Hui-wen (蘇慧雯), director of the agency's Taipei City Service Center Northern Administration Corps, said that the online application system can be accessed 24 hours a day, including holidays. If any students encounter problems operating the system, they can all the NIA's customer service hotline at 02-2796-7162 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Process of applying for visa. (NIA website screenshot)
Instructional video for first-time applicants:
Instructional video for extending ARC:
Instructional video for making changes to information on ARC: