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Taiwan's immigration agency addresses resident certificate transition woes

Foreign residents face banking, vaccine registration issues due to updated identification format

Sample ID with new numbering format. (NIA image)

Sample ID with new numbering format. (NIA image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After receiving complaints from foreign nationals about various challenges they encountered getting new identification numbers, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) says it has taken action to fix several systems involving information updates, reported UDN on Monday (Sept. 20).

As one of the major complaints was the requirement to redo paperwork in person at banks, the NIA said it has worked with the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and that over 20 major banks now offer ways to update account information without having to apply face to face.

UDN quoted the NIA as saying that initially, most banks opted for a more secure way of updating such sensitive information, which resulted in complaints of long process times and even having to set up a new account.

Taiwan's immigration agency addresses resident certificate transition woes
Facebook users discuss issues arising from having to update UI numbers with banks. (Facebook, Foreigners in Taipei&Taiwan screenshot)

According to a notice on the Taishin Bank website, foreign nationals that hold a new Unified Identification (UI) number may call the customer service hotline to update their information. Additionally, the bank will reach out to customers once it receives updated credit information from the Joint Credit Information Center.

However, Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) holders must still contact any entities with which they have registered auto-pay services to confirm if any information needs to be updated. They must also reapply for electronic bills and online or mobile banking accounts.

The NIA also provided old and new UI numbers to the COVID-19 vaccine registration platform for a smoother registration process for ARC holders, according to UDN. Other services that are open for registration with new UI numbers include the National Health Insurance (NIH) Express app and the EZ Way app.

New ARC holders have also had to update their information with a list of everyday services, as a Facebook discussion showed. These included telecom, internet, clinic and hospital, and other services linked to UI numbers.

Taiwan's immigration agency addresses resident certificate transition woes
Facebook users share some services that require information updates. (Facebook, How to Get Your APRC in Taiwan screenshot)

While the government’s goal for revamping the UI system for foreign nationals has been to improve ARC holders’ ability to register for services, the severe lack of “supporting measures” has caused the program to bring even more hassles to those who have updated their UI numbers.

A list of 30 FAQ lists published by government departments across all sectors has shown how the program causes upheaval in every aspect of foreign citizens’ daily lives. Furthermore, these lists do not cover all the problems that holders of a new ARC have to resolve with businesses and other private services, as many registration systems still reject the not-truly-unified identification numbers.