Do you want your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate to hold all your receipts online so you don’t have to check them every two months (except the old ones that change colour every two months)? You can also get your winnings from the receipt lottery deposited directly in your bank account.
So there have been rumours that some establishments that shall not be named here, are asking foreigners to provide a passport and their entry and exit records for the last few months. What better way to annoy these establishments than to actually provide them without leaving the comfort of your own home or spending an hour or two in the queue at the Immigration Office. If you have an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate, you can apply for your entry and exit records online for free (while the epidemic continues). Simply follow the steps below (fire up your card reader though, there’s no option to use the FIDO app to log in).
Navigate to this page on the National Immigration Agency’s website (it must be the English site as the Chinese version only recognizes Taiwanese IDs).
Choose “Certificate of Entry and Exit Dates” as below:
You’ll get a pop-up which will try and check your system, so ensure you have your card reader attached and your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate plugged in. You can dismiss this pop-up and you’ll see the following page:
Make sure 「外國人民」 (Foreigner) is ticked and then enter your ARC number and your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate pin.
Then you’ll be asked if you want your entry and exit records in the span of two specific dates or just your latest entry and exit dates. I choose the latter, as part of my cunning plan:
Next, you’ll get your entry records, but they’ll probably be somewhat off-centre as below:
If you navigate to the bottom of this, you’ll see the option to view tables which you can click. You can then print to PDF and print later at a 711, or if you’ve got a color printer at home (get you!) then you can print right away:
If you download it as a rar file, your password will be your ARC number + your date of birth in the format YYYYMMDD.
Once you print it, it should look something like this:
Complete with the NIA watermark, and the owner of said establishment will have to find some other reason to reject you (that’s not suitable footwear, mate, sorry, can’t let you in).
The TW Fido app (Android or IPhone) allows you to use your phone to verify your identity online when dealing with government agencies. To use the app you must first apply for an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate (instructions here).
First of all, go to the FIDO website. Then click 註冊／綁定 (Register/Validate device):
You’ll be prompted to enter your ID/ARC number and your pin (you should set this after you activate your card), with your card inserted into a card reader (learn to install a card reader here):
Then you press 送出 (send) and you’ll come to the next screen which asks you to check some details and enter your email and phone number:
Next, a QR code will appear, which you’ll have a limited amount of time to scan with your app. When you click 註冊／綁定 (Register/Validate App) on your phone, a QR code scanner should appear, and you can scan your computer screen. Then you’ll be asked if you want to use your phone’s fingerprint/face-recognition capabilities to verify your identity when you use the app. I clicked 是 (yes):
Then there’s one final screen where you need to complete the process (完成） and you’re ready to go:
Whether you’re straight, gay, or something in between, knowing your HIV status is important so that we can all work towards reducing HIV infections in Taiwan and around the world. Given that many people are hesitant to visit hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has launched a system for ordering HIV self-testing kits which can be delivered to convenience stores across Taiwan.
The steps are pretty simple. First visit this website (a page of the CDC website):
If you want to pay in cash, you can choose the option on the left for $245NT, and for people who register with their website, they offer vouchers.
As supplies are limited, you can get one per month. If you get tested elsewhere, leave these for people who are unlikely to get tested elsewhere or are in high-risk groups.
You’ll be prompted to enter your phone number (手機號碼) and choose a 7-11, FamilyMart or OK Mart branch near you (Click 選擇門市 and remember to turn off your popup blocker):
After you confirm, you’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire:
Then it asks you where you lived before the age of 18 and you’re done, you just have to confirm the order a few times.
You’ll receive an order number via email and you can check the status of your order by entering your phone number, order number and email address.
How to use the test:
Here’s a quick video on how you go about using the test kit:
(My favourite line is “Don’t drink the liquid in the test-tube” by the way.)
If you don’t manage to register while stocks last, there are plenty of ways to get tested in Taiwan, whether anonymously or not, including visiting here, using a vending machine (spotted throughout the city) or visiting a hospital.
There is also free anonymous testing (blood tests – takes a week or two to get the results) held at the gay health center and at Mudan (bar in the Red House drinking area in Ximen) in Taipei as follows:
May 13 Gay Health Center, 5F, No. 100 Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei (臺北市萬華區昆明街100號5樓) 18:10 – 21:10
May 15 Mudan (bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen) 19:00 – 22:00
May 16 Mudan (bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen) 19:00 – 22:00
May 20 Gay Health Center, 5F, No. 100 Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei (臺北市萬華區昆明街100號5樓) 18:00 – 20:20
May 22 Mudan (bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen) 19:00 – 22:00
May 23 Mudan (bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen) 19:00 – 22:00
May 27 Gay Health Center, 5F, No. 100 Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei (臺北市萬華區昆明街100號5樓) 18:00 – 20:20
May 29 Mudan (bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen) 19:00 – 22:00
May 30 Mudan (bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen) 19:00 – 22:00
If the result turns out positive, there are several avenues to pursue treatment. Dr. Stephane Ku (顧文瑋) does consultations at Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Wednesday evenings (感染科), where you can get tested, explore the possibility of going on prep or get treatment.
In a previous post I talked about how you can order and pay for masks online using an e-reader and your NHI card. You can also pay your taxes using your NHI card. If you ordered masks using the system, you’ve already set up your NHI card for use and you can skip this post. If you didn’t you’ll need an ATM-style card reader and some patience.
(Note: If you’re about to renew your ARC, plan to do your taxes before the renewal or after, as your details may not be accepted while your renewal is being processed, according to NihaosItGoing.)
After you’ve installed the card reader, head to their website, if you’re a Windows user, you’ll need to download their Windows installer, or MAC Installer, (others available here). You can check if your card is being read properly here.
If it’s working, you should get a message like this:
You’ll also have to mark your server as a trusted server here (or click on 「設定伺服器為可信任服務」(set as a trusted server) on this page). You’ll have to be an administrator on your computer to do this.
First-time users should click the box labeled 「首次登入請先申請」(First-time users, please apply here first), which I’ve marked with a red box below:
(Note they’ve now added English to the website too.)
This will take you to a list of terms that you can click agree on:
At the minute it seems like the NHI have added an extra security precaution so that you have to enter your 「戶號」. However, if you press 「讀卡」 (read card) on this screen, it should take you to the page below, where you’re prompted to fill in your ARC details (on an ARC owned by the Vietnamese spouse of a Taiwanese person apparently):
That should take you to a screen like this where you set your password:
After this you’ll have to confirm your email address:
Expect to get quite frustrated with your card reader throughout this process.
Once you’ve registered your email, and verified it and set your password you’re ready to use your NHI card for to file your taxes.
File Offline Then Upload (PC Windows Users Have to Choose This)
And click the turquoise button to file your taxes offline and then upload them or the dark blue button (Web線上版) to file your taxes online.
If you chose offline, you’ll get a program downloaded on to your computer. Once you open it, you get asked if you want to proceed in English or Chinese. The advantages of English is that it’s quicker to read, but the advantages of Chinese is that it matches all the jargon on your documents:
Then it will check a few more things and you can just click 「確認」 or “Confirm”. It will also ask you if you want to check for the latest version. Unless you already had it on your computer, you can just say “no” and proceed at this point.
Next it will ask you what year you want to file for – this should be 108 or 2019, depending on format and you should choose Taxpayer.
The next screen will ask you how you want to login. (You can login with just your ARC number, but this means that you’ll have to enter all the data yourself.) So if you’ve got your card-reader fired up, stick in your NHI card and choose NHI card and password:
Next you’ll be prompted to enter your ARC number. After that the following screen will up and you should choose the first option (to download info on tax withholding and deductions):
(If you just have your ARC, you can click 6 here and begin entering your data manually.)
For those with card readers and NHI cards, you’ll be prompted to enter a password. This is the password that you used when setting up your NHI account above. (It’s also the password you have to enter on your NHI app every time you login:
You’ll get a few more intermediary screens saying that the info is just for reference. Including two report previews which you can read and then close to proceed.
You’ll then get to the list of deductions and the withholding information, which should look something like this, but with data filled in:
This is a list of all your income, including salary and bank interest, and below is a list of different kinds of deductions. If you’re satisfied you can select all and confirm.
Now you come to the tax form proper:
You should see your income info and refund listed in the top right corner. The rest of the information you’ll have to fill out yourself.
The next sections are reasonably straightforward, and most of the info is auto-filled or blank. Unless you have a spouse and are filing together or dependents.
You can go for itemized deductions if your itemized deduction is above NT$120,000, which is the standard deduction, on the deduction page.
If you’re on your way to your APRC, make sure to print the statement, here. As you’ll have to mail in a copy to get your certificate:
Next you pick how you’ll get your refund and if you want to apply for the tax statement, make sure to tick the box:
You can choose check or bank transfer, I suggest the latter (you’ll have to fill out your bank identifier number and your account number then you can “Upload filing data”.
Remember to print the docs or save them to print later, if you want to apply for a tax certificate. You’ll have to mail a copy of your tax filing and then the certificate will be mailed to you!
File Online (Mac and Linux Users)
If you chose online, it should take you to this screen and you can choose the NHI Health Card and password option:
If you’ve got everything set up and you get this message:
This is because you’re using a Windows system, so you’ll need to use the offline method described above.
There is a message in Chinese saying that they’ve updated the systems on May 10 (the future), so you need to download the new component. Maybe this will change the game in terms of Windows users? *shrugs*
So I used the online system successfully on a Mac this evening:
After this it is essentially the same process as the offline version for Windows.
So you want to install a card reader on your computer. Maybe you need it to use your bank’s web ATM services, to file your taxes or to order masks online. For the purposes of this post I’ll be using this card reader (EZ100PU ATM 自然人憑證 晶片讀卡機), but other brands should entail a reasonably similar process.
The card-reader comes with a setup mini-CD, like this (don’t have the CD or too young to have a CD drive? Skip to the section below to find the driver online):
As these disks are quite small, if you’re putting them in your CD drive, ensure that they’re placed exactly in the center, or they may not read properly.
Make sure your reader is not plugged in and then open up the DVD drive folder:
Then just click on the driver that applies to your model, and you’ll be guided through installation process by the install wizard.
Eh… what’s a CD drive? (If you have a CD drive, you can skip this bit and rejoin us at the component section).
Finding the driver online
For later millennials who won’t have a CD drive on their computer, you can also download the driver from the company website. Obviously, this depends on the company, but googling the model number and “driver” (驅動程式) will normally turn up the company’s drivers. For the card-reader I used, you can find the driver here. Go to the PC/SC External IC Reader section and select the driver compatible with your system. If you don’t know whether your system is 32 bit or 64 bit, open any folder, then right click on the MyComputer icon and click “Properties” and you’ll get a list of information showing you which your computer is:
Once you’ve downloaded the file, open your downloads folder, and you should see a zip folder called something like “EZ100_Driver_64bit”. Right click it and select Extract All. The decompressed folder should appear. Open it up and and click “setup.exe”
A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm, and you should click “Run”. Then another dialogue box will open asking you to select a language, if you want English, scroll down until you see English (英語）then you’ll be guided through the install process (make sure you’re an administrator on your computer). Once you’ve successfully installed it, on a Windows PC, you’ll get a little dialogue box in the bottom right corner, saying something like this:
Once you’ve installed your e-card reader, depending on what you want to use it for, you’ll need to download the relevant component to make it work for the specific purposes you’re after:
For use with the NHI website, you’ll need to visit this page to get your component and verify the server. If you’re a Windows user, you’ll need to download their Windows installer, or MAC Installer, (others available here). You can check if your card is being read properly here.
I guess I’m missing queues at the Immigration Office after getting an APRC or am super motivated to find things to do other than the long-term project I’m supposed to be working on, but I went and applied for an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate on April 24. I plan on documenting the “journey” here:
Don’t be fooled by the heading by the way, you can apply online after you go in person to the immigration office with your ARC/APRC, so not technically all online.
The ID can be used for filing taxes (although you can also file taxes without it) and for various government websites and systems, giving you access to information and allowing you to apply for things online. For Taiwanese people it also means they can apply for bank accounts and credit cards online, but I’m not sure that applies to foreigners, but we’ll see. The cost of the card is NT$275 and it lasts for 5 years (subject to your ARC being valid).
April 24: Today was pretty simple, brought my ARC (no photocopies required) to the National Immigration Agency (the ground floor in Taipei where you go to apply for your ARC) and then wrote down my phone number and email address and gave it to the lady (after fielding a quizzical look from her), who then made me sign a form and then gave me a sheet of paper with the following information on it:
The key bit of information is the 用戶代碼 (username) which you’ll need to log in to the site. She said to wait for the letter to go through, so I’ll give it a few days. It says on the website one working day, so we’ll see.
You have to pay within 15 days through the system or you will have to apply again. If you make changes to your ARC (including the number) you have to apply again.
April 27 Update
I paid for the card last night on the website. If you have trouble accessing the website, make sure to delete the www. from the address bar.
Click ‘Application Progress’ on the left side and you’ll be prompted to enter your ARC number and your 用戶代碼 (username). If it’s been approved, it should give you the option to pay by credit card. And then it will link to a page where you enter your credit card information. Once that’s done you’ll just have to fill in/confirm more details, like postal address and phone number. Then press save.
April 29 Update:
When I looked up the website today it said it was in the mail and they even provided the parcel number, so that I can track it on the Post Office website:
May 5 Update:
The card finally arrived (it went to my home address, so had to wait for three unsuccessful deliveries before I could go pick it up):
So here it is:
The various security/design elements are listed in the letter it comes with:
Now to unlock it:
If you’re using Microsoft, you need at least Microsoft Windows XP Sp3, a card reader (learn to install one here) and then download and install the HiCOS digital certificate management tool at this website (you have to restart your computer so prepare for that).
So, this bit was a little complicated, and I ended up having to ring them to activate my card…. BUT hypothetically, the next step you take is to navigate to this website, where you can activate your card (the pin is supposed to be your year and month of birth in the format YYYYMM), although it says in the letter you only need your subscriber code (which is on the printed piece of paper you got at immigration. If you have trouble accessing the website, insert your card first and then try opening it. If you still have trouble try opening the link in another tab, and if you still have trouble use IE explorer.
Once you’ve activated your card, you can change the pin at this website. You just need the subscriber code and your card reader.
Then you’re all set.
To use the government’s FIDO app to use your phone to verify your identity, see this post.
My note-writing neighbour (you can see their doctoral thesis here) has been at it again, although, to be fair, this doesn’t rank up there with their more passive-aggressive notes (although I would have appreciated a 「請」 thrown in there somewhere). I almost identified with them on this note, as it represents a phenomenon I often encounter when learning other languages, the tendency to assume that a specific usage of a multipurpose verb in your language can apply to all the usages of the verb in your target language, illustrated brilliantly below:
壞了，一直在閃、很危險、不要開。 Don’t drive.
Broken, it keeps flashing, it’s dangerous, don’t turn it on.
「開」 in Chinese means “to start” or “to turn on”, in conjunction with 「車」 it can also mean “to drive”. So I’m guessing they googled “不要開” and got “Don’t drive.” I guess the solution is to always search for the terms you Google translate to see if it matches the idea you were going for and is used commonly in the target language. The only example I can think of going the other way is the tendency of foreigners to use 「是」 for adjectival phrases in Chinese, 「我是熱」, for example, as an overly literal translation of “I am hot.” Can you think of any examples that fit the brief more accurately?
My neighbour clearly hasn’t been taking notes since I corrected their previous note which was either on door closures or dog euthanasia:
It feels like a return to
Eating ice-cream as students, your arm on my shoulder
Skipping one lousy class made us feel as if
The entire summer
Was stretched out by the duration of that one class, and we sensed deep inside
That this carefree hour had burnished our whole lives
Making them glisten more brightly
P.S. The poem is not a reference to 趴趴走ers, fleeing from quarantine (sorry did I ruin the mood by bringing up the dystopia that is our current reality?).
「奧步」 is the common written form for the Taiwanese expression 「漚步」 àupō͘ meaning a sly or crafty move. This is just one of those phrases you’ll hear again and again. I heard it a while ago in the run-up to the election:
“Especially when at the minute everyone is actually waiting to see what crafty maneuver the DPP will end up pulling at the last minute.”
You can hear it around the 11:04 point in the video below:
I heard it again just now while getting my hair cut (shorn off), in the Taiwanese soap opera 《炮仔聲》 (Ep 327) playing in the background. It was translated into Mandarin in the subtitles as 「耍手段」:
“That Kang Hong-kiat is a real piece of work, he’s always got some sly trick up his sleeve. If he isn’t buying people off, he’s using people’s families to threaten them.”
Earlier in the episode, one character describes getting a woman drunk in order to get her into bed (quite rightly) as an 「奧步」, although this time it’s translated into Mandarin as 「卑鄙手段」 “how could I use that kind of dirty tactic?”
It’s one of those really useful phrases that’s really hard to find the right situation to use. In the first example I used, it’s used in a Mandarin sentence, so you can use it that way too, but make sure your tones are on point if you’re going to, or you’ll stand there shamefacedly repeating yourself until you have to spell it out like I did in the kitchenette at work when I called my colleague a 抓耙仔jiàu-pê-á/liàu-pê-á (a snitch). I said bei instead of pei or something *shrugs*.