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.
What can you use the card for:
Applying online to the National Immigration Agency for a printable certificate of entry and exit dates.