Stuff you need to do after you get the new format UI ARC

After you update your ARC to the new UI format (one letter nine numbers) there are a certain number of other agencies you need to update information with, as cross-ministry communication does not seem to have been very broad:

  1. If you have a work permit (APRC holders/students with internships or part-time jobs) you NEED to apply to the Work Development Agency for a new one. You need this form and a photocopy of it, a one inch photo, a copy of both sides of your OLD and NEW ARC/APRC and a copy of your passport.

(NOTE/UPDATE: I previously posted that you needed to hand in NT$100 or a postal order of an equivalent amount, as this is what they told me over the phone, but when I received my new work permit, it had a letter attached saying that the NT$100 postal order that the person on the phone had insisted was necessary, was not required, along with a complex form on how to get this money refunded.)

If you want to go in person and are registered in Taipei, the address is:
10F, No. 39 Zhonghua Road Section 1, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 10042
10042 台北市中正區中華路一段 39 號 10 樓

This is also where you post your material.

2. You or your employer should fill out the form here to ensure your labour insurance contributions are still registered to the same person, one copy should be sent to the Ministry of Labour (勞動部勞工保險局,臺北市中正區羅斯福路一段4號) and the other should be forwarded to the National Heath Insurance Bureau in your region (see form for addresses). Despite the claims that you don’t have to update your NHI card, I don’t really see how this is going to be possible, given that on the bottom of the form it says that your original NHI card will be cancelled when the new data is received, hence:

3. NHI card renewal (purportedly optional): This is relatively pain-free, simply go to the Post Office and ask to renew your NHI card, with your ARC and a photocopy of both sides, one photograph (most machines have a special setting for NHI card photos) and NT$200. You should receive your new card in 5 working days. And after you receive it, you can switch your NHI app card to the new one.

4. Alien Digital Certificate: You can apply to update this at the same time as you apply for the new UI format, with the same material and you shouldn’t be charged.

5. If you have a post office account, you have to inform them of your change of ID.

Other issues: Despite assurances that banks would be automatically informed of changes, people on Facebook have been describing demands to close and reopen accounts at banks, issues with motorcycle licenses/test applications, property deeds, mortgages, car loans. With hospital appointments, many clinics and hospitals will still have your old number in their systems, even though with your new NHI card, doctors should still be able to access your previous publicly held records.

I will update if I find anything else and I have to say I’m yet to find anything easier because of the new format. Please do let me know if there are any benefits to the new format.

Shout out to Slawa who made this call for names of websites where the new ID number does not work towards the end of last year.

If you have more specific queries about particular ministries, I suggest having a look at the Q &A on this page.

Applying for the new format UI number in Taiwan

I applied for the new format UI number, unfortunately the application process was a bit rocky, as the officer who served me didn’t seem to have a clue what he was doing.

Maybe he was super busy, but with no-one in the queue ahead of me for UI renewal (don’t click the normal button on entering the NIA, but the one to update your UI number) I saw him dander around laughing with colleagues and looking bored at his desk for a good ten minutes before he eventually pressed the next number button.

Finally get called up and tell him I’m applying to update my UI number. He tells me I need my passport to update it. Thankfully I’ve had some experience with NIA agents before, so I’d printed out the list of required documents for each category of foreign national:

Resident foreigners do NOT need their passport or a photocopy to apply. I told him I’d read the regulations and they said residents don’t need their passport to apply, and he eventually conceded.

I told him that I’d like to apply to update my Alien’s Digital Certificate at the same time. He tells me that I can’t apply for that until I get my new UI number. This also is incorrect, I inform him, according to an email from the Ministry of the Interior:

您好,因應政府機關將於110年1月2日實施「新式外來人口統一證號專案」,您的外來人口自然人憑證可能會受到影響,相關說明如下:

一、110年1月2日以後,您的自然人憑證可以繼續使用,不會受到影響。

二、如果您有申請換發新式統一證號(1英文+9數字),您的自然人憑證也需要申請換新,才能繼續使用。

建議您在申請新式統一證號時,同時在移民署服務站辦理新的自然人憑證申請(不須要支付費用,但須主動表明並填寫「外來人口重製卡申請書」)。

另外,在移民署核發新式統一證號及本中心核發新的自然人憑證之期程中,您原有的自然人憑證將無法使用,敬請留意。

如有自然人憑證相關問題請電洽內政部自然人憑證客服中心(0800-080-117)。

內政部資訊中心  關心您

Greetings,

Since the government will launch the “New UI No. for Foreign Nationals” program on JAN/2/2021, your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate may also be affected:

After JAN/2/2021, you may continue to use your current Digital Certificates normally. However, if you have applied for the New UI No. (1 Letter+9 Numbers), your Citizen Digital Certificate must also be exchanged and renewed.

We advise foreigners to apply for both “New UI No.” and new “Citizen Digital Certificate” simultaneously at NIA service stations. (No extra fee will be charged. Please declare to NIA officers and fill out “Certificate Re-issuance Application Form for Foreigners.”)

Please also note that, during the issuing process of New UI No. and new Citizen Digital Certificate, your original Citizen Digital Certificate will not be available for use.

For any Citizen Digital Certificate related inquiries, please contact MOICA’s customer service: 0800-080-117.Information Center, Ministry of the Interior


Eventually he realizes that I can apply for both, but he struggles with the forms in front of him, and occasionally calls out slightly unnerving questions to colleagues, like, “Do I delete all his National Insurance Data?”

After a considerable amount of fiddling around, and the help of two colleagues, he eventually prints out a receipt with which I can receive my new ARC in two weeks. On closer inspection, however, the name on the form (and presumably the ID) is not mine. It’s some random American that the guy had been using as a reference for how to fill out my form.

Another ten minutes or so fumbling and then I eventually get a receipt with my name on it (time will tell if it’s actually my ID number), and he recruits another staff member to help him do the Digital Alien Certificate bit.

Will update if I’m successful, and will see if foreigners can now register for stuff that was impossible before.

You can check your UI history at the NIA website here.

Note: Employment Gold Card holders can apply for the new UI number online here, but the process is all in Chinese (even in the English section of their website).

There’s more information here (in Chinese) on what impact applying for the new UI number will have on other ministries.

What you have to do after applying for the new UI number:

Among the most important is to report the change in your ID number to the company which is providing you with labour insurance (your employer) or send this form to the Labour Insurance Bureau.

You also need to report the change to the post office if you have an account with them.

You can opt not to update your NHI card with your new number, but if you do wish to update it, you’ll have to pay a NT$200 fee.

You don’t have to tell your bank, as they will get the information directly from the MOI.

UPDATE: When I looked at my application to remake the Citizen Digital Certificate, contrary to the email I received from MOICA stating it was free of charge, it prompted me to make a payment. I called the helpline (you have to pretend to be Taiwanese to get through to a customer representative) and they changed my status so that I no longer had to make a payment. The customer service lady and her manager were quite helpful, and said that you have to make sure you emphasize “free-of-charge” when applying at immigration, and adjusted the form so that the fee was no longer required.

UPDATE 2: Have received my Alien Digital Certificate, so far have only had trouble logging into the Health Ministry website and the other government websites do not seem to have access to my data held under the previous ARC number. Will see if this changes once I receive the new APRC and send a copy to my employer.

UPDATE 3: Have received my new ARC with all information present and correct and the old number on the back.

What is it good for?

So far the new format isn’t even recognized by the Ministry of Health’s online services.

Registration on the Chinese version of the TRA website is also limited to Taiwanese nationals for some reason. Foreign residents can book tickets online using their passport number, but not create accounts. Not sure what the reason behind this is?

It seems, “format and compatibility issues” was a cover for, many services are not granted to foreign residents of Taiwan. The TRA and the HSR have a workaround with passport numbers being an alternative for foreigners regardless of residency, but only the HSR allows you to register as a member. But the real question seems to be why we’ve switched one incompatible ID number for another at presumably great cost to the taxpayer, without any real benefits.

If you’ve found an elusive benefit to the new UI format please let me know in the comments!

I’m Applying for an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate (but just for the craic)

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:

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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:

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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:

未命名

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):

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So here it is:

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The various security/design elements are listed in the letter it comes with:

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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.