Use your Citizen Digital Certificate to View your Labour Insurance Data on App

Another day another government app. Unlike the NHI app, you need an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate to authenticate the Labour Insurance Mobile Services App ( Google Play / Apple Store ) where you can see how long you’ve been covered under government labour insurance and if you’re registered under the government pension scheme (APRC holders).

It is likely more use to citizens than to foreigners, as I only had data listed under one field (labour insurance coverage) but useful to know how to access as legislation continues to change.

So if you’ve already got your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate and a card reader installed, navigate to the Labour Insurance Bureau’s e-desk website, which looks as below after you close the pop-up on the initial screen:

With your card reader and Alien Citizen Digital Certificate already inserted, enter your Citizen Digital Certificate pin, your ARC no. and your date of birth in ROC format (the Western year minus 1911, in format YYYMMDD, so, for example, Jan 2, 1971, would be 0600102), then click login (登入) and you’ll reach this screen:

At this point you’re logged in, but you don’t have a mobile account yet. So under 行動服務帳號作業 (Mobile Services Account Management), click 建立服務帳號 (Create a services account) and you’ll be led to a terms and conditions page, which you can agree with by clicking 同意條款內容 (Agree to terms):

After this, you have to fill out this page with your email account (帳號), a password (密碼), confirmation of your password (確認密碼) and below this some fields will be autofilled and you can add your mobile number at the bottom (手機號碼):

Below this, you’ll be prompted to enter your Citizen Digital Certificate pin again (so make sure you haven’t disconnected your card reader). Annoyingly, once it’s confirmed, it will seem like the form didn’t submit properly, but there will be some red text at the bottom that says something like confirmed. Don’t refill out the form, just navigate to 帳號啟用 (A行動服務帳號作業 (Mobile Services Account Management)

Next go to the email that you put under account, and you’ll see a confirmation code, which you can copy and paste for use in the next screen:

If you get this screen, then you’ve successfully activated your account and after you click ok, it will display a QR code, which you can scan with your phone:

Click 認證裝置 (verify device) and scan the QR code on screen. Then you can login to see the details of your labour insurance coverage, by clicking 個人查詢 (Individual inquiry):

You’ll then be prompted to login with your email and the password you set on the website:

For me only the first option worked 投保資料查詢 (Check coverage info), although labour pension is the second option:

The only info available to me is as follows (ROC years, so add 1911 to get the Western year):

Taiwan Podcasts 聽台灣播客(Podcast)

Podcasts have really taken off over the last couple of years but Chinese-language podcasts from Taiwan have been rather limited, with most just being radio segments repackaged for podcast platforms. However, recently more have taken off, so I thought I’d feature them here and you can feel free to share more in the comments section! I’ve focused on Chinese-language podcasts here, although there are also an increasing amount of English-language podcasts too.

Ghost Island Media:

大麻煩不煩 (In the Weeds with Lawyer Zoe Lee):
This is a great intro into Taiwan’s weed landscape, informing people of their rights in terms of getting stopped and searched by police, what to do if you’re arrested, and the progress of efforts to legalize weed in Taiwan for medical or other uses. (Links to different platforms listed on site)
5/5 Recommended

台灣通勤第一品牌 (Commute For Me):
Haven’t heard much of this and it seems a little disorganized, but the first episode explores Chinese-language slang across the Taiwan Strait. It seems to feature a lot of in-jokes and the hosts laughing at how funny they are.
Spotify
Apple Podcast
Soundcloud

股癌 GooAye
Stock podcast. Structured well and brings in a lot of cultural and movie references. 5/5 Recommended
Spotify
Apple Podcast
YouTube

Firstory Lab 最偏激的Podcast
Tried one episode which consisted of a group of guys making fun of the way a female host spoke. Maybe it gets better if you listen from the start?

If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments section below!

Readers Recommend (Update):
WetBoys 潤男的Room recommended by Erik K. (NSFW mens issues)
百靈果 Bailingguo News (bilingual news podcast) and Spotify Podcast Chart recommended by Matthew Ryan
馬力歐陪你喝一杯 DrinkWithMario recommended by William Peregoy (Interviews)
美食關鍵詞 Taster Life recommended by 三qtwn

KMT Protest Against Chen Chu’s Appointment as President of the Control Yuan

KMT supporters protesting Chen Chu’s (陳菊) appointment to the presidency of the Control Yuan, with the slogans 「拒絕酬庸撤換陳菊」 (Reject cronyism, withdraw Chen Chu), 「民主已死,暴政必亡」 (Democracy is dead, tyranny must fall) and 「民心已死,還我民主」(The hopes of the people are dead, give us back our democracy). There was a middling crowd outside the Legislative Yuan in the morning, where KMT legislators occupied the floor. These were taken after work.

Protesters still going on about President Tsai’s doctorate (sigh) on her 2nd inauguration

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People protesting on the morning of President Tsai’s 2nd inauguration. The sign has the not-so-catchy slogan you’d expect from someone who still doesn’t believe that Tsai has a doctorate:「妳有沒有羞恥心 當總統 沒有博士 真騙子」 ‘Don’t you have any shame? Being president without a doctorate, what a cheat’:

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Filing taxes online in Taiwan – Troubleshooting Invalid Date

I’ve seen an increasing amount of very frustrated people on Facebook groups asking for help on a common compatibility error with the e-filing system for alien taxpayers:

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You’ve probably tried a billion things to remedy this error, but on this count, I have to give credit to the designers, who try to notify you of how to solve the problem (well, they could have just avoided the problem but hey, programming is hard):

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Want to go to the club, but no entry and exit certificate handy? Apply online with your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate!

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:

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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:

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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:

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Next, you’ll get your entry records, but they’ll probably be somewhat off-centre as below:

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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:

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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:

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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).

 

Using your Alien Citizen Digital Certificate to Validate the FIDO app

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):

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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):

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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:

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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):

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Then there’s one final screen where you need to complete the process (完成) and you’re ready to go:

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I’ll update soon with what you use the app for!

Know Your Status: Self-Testing for HIV, Order Online Pick Up at Convenience Store

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):

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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):

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After you confirm, you’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire:

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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:

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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.

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:

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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.

 

Covid-19 Cases in Taiwan So Far (Updated July 10)

Two imported.

Found this cool infographic online and thought it would be cool to translate the info provided so far. I can try updating it as the epidemic continues if it doesn’t get completely out of hand here. Same colour means same cluster. You can also view it on Google Drive here.

 

Added a few stats below:

Other COVID-19 related resources can be found below:49565892377_f5a57db0bd_o

Movements of confirmed cases from the crew of the Pan Shi ship have been reported here.

The Medcram series on the coronavirus has calmed me down when panic overwhelms.

The slightly less calming world stats on Worldometers.

The CDC website on which the above tables are based. More recently they’ve been releasing tables in Chinese listing all new cases.

An account of what it’s like to be quarantined in Taiwan from Jonathan Chen.

Tricky Taipei talks to coronavirus quarantiners.

You can also explore this treasure trove.

If you’re having visa issues, you can contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

If you believe you have symptoms of the virus, please call 1922 toll-free (+886 80 000 1922) to arrange a medical visit.