|Republic of China (Taiwan) Resident Certificate
Zhōnghuá Mínguó jūliú zhèng
A sample Taiwan Area Resident Certificate
|Issued by||National Immigration Agency|
|Valid in||Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|Purpose||For foreign residents, unregistered nationals|
|Eligibility requirements||Foreign residents, unregistered nationals|
|Cost||NT$1,000 per year|
A Resident Certificate (Chinese: 居留證; pinyin: jūliú zhèng) is the identification card issued to residents of the Republic of China (Taiwan and associated islands) who do not hold a National Identification Card, namely foreigners and ROC nationals who do not have household registration in the Taiwan Area.
The Alien Resident Certificate (Chinese: 外僑居留證; pinyin: waiqiao jūliú zhèng), or ARC, is given to foreign residents in Taiwan, while the nearly identical Taiwan Area Resident Certificate (Chinese: 台灣地區居留證; pinyin: Taiwan diqu jūliú zhèng), or TARC, is given to nationals of the Republic of China resident in Taiwan without National Identification Cards, namely overseas Chinese, recently naturalized nationals, and residents of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau (i.e. nationals of the People's Republic of China).
Alien Resident Certificate
There are various methods of qualifying for an ARC, including undertaking sanctioned employment with a work permit, joining family members (including parents, children and spouses) who are themselves legal residents in the Republic of China, undertaking missionary work, investing in a local business, or studying at an approved institution. The relevant authorities may also choose to grant an ARC to foreigners who fit none of the above categories on an ad hoc basis. The ARC is issued by the National Immigration Agency.
The document itself is a plastic credit card-sized card with an embedded integrated circuit containing confidential personal data, and costs the applicant NT$1,000 per year. The electronic ARC cards replaced a paper version in 2007–8, and were intended to "not only bring new convenience to foreigners but would also contribute to the government's anti-forgery and anti-terrorism drives." As of October 2009 around 60,000 foreign residents have yet to exchange their old paper ARCs for a new IC card. The paper cards will be phased out on February 1, 2010. A multiple entry permit is now included on the card, whereas previously it was stamped separately in the holder's passport. The applicant may apply for a maximum of three years validity for the ARC, with some categories (for example missionary work or study) being limited to a maximum of one year at a time. Some types of ARC (Joining Family or Teaching) require a medical examination conducted at an approved hospital. Besides entitling the bearer to remain in Taiwan for the duration of the certificate's validity, the ARC is also needed to apply for an ROC driving licence.
There is also an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (Chinese: 外僑永久居留證; pinyin: Waiqiao Yǒngjiǔ Jūliú Zhèng), or APRC available. To obtain the APRC, residence (classed as 183 days or more in a year) must have been maintained for five years. Other conditions apply, including meeting minimum salary or assets requirements, and a criminal record check carried out in the applicant's home country. The fee for an APRC is NT$10,000, and the holder must either remain in the country for 183 days per year or else arrange an exemption with the National Immigration Agency in order to maintain permanent residency. The APRC card itself does not carry an expiration date and thus renewals are not required.  The law permitting permanent residency was established in 1999, and the first APRCs were issued in 2000.
Taiwan Area Resident Certificate
The TARC is issued to ROC nationals resident in Taiwan who do not have household registration in Taiwan. Establishing household registration is required for a national over 14 years of age to possess a National Identification Card. Since the nationality law of the Republic of China makes no provision for "citizens" (公民) but merely defines those with ROC nationality as "nationals" (國民), ROC law makes a distinction between "registered nationals" (有戶籍國民) and "unregistered nationals" (無戶籍國民), with the former having the right of abode, right to vote, and other benefits of citizenship, while the latter are subject to deportation from Taiwan and need an entry permit to visit Taiwan. While "registered nationals" are entitled to hold the National Identification Card, "unregistered nationals" may only hold the TARC. Both groups are eligible to hold the Republic of China passport.
For adult "unregistered nationals" to become "registered nationals", and thus eligible for an ROC ID Card, they must reside in Taiwan for a certain period of time, during which they will hold a TARC instead of an ID Card. Currently, for "unregistered nationals" who have direct lineal relatives who are "registered nationals" (e.g. overseas-born Taiwanese) and foreigners who have naturalized as ROC nationals, this period is (1) continuously for one year, (2) 270 days per year for two years, or (3) 183 days per year for five years.
Academic and Business Travel Card
With the stated aim of attracting exceptional foreign professionals to Taiwan, the government established an Academic and Business Travel Card in 2009. The card is valid for three years and entitles the bearer to stay in the country for 30 days at a time, with multiple entry permission and priority queueing at immigration when entering and leaving the country. While in Taiwan, the holder can conduct academic or business affairs.
- "Information for Foreigners-ARC". National Immigration Agency.
- "Gemalto Delivers Electronic Alien Resident Cards to Taiwan". Reuters. June 4, 2008.
- "NIA introduces new IC alien resident certificate". Taipei Times.
- "60,000 foreigners have yet to obtain IC cards". China Post. 2009-10-16.
- "Driving in Taiwan". American Institute in Taiwan.
- "Information for Foreigners-APRC". National Immigration Agency.
- "Permanent Residency Status: Is It Worth It?" (PDF). Winkler Partners.
- "Card Application for Outstanding Foreign Talents". National Immigration Agency.