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Taiwan to launch new ID numbering format for foreign nationals in 2021

A new numbering system for Alien Resident Certificates will take effect Jan. 2, 2021 as part of ongoing government efforts to create a friendly environment for foreign nationals living in Taiwan, the Ministry of the Interior said Dec. 16.

According to MOI’s National Immigration Agency, identification numbers on current ARCs are composed of two English letters followed by eight digits, which is different from the format on national IDs for ROC (Taiwan) citizens comprising one English letter and nine digits.

Under the new system, which shares the same numbering approach as IDs for locals, the first English letter will correspond to the administrative region issuing the card, while the second letter will be replaced by the number eight for males and nine for females.

The NIA said the change is in response to suggestions by business groups such as the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan and American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei calling for measures to make foreigners’ daily lives more convenient. It has also launched a short video announcing the change in English, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Not only is the new system expected to enhance the sense of belonging for foreign residents, it will also facilitate purchases and services through websites unable to accept the old numbers, the agency added.

The NIA said current ARC cards will remain in effect until their expiration dates, with all such IDs nullified by Jan. 1, 2031. (SFC-E)