The Taiwan ARC is a resident certificate to stay in Taiwan long-term. Many types of ARCs have varying required documents. You can apply for an ARC inside and outside Taiwan. And their costs range from NT$2,000–NT$4,400.
I’ve lived in Taiwan for more than 3 years and have had to renew my ARC multiple times. I have also gotten numerous ARC types. So I compiled my experience and other information into this guide.
Here are the benefits you’ll get with a Taiwan ARC:
- Live in Taiwan for an extended period.
- Access national health insurance benefits.
- Legal rights to work in Taiwan *.
- Eases the process of opening bank accounts.
- Get driver’s licenses & other essential documents easier.
* Whether you can work in Taiwan depends on the ARC type.
Taiwan’s Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) requires valid passport proof. Applicants need a job, study plan, or marriage to a local. ARC holders must report address changes within 15 days. Violations result in fines.
What Is a Taiwan Alien Resident Certificate?
A Taiwan Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) allows foreign nations to stay in Taiwan for up to 3 years. The duration of your stay will depend on your ARC type.
You can think of an ARC like America’s ‘Green Card.’
Having an ARC doesn’t mean you have permanent residency in Taiwan. Nor does it mean you have working rights. You’ll need an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) for permanent residence.
And for working rights, you’ll need a work permit. Unless you’re married. Then your ARC counts as an open work permit.
Taiwan ARC Types Compared
Taiwan has 9 types of residential visas that include :
|Foreign students||For international students, overseas Chinese students, & studying Mandarin Chinese.||Student visa.|
|Studying Mandarin Chinese|
|Foreign exchange students|
|Overseas Chinese students|
|Marriage||Marrying a Taiwanese person.||NA|
|Entrepreneur||Requires you to get an entrepreneur visa.||Participate in a startup accelerator or start a business.|
|Investment||Invest into an investment fund, business, or other.||Invest $200,000.|
|Religious work||Performing missionary duties.||A religious organization (e.g., church or temple) must invite you.|
|Minors joining family||Anyone under 20 years old joining parents or grandparents in Taiwan.||You’ll have to prove you’re related.|
|Joining foreign spouses (spouses w/ & w/o household registration)|
|White collar workers||Working in Taiwan.||Your company will need to sponsor you.|
Taiwan ARC Extensions
So long as you qualify, apply for a Taiwan ARC extension 30 days before it expires. And extend it for a maximum of 1 year.
When filling out your ARC application, ensure you put a checkmark beside ‘2 ARC EXTENSION.’ You’ll need to pay a NT$1,000 fee to renew your ARC.
After that time passes, marriage ARC holders can just walk in, fill out an application, prove that you’re still married, and wait for your updated ARC.
Degree graduates who want to find a job in Taiwan can get a 1-year job seeking visa extension upon graduating from their university. So can those whose entrepreneur visa didn’t work.
You can get two 6-month (1 year total) job-seeking ARC extensions.
Regarding the entrepreneur visa, write a letter (in English or Chinese) and state that your business didn’t work and that you need to find a job. You’ll also need to submit a separate letter with the same information when applying for the second extension.
Graduates must take graduation diplomas to the Immigration Agency along with their ARC extension application .
Otherwise, you’ll need these items when extending your ARC:
- 2” x 2” photo
- Passport and photocopy of passport’s bio-page
- Your ARC
- ARC application form
- Other supporting documents
You should already have National Health Insurance (NHI). Thus, you won’t have to do anything to renew your insurance support or payments. Just keep paying your bill like normal.
You CANNOT legally work with an ARC extension unless you have a work permit.
ARC extensions contribute to the 5 years required for your Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC). So if you have a 1-year extension, that’s 1 year toward your APRC.
Taiwan ARC Work Permits
If you have a Taiwan Employment Gold Card or a marriage visa, you don’t need separate work permits to work in Taiwan.
Otherwise, if the reason you’re getting a work permit comes from a work visa, you’ll need to get a work permit separately to work in Taiwan legally.
With an entrepreneur visa, you don’t need a separate work permit. But you can only work for yourself.
I will not cover applying for a work permit in this piece because it requires a separate post. So that’s something I’ll write about later.
Taiwan ARC Application Requirements
General requirements for Taiwan’s ARCs include:
|Certificate of Enrollment||Certificate your school gave you upon admission|
|ARC Application||You can fill this out online then print it|
|Application Fee||Fees depend on single-entry vs. multiple entry|
|4.5” x 3.5” Photo||You must have a white background and have taken it within 6 months|
|Other Documents||Required on a case-by-case basis|
|Housing Contract in Taiwan||Copy of contract for apartment you’re renting|
Taiwan resident visa requirements.
Other documents you’ll need for your ARC depend on the type of certificate you’re pursuing. Here are the requirements:
Spousal/dependent ARC: marriage certificate notarized by the Household Registration Department
Students: original and a copy of your admission permit. And a copy of your highest level of education’s transcript. For instance, a high school transcript.
Entrepreneurs: letter of intent and documents requested by the Investment Commission and Ministry of Economic Affairs. Here are the templates and such for the letter of intent.
Minors joining family: photocopy and original birth certificate and marriage certificate for parents. If you have divorced parents, you can only join the parent who has custody over you. You’ll need proof of custody.
Investors: proof of investment. Here’s a checklist of documents you’ll need.
Missionaries: you’ll need a letter of invitation from your religious organization and a means to prove your religious work history.
Interns and workers: your employer will need to provide the required documents.
The Taiwanese government will have the quickest updates regarding ARC requirements. I recommend double-checking required documents on their website before registering for your resident certificate.
Taiwan ARC Renewal Requirements
To renew your ARC, you must meet these requirements:
|Current ARC||Photocopy of both sides + the original card.|
|Passport||Original and copy of bio-page.|
|One 4.5 × 3.6 cm Photo||White background & taken within 6 months.|
|Completed Application||Select “ARC EXTENSION” on the application.|
|Application Fee||Depends on the ARC type you choose.|
You’ll need to bring these documents to your nearest immigration agency. Upon handing your documents to the staff member, they’ll take your ARC card and hand you a receipt.
You won’t get your card back for a couple of weeks. They’ll tell you when to pick it up.
If you need to prove your identity to police or anyone else, show them the ARC.
Once it’s time to pick up your card, go to the immigration center’s cashier counter, show them the receipt, and they’ll grab your card.
You won’t need to say anything. So don’t worry about whether they speak English.
The cashier lines are significantly shorter than waiting to go to a counter (at the Taipei Immigration Agency).
Taiwan ARC Fees
Here are the fees you’ll pay for Taiwan’s resident certificates:
|Type||Fee (NT$)||Fee (USD)|
|Single-Entry Resident Visa||NT$2,000||$66|
|Multiple-Entry Resident Visa||NT$4,000||$132|
|Single-Entry Resident Visa (Applying in Taiwan)||NT$2,200||$73|
|Multiple-Entry Resident Visa (Applying in Taiwan)||NT$4,400||$146|
When applying at the National Immigration Agency, you can pay with cash.
Ways to pay for a Taiwan ARC when filling out an online application include:
- Online ATM
- International bank and credit card: doesn’t support American Express, or China UnionPay
- Convenience stores: 7-Eleven or Family Mart
- Taiwanese bank and credit card
When paying with an international card, you MAY have to pay foreign transaction fees.
How to Apply for a Taiwan ARC
You can apply for a Taiwan ARC in person 15 days after entering Taiwan. Grab an application, fill it out, glue your photo, and grab a number.
You’ll need to wait for the TV to show your number. From there, you’ll go up to a counter and speak to the immigration staff. Hand them your required documents.
They’ll then review your information and eventually hand you a receipt. From there, they’ll tell you to come back at a certain date to pick up your ARC card from the cashier. Or they’ll mail it to your address.
You’ll only have to pay a NT$20 postage fee for them to mail it. That can save money on public transportation.
Try to get to the immigration center as soon as they open. That’s because there are way fewer people. Thus, you won’t have to wait for hours.
One time, I had to wait 4 hours for them to call my number (in Taipei).
Students can apply for an ARC online 15 days before arriving in Taiwan .
Upon finishing your application, you’ll receive a receipt. Download the receipt and print it. Bring the receipt to a Taiwan Immigration center cashier counter to pick up your card when arriving in Taiwan.
How to Contact Taiwan Immigration?
You can email Taiwan’s immigration agency at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can call one of these phone numbers:
|Hotline for Foreigners in Taiwan||1990|
|Automatic Line||(02) 2370-2797|
|Main Line||(02) 2388-9393|
|Manual Line||(02) 2389-9983|
Taiwan’s hotline for foreigners is available 24/7 for English, Japanese, and Mandarin support.
Otherwise, you’ll need to call Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5 pm for support in these languages:
You can’t reach their hotline for foreigners during national holidays.
These lines provide information regarding healthcare, tax, visa renewals, residence permits, and other information for surviving in Taiwan.
Changing the Address on Your ARC
You need to visit the Taiwan Immigration Agency and update your ARC’s address within 15 days of moving to a new address.
Taiwan ARC vs. APRC
|Topic||Taiwan ARC||Taiwan APRC|
|Duration||Valid for 1 to 3 years.||Never expires.|
|Renewal||Renewal is necessary.||Doesn’t need renewal.|
|Work||ARC requires work sponsorship.||Can work anywhere.|
|Exit/Re-entry||ARC holders must apply for a re-entry permit.||No re-entry permit is needed.|
|Dependents||ARC holders can’t sponsor dependents.||Can sponsor dependents.|
|National Health Insurance||ARC offers access after 6 months.||Immediate access.|
Let’s elaborate on these points:
Best for: People staying in Taiwan for a limited period.
- ARC’s validity extends from 1 to 3 years.
- If you exit Taiwan, apply for a re-entry permit.
- After living in Taiwan for 6 months, you can access National Health Insurance.
- You can’t sponsor dependents with an ARC.
- You must have a work sponsor for ARC.
- It needs renewal when it expires.
Best for: Those planning to make Taiwan their long-term or permanent home.
- Never expires.
- on’t need to renew an APRC.
- Can work anywhere in Taiwan.
- Don’t need a re-entry permit to exit/enter Taiwan.
- You can sponsor dependents with an APRC.
- Immediate access to National Health Insurance.
- Transitioning from an ARC to an APRC might interrupt access to the National Health Insurance system.
- Once you get the APRC, you are required to stay in Taiwan for at least 183 days per year.
- You need to live in Taiwan for 5 consecutive years, with more than 183 days spent in-country each year to get APRC.
FAQ: Taiwan ARC
Check out these frequently asked questions about Taiwan’s resident visa.
How Long Is a Taiwan Alien Resident Certificate Good For?
Taiwan ARCs have varying durations. For instance, a marriage visa will last 1 year before requiring a renewal.
How Long Does It Take To Get an ARC in Taiwan?
It’ll take around 2 weeks to get your ARC. Meanwhile, if you’re in Taiwan and need your ID number, use the receipt for your card to prove your identity or get your ARC number.