ARCs Will Get New Numbering System

During an interview with AmCham Taipei’s Taiwan Business TOPICS about immigration, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung disclosed that the current coding format for Alien Residence Certificates (ARCs) – two letters from the English alphabet followed by eight Arabic numerals – will be changed to conform with the coding format of Taiwan’s National Identity Card number issued to citizens. This change to one letter from the English alphabet followed by nine Arabic numerals is designed to provide greater convenience to foreign nationals living in Taiwan, providing another incentive for them to stay, the Minister said.

After the revision, foreign nationals will be able to shop online, book tickets, and register for medical care or various types of membership using the same procedure as Taiwanese nationals. The Ministry of the Interior says it will coordinate with other ministries and important industrial and commercial groups to help integrate the various information systems and facilities of the public and private sectors.

Join AIT Director Moy for His Final U.S. Citizen Town Hall   

AIT Director Kin Moy would like to invite you to a U.S. citizen town hall on Tuesday, May 15th from 7 – 8 pm at The Taipei American School (TAS).  This will be Director Moy’s final U.S. citizen town hall before completing his tenure as AIT Director.  Director Moy will answer your questions and share his reflections on U.S.-Taiwan relations.  We’ll tell you more about the services we provide for U.S. citizens, and consular officers will be on hand to provide off-site notarial services, accept passport renewal applications, and assist with absentee voting registration after the town hall meeting.*

When: Tuesday, May 15th at 7 pm (please plan to arrive at TAS at 6:30pm as you will have to pass through security before entering the school grounds).  Light refreshments will be served.

Where: The Taipei American School Harmony (Small) Theater (2nd floor– follow the signs from the main entrance)
No. 800, Section 6, Zhongshan N Rd, Shilin District, Taipei
There is no campus parking available, but there are several public lots in the vicinity.  Please consider taking public transportation.

Who:  All U.S. citizen travelers/residents are invited, so tell your friends!
This event will be off the record.  No filming or recording, please.

How: Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 9th to TaipeiACS@state.govA U.S. passport will be required for entry.

*Services the AIT will provide:

  • Notary Services
  • Passport Renewals
  • Absentee Voter Assistance

Note: Payment for Services by Local Bank Draft in USD Only, No Cash Payment will be accepted

The AIT can only provide the services listed above.

For all other services, please come visit us: https://www.ait.org.tw/u-s-citizen-services/scheduling-appointments/

Payment for services must be made by local bank draft (Cashier’s Check) in U.S. Dollars (本地銀行的美金匯票) payable to “American Institute in Taiwan” with no other amendments or notations (such as “Not Negotiable”).  We regret that we will be unable to provide services without payment by local bank draft at the time of the visit.  Please ensure that your bank draft is for the exact cost of your services.  Minor child passport renewals cost $115; adult passport renewals cost $110; first-time or lost adult passport replacements cost $145; all notary services are $50 per notary signature. More details of the fee schedules can be found here.

For passport renewal information and required documents for adults and children under 16 years of age, please refer to AIT’s website.  To renew a child’s passport, the child and both parents must be present.

All applicants must prepare A-4 sized photocopies of all required documents before submitting the passport application.

For passport renewals, the passport will be ready in about three weeks and will be sent to the applicant by courier.  The previous passport will be cancelled and returned to the applicant on-site.

U.S. Citizens Are Invited to the Voting Assistance Workshop on March 9, 2018

Your vote counts! Make sure your voice is heard in the 2018 mid-term elections!

Are you a U.S. Citizen in Taiwan who would like to vote in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections from Taiwan? The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is hosting a Voting Assistance Workshop on Friday, March 9, 2018 and you are invited!

Participation in the electoral process, regardless of political affiliation, is a right of citizenship that ties us together as Americans. Voting overseas is simpler than you may think. Because each state has different requirements, however, it’s important to understand the process and make sure you are properly registered. This workshop will provide participants with the information, resources, and tools needed to successfully participate in the electoral process from overseas.

The Voting Assistance Workshop is an interactive, hands-on training session led by a Washington-based official of the Federal Voters Assistance Program. Come join AIT officers and community volunteers to learn how to exercise your electoral rights – and gets certified to teach others how to do it too!

When: March 9 (Friday) from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. (Please plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early as you will have to pass through security before entering the venue.)

Where: The American Center

Suite 2101, 21st Floor, International Trade Building

No. 333, Keelung Road, Section 1, Taipei City

* Parking is limited in the neighborhood, so participants may find it more convenient to use public transportation or taxis.

Who: All U.S. citizen resident in Taiwan are invited.

How: Please RSVP by March 1 (Thursday) to TaipeiACS@state.gov. A U.S. passport will be required for entry.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop on March 9th!

Introducing the New “Employment Gold Card”

Creation of the Employment Gold Card for foreign special professionals was an important measure in the recently enacted “Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals” designed to help create a friendly environment for foreign professionals to work and stay in Taiwan. The Employment Gold Card has been open for application since February 8.

Foreign special professionals are defined as important corporate executives and those with recognized expertise in designated fields. The Employment Gold Card combines the functions of a work permit, residency visa, alien residence certificate (ARC), and re-entry permit. Holders of the card will enjoy greater flexibility in seeking, taking up and changing employment, including a longer term of validity of their work permits.

The National Development Council welcomes recommendations of potential candidates eligible for the Card. See the criteria for eligibility – 20180205 Criteria for Foreign Special Professionals

Global Entry Interviews to be conducted in Taiwan from January 18 – 24, 2018

Since the Global Entry program was expanded to Taiwan passport holders on November 1, 2017, demand for this program in Taiwan has skyrocketed.  In response to this high demand, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in conjunction with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), will be conducting a Global Entry enrollment event in Taipei, January 18 – 24, 2018.  Taiwan passports holders and U.S. citizens in Taiwan can take advantage of this event to interview with CBP in Taiwan and conveniently join Global Entry.

EVENT:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection Interviews for Global Entry
DATES
:  January 18 – 24, 2018
LOCATION
:  American Institute in Taiwan – Taipei
No. 7, Ln. 134, Sec. 3, Xinyi Rd., Da’an Dist. Taipei City 10659, Taiwan

Address in Mandarin:
美國在台協會台北辦事處
106 台北市信義路三段134巷7號

Global Entry interviews in Taiwan will be offered to applicants (1) who have been conditionally approved for Global Entry and (2) who have scheduled an interview for the Taiwan location.  Those interested in this program should visit CBP’s Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) website to start the application process and schedule an interview: https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov.

To be conditionally approved in time to schedule an interview with CBP in Taiwan during the January 18 – 24 interview period, applications for Global Entry must be submitted online no later than January 4, 2018.

On November 1, 2017, Taiwan became the 12th partner worldwide and 3rd in East Asia whose passport holders are eligible to enroll in Global Entry.  Currently available at 54 U.S. airports and 15 Preclearance locations around the world, Global Entry streamlines the international arrivals process at airports for trusted travelers. More than 4.7 million Global Entry members bypass traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk to complete their admission to the United States. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.

Information for Taiwan passport holders on applying for the Global Entry program and scheduling an interview in Taipei January 18-24 can be found on AIT’s Global Entry webpage: https://www.ait.org.tw/global-entry

Visit CBP’s Global Entry website for complete information on the Global Entry Program.

 

This Press Release is also available on the AIT website at:

https://www.ait.org.tw/category/press-releases/

U.S. Permanently Authorizes APEC Business Travel Card

Following successful lobbying by APCAC (the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce), the U.S. Congress recently passed legislation to permanently authorize the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC). Aimed at facilitating business travel for U.S. citizens and government officials engaged in verified business in the APEC region, the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card enables access to fast-track immigration lanes at airports in the 21 APEC member economies. Users of the APEC Business Travel Card must also be participating in a Customs and Border Patrol trusted traveler program. APEC Business Travel Card users enjoy pre-cleared, facilitated, short-term entry to participating member economies, reducing costs and waiting times.

For more information on the APEC Business Travel Card, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

A Message for U.S. Citizens: Notice Regarding Social Security Services

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has consolidated its overseas operations into several regional offices that provide a full range of SSA services for U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States.  Effective October 1, 2017, individuals residing in Taiwan who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in the Philippines, rather than the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

Please be advised that as of October 1, AIT can no longer accept telephone calls, emails, or walk-in consultations regarding Social Security issues.

For more information or any questions about the services provided at the FBU in the Philippines and how to contact them, please visit their webpage at: https://ph.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/. You can also reach them at (632) 301-2000 ext. 9, or FBU.Manila@ssa.gov.

For comprehensive information on SSA’s services abroad, please visit SSA’s webpage, “Service Around the World.”

If you are already receiving SSA benefits payments, there will be no change in the method of distribution of those payments.