A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Proced. UPDATED Dec 12

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A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Proced. UPDATED Dec 12

Postby Enigma » Wed Jan 11, 2012 21:47

EDITED: Dec 12, 2012. Current & recent updates in BOLD
Much has recently changed so I suggest a thorough review if you have any doubts
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

An important notice. The Immigration office is now flooded with APRC requests. Maybe a few more days beyond what is mentioned later would be a good idea.

Qualifications:
Do NOT take any layperson's advice on eligibility. You need more than 5 years of non-broken legal residency with ARC in Taiwan and if you have any questions about this, go to no. 1. Although, even if you have an excused overstay, like you signed an apology letter and paid the fine, you may still qualify. It is said later in this thread that this may be possible if your work permit has not expired but you nonetheless overstayed your visa. (As I see it, this would be an unusual situation but anything is possible here.) You may have to have 6 years residency, instead of 5, but it may not have totally re-set the clock. Ask! If you think you may qualify, go to 1. Also, if you have some special and needed talents, you may qualify under other laws. If you think you may qualify with these special talents, check the posts after this one (EigerMarcus post of Feb 3) and the Immigration website mentioned in No. 1.

1. Go to your local immigration office and ask about the possibility of an APRC. If in Taipei area, I suggest the Zhonghe office. They have recently moved from the old Minzu Rd building so check the website for updated information. Here is the main website: http://www.immigration.gov.tw. That site has an English tab at the top and a list of service centers. I suggest calling first because some of the service centers on the English version have changed and that part of the site has not been updated. Ex., The Banqiao office has moved from Minzu Rd to Zhonghe. The old site is still listed on the English version but has changed on the Chinese website.
Have them review all your passports. They will tell you if your eligible and give you the basics of the following list that needs to be completed and submitted. These are some of the most helpful people you will meet in Taiwan. If you are currently eligible, go to No. 4 and skip No. 2 and 3. If you still need the records check from home and the new health check, go to No 2.

NOTE: As of October 25th, if every trip abroad during the five years of continuous residence needed to qualify is under three months, the health check and home country police check are no longer required. However be sure to ask at your local Immigration Office due to some varying experiences. It seems to be in place at the time of this edit but people are getting varying answers at different offices. Be sure to check before you are near an expiring ARC. If you are being told that you still need the home residency records check and a new Type B health report, ask to speak to a supervisor. This new rule has now filtered to, I think, all the immigration offices.

2. U.S:
If you need to get a record of any felony convictions from your home country. Each country is different. In the U.S., it is the FBI and, no, your home state won't cut it anymore. Some countries don't have a unified record like the US, so go to your local Taiwan immigration office to ask what you need to know. Keep in mind that this record is a record of “ARREST AND CONVICTIONS", not arrests that went dismissed and the like and the record is only for the last 5 years. If it's more than 5, it doesn't count. Also, even if you have NOT been home for 5 years, you may still need it.

If needed, start this procedure for the U.S., by going to the FBI website and downloading their fingerprint card. See:
https://www.google.com/search?q=fbi+fin ... 1I7ADRA_en
Stop by a stationary store and get about 5 A4 size white pieces of card stock. Check carefully that is white and doesn't have a patterned surface. As long as it is white card stock and you cant find non patterned surface card stock, which was my case, look on the back side. If it is white with no pattern showing through, it works for prints on the clear white backside.
You need to get the fingerprints properly done. I got no help at my local police station but the immigration office was set up and prepared to assist. The DIY method with a black stamp pad did not give me the results that I needed so I heartily encourage doing it right the first time. You need 2 sets but I would include a 3rd just for safety purposes. No extra charge. Next, send it to FBI at the address on the download. Here is the rub. Where to return? I tried having it returned to my Taiwan address and it got lost. I lost several weeks in getting my APRC. You can do it but I heartily encourage an intermediary in your home country. Put their address on the form. If you do that, there is another form that you need to satisfy that says, the FBI has permission to send it to the 3rd party. I didn't do that but I had very good help from the FBI office by email and got it done correctly. I really can’t comment on the other form but it seems to be needed.

2. CANADA:
PLEASE post the known procedure

2. UK:
You need to get a record of any felony convictions from your home country. Each country is different.
It seems the certificates are issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO for short), their website is here;
http://www.acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx
The forms are downloadable but CANNOT be submitted electronically so snail mail or courier is suggested. All the requirements are listed on the website including the cost (35 UKP for standard service of 10 days). There is however a small hiccup, this is a new process (07-Nov-2011) and has only been approved for use in certain countries, Taiwan is one of the allowed countries but it is written in Cantonese and as such cannot be used for 'official' documentation. So no saving on translation fee's. BTW, ACRO UK is difficult to reach by phone.
ACRO will also require you to apply for a Subject Access request for Taiwan.
The ACRO Criminal Records Office provides Subject Access disclosures on behalf of most police forces in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey and the Isle of Man. There is a £10 charge for this service and the fee includes standard postage to UK addresses or airmail to overseas addresses. Processing your application can take up to 40 days from the date it is received so please ensure you allow sufficient time for your application to be processed. For further information on Subject Access and details of how to make an application please use the below link:
http://www.acro.police.uk/subject_access.aspx
You can also find information about how to apply on your local police force’s website. If not living in the UK the Police Force you would need to contact would be the one with authority over the area where you last lived within the UK.
And true to their word, all the details are obtainable on the aforementioned url, here is an example for the police jusidiction covering one posters jurisidiction.
http://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/about ... ccess.aspx
Then your intermediary needs to be sent to London TECO for certification.
Go to No 3.
(Any updates for UK would be appreciated.)

2. SA:
Please post the known procedures

2. Australia:
A. Get fingerprints done at the NIA. For Taipei city, it's in the basement of the NIA office and costs NT$100. (Enigma is unsure of the number of copies but I suggest at least two. Maybe the website will tell you but always send one more than requested.)
B. Criminal checks need to be done from the Australian Federal Police not state police. To see what documents, fees etc required go to http://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police ... hecks.aspx (A humorous comment really needs to be made here, considering my experiences in Queensland, but I’m trying to stay serious.)
C. Use a proxy for mailing. It saves a lot of hassle if you have someone to do this for you. I suggest that the fingerprints and all documents from the link above be sent to the proxy.
D. The proxy should then send it on to the AFP along with a check for the fee.
E. It takes about 30 days for the results which will be sent back to the proxy.
F . Then have your proxy take or send all the information to the TECO closest to them. They will require an authorization form signed by you before they will certify it. They will tell you where you can go to download the required form. Fill in the form and fax it to TECO. Note that they will accept the information from your proxy but won’t start the process until they get the fax from you so stay on top of it.
G. 2-3 days later the Federales will send the results back to your proxy and your proxy should expedite via Fed Ex, etc, to you.
H. Translate and notarize as explained above. And carry forth to No.3

2. New Zealand:
PLEASE post the known procedure

2. ANY OTHER COUNTRY, including the prefecture. of JAPAN, your intermediary needs to send the form to your local embassy or facsimile thereof, like TECO in D.C. (for U.S.) You can send them to any TECO in the U.S. but they will ultimately end up in D.C. so save some time and send them there yourself. They need to CERTIFY ONLY. This is a one page form that will end up with a TECO stamp on the reverse. Then they need to return it to your intermediary or to you but, again, you run a greater risk of things getting lost and postage issues arise. A call to TECO will give you current information on prices and postage.

3. After your intermediary has received the docs, and you get an email that they have it hand and will expedite it to you, go to Ren'ai Hospital (or any other hospital that does immigration health checks). You will need to request a TYPE B Health Check. This is the same price as the ARC health check. Don’t forget to take a pack of passport size photos, your ARC and passport. The procedure is the same as your last ARC exam but also a check for TB. It takes about an hour from beginning to end. You will be instructed to pick up the health check in 8 days (if I recall correctly)

4. Then go to your local police station and ask for a local records check. Any of them can do it but few speak English so I suggest the Banqiao PD directly behind Fuzchong MRT on the Blue Line. Directions in English and professionals all the way, complete with English speaking attendant. (Pick this doc up in a week)

5. Now wait for the certified document from TECO or your intermediary (if you are being required to get these documents). If sent by expedited mail like FedEx, etc, expect to get it in about 4 days. You may actually receive this before you pick up the health check and local records check.
When it arrives, Go to 6.

6. Take your Home Residency CERTIFIED Criminal Record Report mentioned (if needed) in No 2. and go to any translation service. I paid 500 NT and the translation service gave me the card of a notary. (here is one I know of http://www.minquan-notary.com/p/english ... ation.html.[/b] You can have a friend do the translation but it needs to be VERY accurate. Then take it to the Notary. Last I heard was that AIT charges $50.00 U.S. so I would find a local. Expect to spend another 500 NT then go to 7.

7. Take all these documents, including:
* Home Residency Embassy Certified Records Check Report (if required) and the translation thereof which has been sealed and signed by the notary
* Local police report
* Tax return or A4 receipt of taxes paid in the last calendar year OR a statement of such from your current ARC employer; only one year of tax return is now needed which is a fairly recent change from their previous 5 year requirement. Also keep in mind that your gross income for the last tax year must be double the full time minimum wage requirement which is about 435,000 NT.
* Current work permit from your main ARC sponsor (Note that some people are being told that you need 5 years of work permits and others are being told they only need a current work permit. I only needed my current one. This was at the Zhonghe area branch.
* Type B Health report (if needed)
* ARC
* Passport
* Your packet of pics
to the local immigration office. I think it might be best to call ahead so you don’t have to wait too long. They will go through them making sure that all is in order and tell you to wait for a letter from the main office that all is ok. Expect it to take a week.

8. When the letter arrives, take it to immigration. They will make arrangements for you to pick up your APRC in a day or two. Do so and don’t forget to take 10,000 NT with you.

9. Take you APRC, your passport and your packet of pics to CLA, Yangping N. Section 2, N0 83 (For Taipei). Another 100 NT and you will get a blue form that is your Temporary Work Permit and be told that you will get your permanent Work Permit by mail in about a week. (Be sure that when you get your TWP that you let the employee know to mail it. There seems to be confusion with the guy at the main desk that says they will mail it and the woman that gives the TWP assuming you will pick it up.)
That’s it. Laminate the Work Permit and keep the copy with you and, of course, your new APRC.

10. Take your new APRC and Permanent Work Permit (PWP) to each of your employers and each of your future employers. They will make copies of both sides and have them for their records in the event of a "drop in" from immigration.

11. Take your APRC to EACH of your banks that you are currently using. Do so even if your old ARC has not yet expired. (Most banks know it has expired because you no longer have one. You have an APRC and so you may get off from ATM withdrawals. ALL banks will review your account occasionally and may cut off your withdrawals either here or abroad. (when you likely need it the most)

12. Note that if you become self employed, retire or are getting paid in cash and are responsible for paying your taxes and other deductions, i.e., you do not actually have an employer deducting medical insurance for you, you need a health card from NHI based upon your APRC. Get one with your APRC or under any of the conditions previously mentioned in this update. I got mine in Taipei but If you go to there website at http://www.nhi.gov.tw, you will find locations for other offices in central and southern Taiwan. I used the Main Office of National Health Insurance Office in Taipei to apply. After becoming unemployed, retired or self employed, NHI takes about 2 months to deactivate your old card because they aren't getting paid so you are removed from the system. Thus, if you need a doctor visit, take a wad of cash. Solution for Taipei:

Go to Taipei Main Station and exit at exit 8. Outside, turn left and go to the next street (flashing yellow). Go to the next stoplight and cross. Look for the logo and name in Chinese and English on the sign at the top of the building at the next stoplight. Cross and the NHI building is just across the street on the corner. Probably a 3-4 minute walk from the exit. Here is the address in English and Chinese:

5th fl., No. 15, Gang Yuan Rd., Taipei.
(台北市中正區公園路15 號5樓)


Don't bother with the information desk at the entrance. Go straight to 5th floor and the information counter is right in front of you. Look to the right at the counter and you will then see the English Speaking Information counter to your right and behind you. Lucia was the only one capable of helping unless your Chinese is better than mine. She helped with the form, took me to another counter to pay and fill out another form. Then, They took my old card based on my old employer's account and cancelled it. 100 NT for the new card. 15 minute wait and I had my new card. You need to take a passport photo, your APRC and old health card if you have one.
Don't let anyone convince you to go to the post office. That is for replacing a lost card only. You waste 100 NT. Experience talking here. However, if this does happen, and you have your post office receipt, they will honor it at NHI. Also, if you have had to go to doc and had to pay full amount, keep your receipt and take the receipt to the hospital where you had your service and had to pay full amount. The cashier will refund on the spot if done within 7 days (not counting weekends and National holidays) If over 7 days, go to the NHI 7th floor and they will pay you back the difference between NHI insured and what you had to pay. Also, only one of the elevators will go to 7th so make sure you look before getting on. If wait more than the 7 day, it will take about 30 days for them to get you the funds. Expect to pay quarterly from your date of application. It seems to take some time to get your first bill. It has been 2 months for me so far but a call to NHI confirmed that I should get it soon.

In the event you renew your passport, the new passport number will be different so you will need to update your APRC (easy), and your PWP (also easy). I'm not currently certain if you need to update the bank account information and health card but probably so.

Changes are currently happening very quickly but I would like to keep this current so if I have omitted a step or any suggestion, please let us know.
Please, if people from other countries can add their procedures, especially for the records check from home, I’m sure it would be appreciated.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 1/1

Postby EigerMarcus » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:29

I will just add a comment regarding the calculation of the five years and eligibility. If you have an overstay of less than thirty days that you remedied at the time then this may not reset your clock but rather one could lose one year of earned eligibility - so one would require six years rather than the five. This is per Article 31 of the Immigration Act. There is qualifying language in the Article regarding the overstay so it may not apply to everyone but it should apply where the ARC/visa had expired but the work permit had not.

The best and only advice though is not to take anyone's word on eligibility to start but for that of the folks at your local immigration office. And as Enigma noted, the staff in the Banqiao office are some of the most helpful people in Taiwan.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 1/1

Postby cubewarrior » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:40

I am always a little confused about the criminal record check from one's home country, what do you do if you have not been back for more than 5 years?

Also, I believe the requirements are shorter and less complicated if you are applying for an APRC as a 'needed' professional.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 1/1

Postby EigerMarcus » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:03

1. The criminal record check is required for your APRC no matter how long you have been away from your home country - one of those quirks.

2. The requirements for APRC applications of Senior Professionals and Investment Immigrants (Plum Blossom APRC ) are different overall from the regular APRC requirements and may be found here: http://goo.gl/2YXB3

EDIT: 3. Details on applying for the Card Application for Outstanding Foreign Talents (non-APRC) may be found here: http://goo.gl/N867s
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 1/1

Postby Enigma » Fri Feb 03, 2012 17:38

This quirk of a records check needs to get changed. How in the hell can I be arrested and convicted of a crime in my home country in the last 5 years if I haven't been there in 10 years. I guess it's just a "bright line" rule that ends a lot of questions. Strange but it is what it is.
Thx for the extra input. I'm not sure how to add it to the compendium but I tried.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 1/1

Postby cubewarrior » Fri Feb 03, 2012 21:58

Enigma wrote:This quirk of a records check needs to get changed. How in the hell can I be arrested and convicted of a crime in my home country in the last 5 years if I haven't been there in 10 years. I guess it's just a "bright line" rule that ends a lot of questions. Strange but it is what it is.
Thx for the extra input. I'm not sure how to add it to the compendium but I tried.


Better yet, try making sense of the UK requirements for obtaining a police record check :cry:
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/3

Postby Enigma » Sat Feb 04, 2012 17:38

Actually, I am hoping that some good Brit will post how to get it done.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/3

Postby Wah Um Dzai » Sat Feb 04, 2012 19:53

Enigma wrote:I would like to keep this current so if I have omitted a step or any suggestion, please let us know.


Has the NIA change the limitation on the validity period of the ccrd from the applicant's home country? It used to be 3 months which, with the stop by TECO for stamping and the third party handling that you mention, made it pretty near impossible to acquire it by mail and submit it on time.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/3

Postby Enigma » Sat Feb 04, 2012 20:05

Good question. I am told it's now 6 months but, on the safe side ask at immigration. It seems to me that about 10 years ago, the record had to be within 30 days which was near impossible. 6 months now I think but - ask! I'm sure it is at least 3 months so not bad.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/3

Postby Wah Um Dzai » Sat Feb 04, 2012 20:28

Enigma wrote:Good question. I am told it's now 6 months but, on the safe side ask at immigration. It seems to me that about 10 years ago, the record had to be within 30 days which was near impossible. 6 months now I think but - ask! I'm sure it is at least 3 months so not bad.


Five years ago it was still something ridiculous like that, and given the foot-dragging of the RCMP in Canada and the fact that it had to be verified by TECO, it was near impossible to do by mail. I expedited the process by doing it all in person on a trip back home.

I was just asking for a kiwi friend who is slowly starting to gather his documents who brought it up in conversation recently.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/3

Postby Enigma » Sun Feb 05, 2012 00:35

I understand the frustration. Stear him here. Everything is the same except for the records check. I lived on the Gold Coast for a couple of years and I think the process is very similar.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/3

Postby Just Jennifer » Mon Feb 06, 2012 00:31

Thanks for this very helpful topic!

Is the procedure the same if I'm married to an ROC national? I have an ARC based on marriage and not employment so is there something else that I submit, like the household registry? WRT to taxes, I'm pretty sure we file jointly (I give him earnings statements and he does whatever needs to be done with them) so I would submit our most recent one, correct?

Off topic but what is the cut off date for filing tax returns here?
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/6

Postby Enigma » Mon Feb 06, 2012 16:37

Jennifer, I think the changing from a JFRV to an APRC is a good idea in any event. You have more safequards in the event of spousal death or divorce (heaven forbid). Ask at immigration for guidance.
The tax thing is, I think May 1, but it may be 15th but I very uncertain. Somebody else know for certain? I file mine asap so I have never come close to the deadline. Return gets to your bank account on or very near to August 1.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/6

Postby EigerMarcus » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:27

The deadline for filing your Taiwan tax return is the end of May.
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Re: A Consolidated Compendium of APRC Procedures UPDATED 2/6

Postby rogue » Tue Feb 07, 2012 16:13

What if I haven't worked for the last year?? Does my husbands tax return count?
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