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APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Short-term and long-term visas, application requirements, waiting times, advantages and disadvantages of stay vs. resident visas, who needs an ARC, and why do people opt for permanent residency
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Chris » 02 Dec 2009, 00:00

For the FBI background check, do I have to go to the US and do it, or could I get it done while I am in Taiwan? What kind of time scales are we talking about here? (How long does it take between submitting the forms to the FBI and getting the documents from them?)

Also, for the five-year residency requirement: is that five calendar years? Or five years from my first time of entry (provided no absences of over 6 months blah blah blah)? I came in September 2004.
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Northcoast Surfer » 02 Dec 2009, 00:37

Chris wrote:For the FBI background check, do I have to go to the US and do it, or could I get it done while I am in Taiwan? What kind of time scales are we talking about here? (How long does it take between submitting the forms to the FBI and getting the documents from them?)
You don't need to go to the US and do it. You can get it done while you're here in Taiwan. I just finished mine and it was easy easy easy.

1. Go to the FBI website which has all the information you need to know about applying for your background check. FBI RECORD IDENTIFICATON REQUEST

2. Download the FBI's standard fingerprint form (FD-258) from their website. It's in PDF format and not protected so you can easily use the computer to type in your information. Then, print it out onto to a standard A4 card stock. Don't use regular paper. Card stock, card stock, card stock. Make three copies in case the fingerprinting technician screws up.

3. Take the fingerprint cards you made to the National Immigration Agency. You need to pay $100NTD first, then take the receipt and the fingerprint cards to the technician for fingerprinting. Relax, let them roll your fingers just like the time you were arrested and the police....etc.......

4. Go back to the FBI's web page and download their easy peasy credit card payment form. It's also in PDF format. Fill it out. Print it out.

5. Go back to the FBI's web page and downoad their easy peasy coverletter for requesting your background check. It's not protected so you can type your information on it, too. Print it out.

6. Get a nice mailing envelope and put all three standard fingerprint forms (FD-258), your credit card payment form, your coverletter requesting a background check into it.

7. Go to the post office and send that bad boy off to the FBI's processing center.

FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

The FBI's website says that the processing time is 8-10 weeks upon receiving your package. I just sent mine off, so I don't have any more I can tell you about "time frame". However, one tip you should remember. Have the FBI send the completed background check to your address in the US, not Taiwan. Why? Because you need to get it translated into Chinese, then send the original FBI background with the Chinese translation off to the DC TECO to be certified, and then have the DC TECO send it to you in Taiwan where you can use it. So, here's what I'm going to do.

1. Request has been sent off to the FBI.
2. They will send it to me at my residence in America. Remember, the FBI will not and can't send your background check to anyone else but you! Dont' ask, they won't do it.
3. I will tell "myself" to open the background check when it arrives at my address in America, scan it and email me the scan so I can have it translated into Chinese. Afterward, I will email the Chinese translation back to America where it will be printed out by "myself". I will have "myself" put the Chinese Translation with the original FBI background check into an envelope and send it off to the DC TECO to be certified. I will also pay the highest cost for express certification and mail service so it will get to Taiwan as fast as possible.
4. Then I will submit my completed, certified by the DC TECO, FBI background check and Chinese translation to the Ministry of the Interior for final processing.
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Northcoast Surfer » 02 Dec 2009, 00:43

Chris wrote:Also, for the five-year residency requirement: is that five calendar years? Or five years from my first time of entry (provided no absences of over 6 months blah blah blah)? I came in September 2004.
I don't get it. What's the difference? :oops:

In order to apply for the APRC you need to be a continuous resident (ARC holder) in Taiwan for the past 5 years. During this time you can't have any breaks in resident visa status. For example. You can't have a working ARC for two years, then it expires, you leave Taiwan for 2 months, you come back on a 2 month visitor visa, then process a working ARC again, etc.

You must maintain a resident ARC, either an employment based ARC or a JFRV ARC (marriage based), for 5 continuous years and reside in Taiwan for at least a minimum of 183 days per year for each of those 5 years that you maintain ARC residency status.

Disclaimer - Unless the laws have been changed since July 3, 2009.
Northcoast Surfer wrote:I just got off the phone with the immigration department in Banqiao and here's the answer they gave on July 3, 2009 at 16:00. Here's the phone number in case anyone else wants to call and ask. 8964-7960 ext. 202.

1. The basic time qualification for people who have a Taiwanese spouse to apply for the APRC is FIVE YEARS of marriage.

2. The basic time qualification for people who have an employment based ARC to apply for the APRC is FIVE YEARS. It used to be seven years, but the law was amended and the new five year requirement took effect August 1, 2008.
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby A-ha » 02 Dec 2009, 11:00

Chris wrote:Also, for the five-year residency requirement: is that five calendar years? Or five years from my first time of entry (provided no absences of over 6 months blah blah blah)? I came in September 2004.

No Chris, it is not a calendar year. It starts from when your 1st ARC/work permit was issued. If you go to your NIA office with your ARC, they will be able to tell you immediately on which date you will qualify. :) Good luck, it is a lot easier than it seems. Just plan well.
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Northcoast Surfer » 02 Dec 2009, 13:22

A-ha wrote:
Chris wrote:Also, for the five-year residency requirement: is that five calendar years? Or five years from my first time of entry (provided no absences of over 6 months blah blah blah)? I came in September 2004.

No Chris, it is not a calendar year. It starts from when your 1st ARC/work permit was issued. If you go to your NIA office with your ARC, they will be able to tell you immediately on which date you will qualify. :) Good luck, it is a lot easier than it seems. Just plan well.
:oops: Duh!!! I feel so stupid for my earlier response! A-ha, thanks for answering Chris' question correctly! I must have been really tired last night when I made my postings.
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Mucha Man » 02 Dec 2009, 14:02

A-ha wrote:
Chris wrote:Also, for the five-year residency requirement: is that five calendar years? Or five years from my first time of entry (provided no absences of over 6 months blah blah blah)? I came in September 2004.

No Chris, it is not a calendar year. It starts from when your 1st ARC/work permit was issued. If you go to your NIA office with your ARC, they will be able to tell you immediately on which date you will qualify. :) Good luck, it is a lot easier than it seems. Just plan well.


If I want to ask questions do I just go to the NIA office and ask? Should I make an appointment?
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Chris » 02 Dec 2009, 15:18

Northcoast Surfer wrote:
Chris wrote:Also, for the five-year residency requirement: is that five calendar years? Or five years from my first time of entry (provided no absences of over 6 months blah blah blah)? I came in September 2004.
I don't get it. What's the difference? :oops:


The term "calendar year" refers to a full Jan 1 - Dec. 31 cycle, regardless of date of entry.

The difference is as follows (my date of entry being Sep. 15, 2004):

Years from date of entry:
My five years are completed Sep. 14, 2009.

Calendar years:
My five years are completed Dec. 31, 2009. (i.e. the five calendar years of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

Anyway, it looks like my question has been answered.

I'm going to be in the US this spring: I should time it so I can receive the FBI documents at my folks' place, then translate it myself, and go in person to the San Francisco TECO and get it processed there. Give me an excuse to visit Chinatown!
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Northcoast Surfer » 02 Dec 2009, 16:09

Mucha Man wrote:If I want to ask questions do I just go to the NIA office and ask? Should I make an appointment?
I always give them a call first. Saves a lot of hassle. The phone number and the extension 8964-7960 ext. 202 goes directly to the person who is in charge of processing APRCs in the Banqiao office. When someone answers, just tell them that you are interested in applying for the APRC, but you have a couple questions first. If you are polite, they are very polite and helpful. I call them often to find out about changes in laws and policies as it pertains to applying for the APRC and they've never been anything but helpful. :bow:
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Northcoast Surfer » 02 Dec 2009, 16:32

Chris wrote:The term "calendar year" refers to a full Jan 1 - Dec. 31 cycle, regardless of date of entry.

The difference is as follows (my date of entry being Sep. 15, 2004):

Years from date of entry:
My five years are completed Sep. 14, 2009.

Calendar years:
My five years are completed Dec. 31, 2009. (i.e. the five calendar years of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).
Thanks. However, there is one thing to note. It's 5 years of continuous residency from the date you acquired either an employment based ARC or the date you acquired a JFRV based ARC. Not date of entry into Taiwan. You know that right?

So, if your working ARC or JFRV ARC has the date September 15, 2004 stamped on it, then you are correct that your first eligibility would be five years later as long as you resided in Taiwan for at least 183 days for all of the five years in question, and that you can show enough annual income or overall assets, etc. (on or about September 15, 2009)

Here's my story for example.

1. I arrived in Taiwan on August 5, 2000.

2. I applied for employment on August 30, 2000 and submitted my paperwork for an employment based ARC. I began working illegally on September 1, 2000 and continued to do so until my employment based ARC arrived.

3. Beginning October 10, 2000 (the date on my employment based ARC) I was working legally. My residency for APRC began on October 10, 2000 (the date of my ARC) and not on my date of entry of August 5, 2000.

4. In April 2001, I married a Taiwanese and changed my employment based ARC to a marriage ARC (JFRV) without a break in residency.

5. On about October 10, 2005, I applied for the APRC for the first time. That's 5 years of total residency, and I met all other requirements and I should have been approved. It was denied. Reason given was that I had a change in status from employment based ARC for one year to marriage ARC (JFRV) for only 4 years. They refused to add the employment based ARC to the JFRV ARC to give me the total 5 years. I appealed as high as I could go and it was still denied. This was the era of the FAP and not the current National Immigration Agency, so perhaps you'll be treated differently if your case is similar to mine. However, I've heard similar cases to mine being denied by them as well.

6. I couldn't apply for the APRC in April 2006 although I finally had 5 years of continuos residency under the same visa status. Why? Because I had to wait for the official tax forms for 2005 and taxes hadn't even been filed yet. So, I waited until summer 2006 to apply and this time it passed without a hitch. Of course I had to acquire all the necessary police background checks, translations, endorsements, etc, all over again...but I was quite good at it by this time.

So. It's not date of entry into Taiwan, Republic of China that is important. It's the date printed right on the front of your ARC and the only ARCs that count are JFRV marriage or employment. Student ARCs are not counted. Hope this helps.
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Re: APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)

Postby Chris » 02 Dec 2009, 16:53

Northcoast Surfer wrote:However, there is one thing to note. It's 5 years of continuous residency from the date you acquired either an employment based ARC or the date you acquired a JFRV based ARC. Not date of entry into Taiwan. You know that right?

Ah, yes: I got my JFRV very soon after arriving here. It was issued Oct. 26, 2004.
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