I just got my APRC and I documented my every move to help my best friend here who will be getting his next year. So I was the guinea pig. I then thought it would be nice to make it available for anyone who is trying to get their APRC. So here is my experience. I live in Taoyuan, but I’m sure it would be pretty much the same wherever you are located in Taiwan. I am sure the time line and the cost of the entire procedure will vary a bit for everyone, but this is what happened to me. Northcoast Surfer helped me the entire way, so if you have any questions he is the God of the APRC process. You can always ask me questions too. Good luck!! Oh and sorry for any grammatical errors, I am only a cram school English teacher.
APRC Procedure and Cost
Total time for me
About 4 months from starting the procedure to holding my APRC in my hand.
Total cost for me
$5,000nt (application process, you could probably get this cost down a bit)
$10,000nt (APRC Processing fee)
1. Getting Started
First thing first, just go to your local National Immigration Agency and make sure you are eligible to apply for your APRC. This will be the same place you went to renew your ARC. Talk with an agent, do your research first and ask as many questions as you can. The agent will give you an application form, but I didn’t fill this out until the day before I had my interview. Sometimes the NIA changes some of the regulations, so make sure you have all the up to date info. You should be able to find everything here. Don’t rely on the Internet to answer your questions, just call your agent.
$150nt Passport Photos 4.5X3.5Cm face 3.2-3.6Cm
I got 12 photos just to be safe, but I only used about 4-5 of them. Go to any photo developing store and get passport photos done.
$40nt A3 Card stock paper for your FBI fingerprints
I got this paper at a local bookstore (4 large sheets just to be safe.) The FBI recommends using card stock paper because it is stronger and the fingerprints won’t smear as easily as regular paper. I didn’t know what card stock paper was, but it is just heavier thicker paper than normal. It is pretty much like construction paper. Go to your local stationery or book store and pick out some nice white stock card paper. Make sure it is not glossy. Then go home and cut them down to standard US letter size 8.5X11. Go to the FBI’s website and print off a fingerprinting form on your card stock paper. I printed 3 forms just to be safe. I had never done any fingerprinting before, so better safe than sorry. Print 3 forms!!
2. Fingerprinting Procedure
$300nt Fingerprinted at the NIA (each form you fingerprint costs $100nt.)
This was my experience the Taoyuan NIA, I’m sure it would be the same anywhere else. Don’t forget your passport and your fingerprint forms. If you are in Taoyuan go to:
Xian Fu Rd 1st Floor #106
Taoyuan County, Taoyuan
Enter into the first floor where you get your ARC at the Taoyuan NIA. You’re supposed to take a number and wait in line to pay the $100nt, but I just went up to an agent when I had a chance instead of waiting and cut in line and paid because the line was too long. Take your receipt; go back outside and down to the basement. Just walk up with your receipt and tell them you are applying for an APRC and need to do fingerprints for the FBI. It will at least take 30 min, but plan on an hour. Make sure they use a black ink pen for filling in anything out on your FBI fingerprint form. Make sure that they give you the NIA stamp/seal over the address part on the form too when you are finished. I fingerprinted 3 forms just to be safe, so it cost $300nt and it took about an hour. Don’t wear white clothes that day. It gets messy!! Be prepared to pretty much do the fingerprinting yourself with not much help. I had some 17 year old kid helping me a bit. He assisted me but it was pretty much just me that did the fingerprinting. I asked for a few blank sheets of paper to practice before I started fingerprinting on the actual FBI forms. Practice, practice practice!
3. FBI Procedure and Sending Instructions (The next few steps are the worst part of the process)
Print out all the correct forms on 8.5X11 standard letter sized paper from the Internet. I only had A4 letter sized paper so I just cut a bit off the bottom instead. You will need to send the FBI an application form, the fingerprint forms you just fingerprinted, and a credit card payment slip that you can find here. I am sure you can send a money order too, but I used the credit card option.
Then once everything is printed and filled out go to 7-11 and ask for a DHL envelope and send everything to the FBI.
$700nt Sent to the FBI via DHL
FBI CJIS Division-Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg WV 26306 USA
4. Sending procedures to TECRO and Chinese translation
Here is the TECRO website where you can get the application form.
I also made my own cover letter with instructions for TECRO once they received my FBI criminal background check and Chinese translation. My cover letter looked like this with all my contact info. Add your address and other info into this and print this out.
[i]TECRO Cover Letter
Your name and address in Taiwan here.
TECRO – Washington DC
4201 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington DC, WA 20016
Attention: CONSULAR DIVISION – AUTHENTICATION SERVICES
Attached with this letter, please find the application for authentication / endorsement for proof of non-criminal record and the associated paperwork required.
Enclosed is $15.00 for the English document authentication, $30.00 for the Chinese document authentication, and an additional $30.00 for international express mailing fees.
Please express mail the completed authentications to the following Taiwan mailing address as written below.
(Name and Taiwan address insert here
I sent them my address in Chinese)
If you have any need to contact me, you may contact me via the following phone number 011-886-9-XXXX-XXXX during normal working hours.
(Your name) [/i]
$700nt Sent forms via DHL to my family.
I send my family these items signed and dated even before my family received my FBI criminal background check to save time. I sent my signed TECRO cover letter and a copy, TECRO’s application form plus one copy, Two copies of the information page of my passport, and two copies of my ARC front and back. I could have just sent these forms via regular Taiwanese postage to save money, but I wanted the letter package to get there without any problems. Plus it was quick and reliable. I didn’t care! So I sent these forms to my family in the States about 2 weeks after I sent my FBI fingerprint forms to the FBI. They obviously got there before my FBI criminal background check, so my family just set them aside until they received my FBI criminal background check in the mail.
Here were the instructions for my parents once they received my FBI Background Check in the mail.
Instructions to My Family:
1. Take out the documents, scan and email me the FBI Background Check.
2. I will email you back the Chinese translation of my FBI Background Check, please print out 2 copies on standard US letter sized paper.
3. Make a copy of the original background check on standard US letter sized paper.
4. Please get a postal money order made out to TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) for the amount of $75.00US. This amount includes charges for my services and $30 for the express shipping back to my residence in Taiwan.
5. Then get a nice letter envelope, UPS, FED-EX, or DHL are all good. Please include all these documents (listed below) into a mailing envelope.
Please include all these documents listed below into a mailing envelope to TECRO.
1. Signed cover letter to TECRO DC requesting authentication plus one copy.
2. TECRO'S application form for authentication plus one copy.
3. The original FBI background check plus one copy.
4. The Chinese translation of my FBI background check plus one copy [/b]
5. Two copies of my US passport information page.
6. Two copies of my ARC.
7. A postal money order made out to TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) for the amount of $75.00 US. This also includes the express shipping back to me in Taiwan.
8. An Express letter envelope mailed out to my residence in Taiwan. Please use UPS, FED-EX or DHL so I can track it.
9. You will have a total of 14 documents with the copies included, plus a postal money order for $75, and a self addressed express envelope to my address back in Taiwan all included in the package to TECRO Washington DC. Then ship everything to
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
CONSULAR DIVISION – AUTHENTICATION SERVICES
4201 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Chinese Translation of FBI Criminal Background Check
I received my Chinese translation from Northcoast Surfer. You can get it from him or from me. You don’t need to hire or go to a translator and then get it authenticated here in Taiwan. This is a big waste of time. Do it yourself, it took me 5 min to plug in my info from the translation I have. All the FBI’s criminal background checks are the same. My translation is in a word document and all you will have to do is plug in your information like your name, a few dates, social security number, and your US home address in Chinese (I just typed in my home address into Google translate and that it translated it into Chinese for me.) You can also find the translation here: http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=80053&start=110
5. Taiwan Criminal Background Check (Now is the easy part, it’s a breeze from this point on….relax!)
Once you receive your package back from TECRO you can start the Taiwanese criminal background check right away.
$100nt-Taiwan criminal background check.
Remember to bring your passport and ARC.
Go to the Taoyuan Police headquarters on Xian Fu Rd if you are in Taoyuan. If you are facing the Taoyuan police headquarters the building is on the immediate right and there is a policeman guarding the entrance. It takes 5 min, just fill out the form. Pick up the results in a week. NOTE: I picked up the results myself 5 days later because if you get it sent to your house, you (or someone) needs to be home to receive the results. I didn’t want to waste time. I am never home so this was an easier option. Do what is best for you.
6. Health Check (Li Shin Hospital for Taoyuan) Type B Form, it is also the same form as the marriage health check form.
Right after I went in for getting my Taiwanese criminal background check a day or two later I went in for my health check. I needed to pay $1600nt and to bring 1 passport photo. I only needed to do a chest X-ray, see a doctor (which took 1 min), and a blood test. NO STOOL SAMPLE REQUIRED!
It took about an hour. I picked up the results one week later rather than have it sent to my house. I wanted to save time again!
7. Work Documents
Right after my health check, I gave my boss a week notice to prepare my work documents. Your employer will be able to get all these documents for you, just give them some notice.
I got my original work permits for the last three years. Make sure you have all the work permits for all the schools you work at even if it is the same company (make copies.) The immigration agent will give the originals back to you. Get all your contracts for the last 3 years (make copies.) Get the original employment certificate with the company’s personal seal (make copies.) The immigration agent will give these back to you.
I also got copies of my withholding and non withholding tax statements for the past three years (These are the white tax forms your work gives you when you do your taxes.)
8. Tax Office
Once I had my Taiwanese criminal background check, health check results and work documents in my hand I immediate went to the tax office to get my tax documents. Make sure you bring your ARC and passport.
The final step is to go to the tax office to get your income statements (blue documents) for the past 3 years you have worked. Make sure your gross earnings are over $429,120nt (PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THIS AMOUNT WITH YOUR IMMIGRATION AGENT BEFORE YOUR START YOUR APRC PROCEDURE, THIS AMOUNT WILL PROBABLY INCREASE IN THE FUTURE.) They are going to raise this number again, so I might even make sure it is $440,000nt just to be safe. If you are below this number your employer should be able to help you adjust this, but if that is the case, get this number adjusted before you even start doing anything else. This is first priority.
I then had to go to another counter and take a number to get my tax payment list for the past three years. If you don’t know where to go, just ask someone. This took me about 30 min to get all these documents, but plan on longer.
9. Setup an appointment with an agent to turn everything in.
I know some people have just walked into the NIA and taken a number instead of making an appointment, but that is not the way to do it. Call your agent and make an appointment. They are not always there (they do take vacations), plus who wants to sit and wait in line.
The agent in Taoyuan at the time of writing this was Vivian Tseng. She doesn’t take shit and her English isn’t that good. It is a major plus if you can speak Chinese when dealing with her but not necessary. Her number is 033310409 ext 121. She sits at the back of the office and you don’t need to wait or take a number to speak to her unless she is busy with someone else. At the time of writing this, she was the only agent in charge of dealing with APRC applicants in Taoyuan. Don’t get on her bad side, because she is all you got!!
10. Copies and Double Check
You need copies of every page in your old and new passport on A4 sized paper with a Taiwan entry or exit stamp, Taiwan work visa and your information pages. I just made 2 copies of my entire old and new passport just to be safe, but it was overkill. Your ARC needs to be copied as well, front and back. I also made 2 copies. You then need to initial every copied page of your passport and ARC. I initialed every page in the bottom right hand corner. Make sure you have copied all your documents; everything needs a copy….copies, copies, copies!! Your last step will be to fill out your APRC application form that you got at the beginning. I did this the night before my appointment.
Your entry and exit records will be taken care of by your agent during your appointment. The agent gets all this info for you, so don’t worry about doing it yourself.
11. Interview Process
Remember to bring all the documents, copies, old passport, current passport, 2 passport photos, ARC and a smile!
I went in a little early and my agent was already expecting me. I walked in without waiting because I already had an appointment. My agent went over all my paper work and made sure everything was in order. She also printed off my entry and exit records from my time in Taiwan. She didn’t ask me any weird questions; it was just all about my paperwork. The entire process took me about 45 min. She accepted my application, but wouldn’t let me pay the $10,000nt processing fee yet.
Next step was to wait for the letter of approval in the mail. Mine took 1 month to get this in the mail. Don’t freak out, it will come. Remember, someone has to be home at your residence to receive this letter of approval from the mail carrier. Your agent will call you if there are any problems. Once you get this, you will have to go back to the immigration office and pay $10,000nt and give up your ARC. The agent will give you a receipt and then you get to wait another 2 weeks…….Awesome more waiting, what a surprise!
Two weeks later, walk down to the basement where you got your fingerprints done and show your receipt and your APRC will be waiting for you.
One more step, go and get your own working permit in Taipei. Then you are really free and party time begins!! :discodance: