Have any foreigners opened a bank account without using their passport?

I’m about to have a tedious Sunday writing administrative appeals to the FSC and MOI, and while preparing for that I came across this in the FAQ section of the Banking Bureau of the FSC:

Account opening by natural persons of foreign nationality (including Overseas Compatriot, persons from Hong Kong and Macau) and citizens without household registration

What kind of documents does a natural person of foreign nationality and citizens without household registration need to open a deposit account in Taiwan?

(1) Foreigners with a resident certificate issued by the Ministry of the Interior and citizens without household registration: The applicant must present the resident certificate and another document which can verify his/her identity, such as a National Health Insurance Card, passport, driver’s license, or student ID card and apply with two forms of identity documents.
(2) Foreigners (foreigners without a residence in Taiwan) who do not hold a resident certificate and citizens without household registration: The applicant shall present the foreign passport with a valid entry visa (or seal) or the Overseas Compatriot Identity Certificate issued by Overseas Community Affairs Council as well as the Record of ID No. in the Republic of China to apply.

The Chinese version says the same:


(1) 持有內政部核發居留證之外國人及無戶籍國民:應提供居留證,以及其他具辨識力之身分證明文件,如健保卡、護照、駕照或學生證等雙重身分證明文件辦理。
(2) 未持有居留證之外國人(即在臺無住所之外國人)及無戶籍國民: 應持合法入境簽證(或戳記)之(外國)護照或僑委會核發之華僑身分證明書,以及中華民國統一證號基資表辦理。

As does this page:

Explanation of the Types of Dual Identification Certificate Documents Required for Processing a Deposit Account Opening (DBU) in Article 13, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1 of the Regulations Governing the Deposit Accounts and Suspicious or Unusual Transactions

  1. Individual accounts:
    (1) Where the applicant presents an ID card, he/she shall also provide other documents which can verify his/her identity, such as a National Health Insurance Card, passport, driver’s license, or student ID card.
    (2) Where the applicant presents a resident certificate issued by National Immigration Agency, he/she shall also provide other documents which can verify his/her identity similar to the preceding subparagraph.

And its Chinese version:

一、 個人戶部分:
(一) 持國民身分證者,應徵提其他具辨識力之身分證明文件,如健保卡、護照、駕照或學生證等。
(二) 持內政部移民署核發之居留證者,應比照前款徵提其他具辨識力之身分證明文件。

This reads to me like we should be able to open accounts using our A(P)RC and NHI card or driver’s license, without providing our passport at all. So, has anyone ever actually done this?

It sounds like it could be a really fun, by which I mean infuriating, way to spend three hours inside a bank. I might try it. :sweat_smile:

I’d been thinking anyway to open a Fubon account because I’m finding it a bit irritating to pay my Costco credit card bill without one, and Fubon/Costco are currently doing some co-branded promotion with 2.5% deposit interest, 15 free interbank transfers per month, and a NT$100 rebate (:star_struck: :roll:, not a typo) for new account holders. This might provide a good opportunity for me to test this possibility and see how high my blood pressure can go.


I did do this, at First Bank in Taichung. APRC and NHI. She insisted on my passport and I said no, the regulation says no need. She didn’t want to open the account so I said to call her support team. She did reluctantly and was pissed to find out it was OK.


No one hates to be wrong more than an incompetent Taiwanese employee


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: CRS form, What it is and why you shouldn’t do what the bank says

That’s interesting indeed, and most regulations about ID verification in TW always talk about 2 pieces of ID, and passport is rarely mandated


I did this at Fubon. Opened a deposit account for my job with my ARC and NHI card, no problems.


The real reason for asking passports is that they need to know you’re (not) a US citizen. The facts are actually on your ARC, APRC. So, just bank bullshit.


Not so. I know some people here born in USA using other nationality for ARC. Also people not born in the USA can be US citizens and be here on another nationality. It’s a US requirement that US residents and citizens complete the FACTA form. I was asked by both DBS and HSBC if I was a US resident or citizen.

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Now you’re contradicting yourself in the answer.

That can’t be true. They can see your birthplace on your ARC. As soon as they saw that I was born in the US, they asked me to fill out extra forms for US citizens.

My guess is most bank employee just don’t know the difference between a foreign RESIDENT and a foreign TOURIST, so they just default to asking for a passport for all foreigners.

Mate, u gave me a very good idea about an issue I’m having with HSBC. Very minor, but so silly. This is quite useful in my argument, thanks!


I have only opened bank accounts without passport. It has always been with an ARC or APRC and secondary id. Was smooth and easy.

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My ARC and APRC have only shown nationality not place of birth. Perhaps the spousal one has place of birth?


Ah yeah that’s what I meant.

I successfully opened an account today at Fubon (Taipower Building branch, Taipei) using my APRC and NHI card. Upon entering and saying I wanted to open an account to link with my credit card, I was initially a bit disappointed because the manager lady specifically asked me whether I’d brought my ARC and NHI card. It really seemed like they were going to prevent me from having the argument* I’d prepared and psyched myself up for. :smiling_face_with_tear:

Nah. The guy upstairs still wanted my passport, which I hadn’t taken with me, although he did offer to just update it later in the week if I came back (I’m not sure why – letting me open the account without the two forms of ID would seem to violate what they’re supposed to do under AML rules).

Anyway, I’d taken printouts of the Chinese versions of the files I posted above, so after showing those, some back and forth via Google Translate that I really wanted to use my NHI card, and checking with the manager, it was fine.

[* I got – and won – the long argument I was looking for anyway, but for the CRS forms rather than this. I’ll post about that later in the other thread when my stamina has recovered.]



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When you go to a Taiwanese bank and come back with PTSD.


It’s worth noting that most rules regarding ID verification in Taiwan usually include two forms of ID, and passports are seldom required.


Yes, very true. Only regulation I found that specifically requires passport for ARC holders (APRC are exempted) is the one regarding phone numbers. And Tesco’s are anal about it

I read this post a few days before I went to O-Bank in Zhubei to open a digital bank account with them.

I had seen here that banks didn’t need my passport to open my account so I gave the O-Bank staff my ARC and NHI card. They insisted that they needed my passport.

Now, I hadn’t prepared the relevant law articles linked in the 1st post but I did tell them a few times they didn’t need it. They talked to a few different people and I had a few different people come and tell me that they couldn’t open a bank account for me without my passport.

In the end, I relented as I only had two hours before I had to go to work so I let it go. At that moment, I was happy because I had correctly filled out my CRS form but as some of you know in the tax residency (CRS/FATCA) thread, they ended up calling me and asking for TIN etc.

So on the “no passport” front, I was unsuccessful in opening a (digital) bank account without a passport at O-Bank’s Zhubei (Hsinchu) branch.