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60,000 foreigners have yet to obtain IC cards

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- About 60,000 foreign residents in Taiwan have not yet applied for the new electronic resident cards to replace the paper versions that will no longer be valid from Feb. 1, 2010, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) under the Ministry of the Interior reported yesterday.

People who fail to obtain the new electronic alien resident certificate (ARC), alien permanent resident certificate (APRC) or ROC (Taiwan) resident certificate by Dec. 31 this year will not be able to apply for driver's licenses, national health insurance or bank accounts in Taiwan, NIA said.

In September, the agency sent notifications to the 60,000 people still holding the paper versions of the three types of foreign resident cards, urging them to apply for their new IC cards at NIA service centers across the country, the officials noted.

The electronic resident cards not only help protect the holders' personal rights and interest, but also help the government to implement its anti-forgery and cost-effective drives that were launched in July 2007, they said.

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