Gemalto has been the trusted supplier of the electronic Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) cards to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) in Taiwan and has already delivered 300,000 of these identification cards.
Compared to the existing paper cards, the Gemalto Sealys microprocessor version increases security by improving resistance to forgery and counterfeiting. These contactless ID cards are the first electronic ID documents built on the electronic passport technology. These cards are also the first electronic foreigner identification cards in Asia. The National Immigration Agency plans to achieve replacement of all remaining paper cards by 2009.
The security is designed to protect the document bearer as the ARC permits the bearer to remain in Taiwan throughout the validity period, maintain a local currency bank account, take ownership of vehicles as well as apply for a driver’s license.
The size of a credit card, the new microprocessor-based electronic ARC is compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization standard which meant the NIA and Gemalto were able to fast track the project, issuing the first cards to residents within 6 months after award of tender.
The ICAO standard is an internationally recognized framework for the implementation of electronic passports. Just like for electronic passports, sensitive personal information and photograph are securely stored on the chip and protected with digital signatures. To make counterfeit reproduction even more difficult, the card combines the security features of microprocessor-based documents with highly sophisticated printing techniques.
A Gemalto Coesys personalization system prepares the information that gets stored in the card and generates the digital security keys used to protect it.
A knock-on benefit of the polyvalent Gemalto Sealys technology is that the Alien Resident Certificate and the Permanent Resident Certificate can both be issued using the same card. For the NIA this represents considerable improvements in operational efficiency and savings in expense by integrating all resident certificates into one. The NIA needs just one card to issue Alien Resident Certificates and Permanent Resident Certificates with physical markings distinguishing the two.