Are Unpaid Internships Legal, Or...?


#1

Hi all! Nice to meet you! :slight_smile:

My company’s telling me that I don’t need a work permit. I would work for them part-time and unpaid as an intern (non-specialized work) with a tourist visa. I recently graduated with my bachelor’s; so, I’m not a student, I have less than two years of professional experience, and I don’t have my Master’s. There is no contract in sight. Is this legal?

Follow-up question: Is there a way to work for them legally?

Thanks so much for the help!


ARC Question: How to get an Internship in Taiwan when you are on a Dependent ARC
#2

It’s illegal. There have been a few cases of people doing ‘work’ (eg., busking or volunteering) and getting deported.


#3

Thanks for the quick response! Yeah, I read on the gov’t sites that penalties would include a fine, deportation, and three-year ban. I guess I won’t be doing any kind of “volunteering” here, haha.


#4

In order to do internship in Taiwan companies using Youth Mobility Visa (basically a standard visa that said you don’t need work permit)

You must be registered as a student in a university.
http://www.boca.gov.tw/public/Data/61291164471.pdf

Nationals of Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, (South) Korea, New Zealand, Poland, and Slovakia are given a multiple-entry visitor visa valid for one year.

Nationals of the UK are given a single-entry resident visa valid for three months.

Nationals of Austria are given a multiple-entry visitor visa valid for six months.

The company could pay you (not always do, it’s not their obligation to do so).

Other stuff
http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1314&ctNode=783&mp=2
http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1315&ctNode=783&mp=2
http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1316&ctNode=783&mp=2


#5

Thank you for your response and the links! From what you said, I can’t do the Youth Mobility Visa because I’m not a university student, and as my country isn’t one of those listed for the Working Holiday visa, I’m also out of luck there.

I guess I’ll just be vacationing in Taiwan for a while :slight_smile: Thanks again!


#6

You don’t need to be a student to get a youth mobility (aka working holiday) visa, though you would need to wait for your country to be added to the list. But supposing you had a WHV, your status as a student would (apparently) just be an extra detail employers could use to avoid minimum wage etc. (I’m not convinced that this practice is legal.)

More info about WHV’s here:

There is also such a thing as an internship visa, as explained in this thread:

Also, some kinds of volunteer work are now permitted, but apparently not for tourists:


#7

Thanks so much, yyy! That’s a ton of info. I think I’m a bit SOL on the “work in Taiwan” front, unfortunately. :sweat_smile: Thanks again!