American looking to work and live in Taiwan


Hello all, I took a recent trip to Taiwan and am having serious thoughts about packing up and moving there. I have done some reading and see its very hard to find work outside of teaching English. And teaching English requires a degree which I don’t have. I have only a high school diploma with years of construction and sales experience. So I’m reaching out to this community for some help and insight on choices that may be available to me.

I have a friend in Taiwan so housing won’t be a issue but beyond that I’m sure I must fend for myself. So any help or info anyone has please speak up. Thanks very much in advance to any and all that respond to my post.


Here you do either one thing or the other.


You could consider getting a degree in Taiwan from one of the local universities if you are serious. There are some that teach in English, but you may not have a good choice of majors. Plus to actually have a change of finding a job, you’ll have to learn Mandarin.

You might also consider the high cost of living, low pay and bad working conditions here. You will take a serious hit to your quality of life in Taiwan. Though I guess it depends where in the states you’re from and if you’re fine with that happening.


I believe I could deal with the change of pay and living situation. My main concern is work in general. My friend holds a high position and lives well compared to the average person. So home life would be nice all things relative. But is there work for someone who speaks only english and has no degree. As I said sales and construction would be my work experience. Brewing craft beer is also a skill I have and brewed locally in the states for many years for a local brewery. Not sure if craft beer is a part of taiwanese culture as of yet.


Craft beer is definitely on the rise here. Might be the perfect time to get in while its still in the early stages.


Interesting, any info on companies that are actively brewing? Also what is a ARC? Please forgive my ignorance.


I wouldn’t say it’s in the early stages. Lots of brewery has opened and craft beer stores as well.


Well, if no one hires you, you would either have to work illegally and make visa runs (not recommended) or open your own business here with your own money and then sponsor yourself for work permit and ARC.

ARC = Alien Resident Card. Taiwanese document that shows you have the legal right to live in Taiwan. This is not a work permit.


Legally you need a degree to work here as a teacher. But many buxibans are willing to overlook it.


So I need a ARC before I arrive or can that be done after? Meaning can you start on a visitor visa and then apply for a ARC? From America I can visit for 30 days without a visa. After that I must apply for a extended visa I believe. Is this also correct?


I’d still say it’s in the early stages. Went to a craft beer festival in Hsinchu (Xinzhu) last year (might have been 2015) and there were no more than 10 booths. And some of those booths were just importers. Was really a small turnout, but as I mentioned, it’s on the rise.

I know of a couple shops in Zhongli and Neili that sell lots of imported beers. Haven’t had a chance to check out the places in Taipei yet.


Maybe there. But taipei there’s so much of it. I know a lot of people involved in it. Market is growing but I’m not sure if it will last or how much it will continue to grow.


I’d be staying in Chiayi. How’s that area for craft beer culture?


Chiayi is pretty far down south where their may be very little craft beer scene. You don’t necessarily need foreigners living in the area to strive as a craft beer bar, but it definitely helps if there’s a foreigner population since…we love to drink beer.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a craft beer bar where I didn’t bump into a fellow foreigner.

I did a quick Google search and Chiayi people are suggesting others to go to Carrefour (Target kinda store) and Costco to buy their craft beers. Maybe this is your chance.

You can do some Googling yourself. Craft beer = 精酿啤酒.

On a side note, as others have said, you need a university degree to teach English. Some cram schools will overlook that, but those are the cram schools you probably want to avoid.

Maybe want to ask your friend to work his connections and see if he can help a friend out.


A “school” (not buxiban) teacher needs a teaching license.

A normal work permit will only be issued for a buxiban teacher who has a degree or a teaching certificate.

With an open work permit or work permit exemption (which would normally be through marriage), a buxiban teacher does not need a degree.


A US passport gets a 90-day visa exemption. If someone hired you as an English Teacher (or white collar job), you would need to apply for a visitor visa in Taiwan then apply for ARC.


Ahh I got away with this because I had dual citizenship and school jumped at the chance not worry about ARCs and stuff when I first got here


I’ve been google the crap of of stuff. More the legal side of things and not the beer. The brewing was just a side note that I through out. Seems to be where this thread has drifted. I do plan on speaking with my friend and see what info I can obtain from her but I’m also working things from my end. I see that applying for a visa is pretty straight forward. Just not sure what type to apply for. I’m still digging around and finding info. So please everyone don’t think I’m lazy and just asking questions without doing work for myself. I was hoping to find a American or native that could be a mentor for me with this proccess. Save me from making stupid mistakes.


The problem is you won’t get a work permit without the degree. You need the work permit to legally work and also help you get an alien resident certificate.

You’ll need to get a residence certificate by some other means such as a student.

You can come in and out for some time on a visitor visa.
All very unstable though.
My advice don’t bother coming unless you want to apply to be a student or you can work online.


So if you found a job let’s say as a brewer (I know more beer) they wouldn’t issue a work visa and or a ARC? So only college educated people are aloud to work? But if I had a local or foreign job that allowed me to work online I would be ok?