Being a student and remote work

They can have a bone to pick all they want. If OP is performing tasks on his computer for a foreign company, which is located in a foreign country and is being paid in a foreign country, local authorities would have trouble proving that he was even doing work of any sort, much less work in Taiwan.

Volunteering, accepting local employment, freelancing for local companies, and other related matters are covered under local work permit regulations. Do any of those and you possibly would be vulnerable to someone “with a bone to pick with you.”[/quote]

It’s so cute when folks believe actual proof is needed to get you deported. What’s next, articles about the contributions of foreign residents in the Apple Daily?

Da Ai TV is on that now. I play the Where’s Waldo character in every episode.

They can have a bone to pick all they want. If OP is performing tasks on his computer for a foreign company, which is located in a foreign country and is being paid in a foreign country, local authorities would have trouble proving that he was even doing work of any sort, much less work in Taiwan.

Volunteering, accepting local employment, freelancing for local companies, and other related matters are covered under local work permit regulations. Do any of those and you possibly would be vulnerable to someone “with a bone to pick with you.”[/quote]

It’s so cute when folks believe actual proof is needed to get you deported. What’s next, articles about the contributions of foreign residents in the Apple Daily?[/quote]

So, if OP is subject to random arrest and deportation, why are we even having this discussion? Surely the legality, or illegality, of what OP is proposes is moot. According to you, he’d better watch his back in this wild-eastern outpost! The bad ol’ FAP cum NIA are out to get us whities. There’s a new sheriff in town, y’all. Nonsense.

I’ve managed to live 10+ years without a single issue with regards to my residence. I understand that things used to be different. ARCs were rare, spouses of ROC nationals had no work rights, APRC didn’t exist and basically all foreigners were illegal. Those days are long gone. ARC is readily available for legal foreign employees with proper qualifications. Permanent residence and open work rights are available after 5 years. Open work rights are granted from day one to spouses of ROC nationals now. I do not now, nor have I ever lived in fear of random arrest or deportation. Never even been asked for my ID outside of traffic matters. It’s as I wrote in the FAP thread: Those of us who live within the law have nothing to fear from it.

[quote=“80sStar”]

So, if OP is subject to random arrest and deportation, why are we even having this discussion? Surely the legality, or illegality, of what OP is proposes is moot. According to you, he’d better watch his back in this wild-eastern outpost! The bad ol’ FAP cum NIA are out to get us whities. There’s a new sheriff in town, y’all. Nonsense.

I’ve managed to live 10+ years without a single issue with regards to my residence. I understand that things used to be different. ARCs were rare, spouses of ROC nationals had no work rights, APRC didn’t exist and basically all foreigners were illegal. Those days are long gone. ARC is readily available for legal foreign employees with proper qualifications. Permanent residence and open work rights are available after 5 years. Open work rights are granted from day one to spouses of ROC nationals now. I do not now, nor have I ever lived in fear of random arrest or deportation. Never even been asked for my ID outside of traffic matters. It’s as I wrote in the FAP thread: Those of us who live within the law have nothing to fear from it.[/quote]

Yes, well, I lived within the law for 10 years in Taiwan as well, and my experience was completely different from yours. (And it wasn’t that long ago – people had ARCs and Article 51 work permits and so on already. And BTW, open work rights are not available after 5 years – the right to apply for a work permit at any place that will hire you is available, not open work rights.)

I didn’t live in fear of random deportation, but one morning there was a knock at the door of my apartment, and the game was on. The complaint had absolutely nothing to do with anything I was doing in Taiwan, and yet it was a case of “you prove this isn’t so” rather than “someone has accused you of this, we need to investigate”. It did not matter that I held a proper ARC. You can get all those documents, but the issue is that if someone wants to invalidate them, in effect, by getting you deported, it is eminently possible.

The FAP is not out to get us. The FAP simply doesn’t give a crap – which is the problem. If you have a single Taiwanese national bring in a complaint – which can be done without you ever knowing who actually did it because the authorities will not reveal the identity of the person bringing the complaint – you can be inches from deportation, because the FAP and other authorities will pile on without really thinking about the motivation for the original report. Then your only choices are to leave or to spend a lot of money trying to mount a defense. You can prevail with a good defense – but you are out thousands of NT to do it, not to mention lost work time and general psychic wear and tear. They are not out to get us – they simply don’t bother to do a balanced job of investigation, because the ROC ID card, Chinese ethnicity and Taiwanese connections far outweigh a foreigner.

If a Taiwanese national really wants you off the island, and knows how to go about it (and it’s not terribly difficult) you will be voted off, law or no law. This doesn’t happen every day by any means, but saying it doesn’t and can’t happen is blind naiveté.

Super80, I was kicked out in 2001 for 14 months despite being married and having secured a JFRV. My problem: no one had bothered to tell me that I still needed an ARC despite both me and my wife asking at the immigration office if I needed anything after securing that nice visa in my passport. Nope, I was told, that’s all you need. You can even work anywhere you like now, I was told, though that was not true at the time.

So I lived in Taiwan for 1.5 years without an ARC because of bureaucratic incompetence. When it was discovered there was no hearing, no appeal. I was out. Originally I should have been allowed back in a month later but the law was changed and it was a minimum 12 months for visa violations. Again, no appeal.

At the end of 12 months I reapplied for a visa to return to Taiwan. I was rejected. It was only through the help of a business friend of my sister’s (a Japanese fellow with extensive ties in the gov) that I was able to get a visa on the second application.

So you mean evertime you come to work in Taiwan you do so illegally? After all you don’t not reside in Taiwan or have an ARC here.

I’ve only been here 23 plus years and I have never had a work permit either. Never got deported yet.

If someone comes to Taiwan on a tourist visa and God Forbid!!! emails their office, writes a report, or otherwise engages in ‘work related’ stuff in Starbucks, they can be deported???

Don’t worry OP. Don’t listen to the fear mongers.

Complete bullshit and you as a moderator should know better then to be in effect trolling. I personally had several ROC nationals try to remove my sorry arse from Taiwan when I held and ARC. Never happened. But if you insist we can validate your theory just let me know the next time you are in Taiwan working as a translator or holding educational conferences and I will as a duly concerned ROC Citizen make a complaint about illegal workers in Taiwan. They might even pay me a reward for doing so. :smiley:

[quote=“ironlady”]

If a Taiwanese national really wants you off the island, and knows how to go about it (and it’s not terribly difficult) you will be voted off, law or no law. This doesn’t happen every day by any means, but saying it doesn’t and can’t happen is blind naiveté.[/quote]

This is utter nonsense and fear mongering. You make these blanket, conspiracy theory statements in a thread started by a guy who just wanted to know if doing some remote work for his Canadian employer would be ok whilst here studying Chinese. You make Taiwan seem like an unfriendly, hostile place with undercover immigration police waiting in sting operations to catch any unsuspecting foreigner who isn’t liked by some random Taiwanese. Imagine how this reads to prospective visitors, to say nothing about how you’ve threadjacked this discussion with your off-topic misinformation. The sad thing is you have carte blanche to continue doing so as you have moderator priviledges.

And, BTW, I’m not naive. I’m a long-term and CURRENT resident of this island. When I write about Taiwan, it isn’t from distant memory.

[quote=“ironlady”][
Yes, well, I lived within the law for 10 years in Taiwan as well, and my experience was completely different from yours. (And it wasn’t that long ago – people had ARCs and Article 51 work permits and so on already. And BTW, open work rights are not available after 5 years – the right to apply for a work permit at any place that will hire you is available, not open work rights.) [/quote]

APRC may be applied for after 5 years of continuous employment-based ARC residence. Once you have that, an open work permit, which allows you to do anything, can be obtained.

That’s just complete nonsense.

The OP is asking about working in Taiwan for a foreign company situated outside of Taiwan’s jurisdiction. The OP is asking whether he will violate his student/short-term visa by being paid in a foreign currency into a foreign account for work performed for a foreign company outside of Taiwan. There is no law against this.

I’ve already asked you to cite the relevant Taiwan law to support your contention. I’m still waiting for your reply and cite.

The OP is not asking about volunteer work in Taiwan. That is just something you seem to want to discuss. :unamused:

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Please cite the relevant Taiwan law that applies to the situation the OP is asking about.

Oh, my bad entirely.
Thank you for reminding me that what I thought happened to me never did. What would I do without you, Tigerman?

Please note: Nothing in this post is meant as legal advice.

I don’t know the answer to the question. With regard to Taiwan, I haven’t been able to find anything in laws or regulations on the legal situation of a foreign person telecommuting from here to another country. However, I should note that my resources are limited, my knowledge of what to look for and how to look for it is also limited, and I don’t know Chinese. So I can only present what I found.

This translation of Article 24 of the Immigration Act says, in pertinent part:

[quote]National Immigration Agency shall not permit an alien’s application for residence or the alien’s application for modification of reasons for residence which was submitted pursuant to the preceding Paragraph if the alien meets one of the following circumstances:


  1. Has been involved in activities or employment that is different from the purposes of his or her entry.[/quote] law.moj.gov.tw/Eng/LawClass/LawA … e=D0080132

Here’s a link to the Chinese version of Article 24 of the Immigration Act:
law.moj.gov.tw/LawClass/LawSingl … 32&FLNO=24

In the same translation, Article 29 of the Immigration Act says, in pertinent part:

[quote]Aliens who are visiting or residing in the State may not engage in activities or employment that is different from the purposes of their visits or residence.[/quote] law.moj.gov.tw/Eng/LawClass/LawA … e=D0080132

The exceptions in Article 29 seem to have to do with lawful assembly and the filing of petitions.

Here’s a link to the Chinese version of Article 29 of the Immigration Act:
law.moj.gov.tw/LawClass/LawSingl … 32&FLNO=29

In the same translation, Article 36 of the Immigration Act reads as follows, in pertinent part:

[quote]National Immigration Agency shall deport aliens forcibly if they meet one of the following circumstances:


  1. Have violated Article 29 by engaging in employment or activities that are different from the purposes of their visits, or residence.[/quote] law.moj.gov.tw/Eng/LawClass/LawA … e=D0080132

Here’s a link to the Chinese version of Article 36 of the Immigration Act:
law.moj.gov.tw/LawClass/LawSingl … 32&FLNO=36

Article 20 of a translation of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Act gives the following exceptions and/or exceptional circumstances to Article 36:

[quote]During periods of visiting or residency, if aliens engage in certain activities that are different from the purposes of their visits or residence or the purpose declared on the E/D card, such as tourism, visiting relatives or friends, or other activities that are necessary in daily life and not prohibited by laws, the Subparagraph 6 of Paragraph 1 of Article 36 of the Act shall not applied.[/quote] immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xI … 30026&mp=2

Please note: I don’t know Chinese, but I don’t think the Chinese version of the article quoted immediately above says “E/D card” (Embarkation and Disembarkation Card). Here’s a link to the Chinese version of Article 20 of the Enforcement Rules of the Immigration Act: law.moj.gov.tw/LawClass/LawSingl … 33&FLNO=20

The U. S. State Department mentions local labor laws, among other things, in its advice to government employees about teleworking abroad:

[quote]Security concerns, inviolability (or lack thereof) of the teleworker‟s personal residence, possessions, and correspondence, the proximity of the personal residence to the mission where the employee is assigned, and the location of the personal residence in the third country and local labor laws may affect the acceptability of certain telework arrangements abroad.[/quote] state.gov/documents/organization/84857.pdf (PDF document will load, or maybe pop up, if link is clicked)

Two people brought up similar issues in posts in a single thread on this board in March and April of last year. The quote below is of the second person’s post, in part:

[quote]I want to live in Taiwan for the next 1 - 2 years with my (taiwanese) girlfriend that I met in Australia. Like you, I am a web-developer. I currently work for a company in Europe. I addition to that I am self employed as well.

I already mailed the “council of labour affairs” in Taiwan and they told me that I do not need a work permit if I do not work for a taiwanese company and no taiwanese company is involved in my work. They just were not very specific on the visa issue:
“As for whether you can do teleworking while you are in Taiwan on vacation, it depends on your purpose of visiting Taiwan and what kind of visa you are granted. As a visa is normally issued for a specific “purpose of stay”, what activities the visa holder can engages in within territory of Taiwan shall be in accordance with the purpose(s) of the visa.”

I mean the taiwanese government wouldn’t know if I do work on my computer (VPN) anyway, while I am sitting in the apartment. But still, it’s good to know the official rules… [/quote] [Forumosa - Taiwan's largest and most active Taiwan-oriented global online community in English … 9#p1288049](I work for a US firm remotely, I want to move to Taiwan - #13 by traveller77

A poster responded, in part, with the following:

[quote]Unless I’m missing something, the “council of labour affairs” didn’t want to address the issue and gave you a non-answer.

You can’t get a work visa if you telework, so how exactly can you legally telework in Taiwan? If you enter the country with the purpose of study or visit, then you are not allowed to work.[/quote] [Forumosa - Taiwan's largest and most active Taiwan-oriented global online community in English … 1#p1289481](I work for a US firm remotely, I want to move to Taiwan - #14 by jp_mtl

Another poster responded as follows:

[quote]The CLA doesn’t issue visas, the NIA does. What they are telling you is that it’s not their business.[/quote] [Forumosa - Taiwan's largest and most active Taiwan-oriented global online community in English … 7#p1289517](I work for a US firm remotely, I want to move to Taiwan - #15 by CraigTPE

In November of 2010, someone asked a similar question on this board. A poster responded with the following:

[quote][quote]I was just wondering if there are any legal issues if you are living in Taiwan and doing contract/freelance work for a US company?

Also, what are the requirements to do freelance work in TW for TW companies. Do you need an ARC? Can you get one without being sponsored by a company?

Thanks![/quote]

To legally do any work you need an ARC. You can only get one without being sponsored by a company through marriage. There is no such thing as a freelance ARC.

However you could open up a foreign registered business for yourself, get an ARC. Taiwan companies would want you to be able to issue a GUI receipt for work performed. For that you need a company.[/quote] [Forumosa - Taiwan's largest and most active Taiwan-oriented global online community in English … 0#p1224730](Telecommuting from TW for US company - #2 by Satellite_TV

Wow nice post Charlie. I will have to give it a thorough read over. Very similar to my situation.

[quote=“Charlie Jack”]In the same translation, Article 29 of the Immigration Act says, in pertinent part:

CJ, the provision cited above refers to activities and employment in Taiwan.

Do you think the Taiwan authorities would deport you if, while on a Taiwan student visa, you engaged remotely with a volunteer/charity organization in your home nation? The Taiwan authorities certainly would not care if you held, say a board position in a foreign charity entity situated outside of Taiwan.

The same applies to remote work.

[quote=“Charlie Jack”]In the same translation, Article 36 of the Immigration Act reads as follows, in pertinent part:

[quote]National Immigration Agency shall deport aliens forcibly if they meet one of the following circumstances:


  1. Have violated Article 29 by engaging in employment or activities that are different from the purposes of their visits, or residence.[/quote] law.moj.gov.tw/Eng/LawClass/LawA … e=D0080132[/quote]

That refers to employment in Taiwan. Taiwan doesn’t care what you do outside of Taiwan.

I believe feiren has identified that this is not a question of law but administrative interpretation. That is, there is no law against volunteering, or playing music on the side, if you have a student visa, but there is the broad clause that you can’t do things that are not consistent with your visa. But as Feiren said, how is volunteering inconsistent with being a student, or teaching English? It isn’t but if the authorities want to make as if it is, they interpret can “inconsistent” in the broadest way possible.[/quote]

But a big difference between volunteering and working online. When volunteering the group that receives the services are Taiwanese and under Taiwanese law. When working remotely, one is not rendering any service on behalf of a beneficiary in Taiwan. Other than using broadband in Taiwan, Taiwan and Taiwanese are not involved.

I don’t think so… :unamused: Let me check my work permit to see whether I am specifically permitted to breathe while in Taiwan! :laughing: Are you saying that Muzha Man is not permitted to hike in Taiwan? I assume his visa does not specifically permit him to hike in Taiwan. I also assume that some of his hiking could be considered research for his work. Are you saying that authors are not permitted to write while in Taiwan, even if their publisher is a foreign company located outside of Taiwan and the remuneration for any work product is paid in a foreign currency into a foreign account outside of Taiwan? :astonished: :ohreally:

What the heck are you talking about? :ohreally: :unamused:

The term [color=#FF0000]illegal[/color] virtually everywhere, including Taiwan, means [color=#FF0000]contrary to or forbidden by law[/color]. Of course if one engages in an [color=#FF0000]illegal[/color] activity one might well expect to be in trouble with the authorities :unamused: . How is this only a problem in a foreign country, such as Taiwan? I’m fairly certain that if one engages in an [color=#FF0000]illegal[/color] activity in New York State, one also might well expect to be in trouble with the authorities there. Or, does the term [color=#FF0000]illegal[/color] have a different meaning in New York State? :ponder:

There is nothing [color=#FF0000]illegal[/color] in Taiwan regarding the activity of which the OP inquired, and doing that work would not get the OP into hot water with the authorities in Taiwan.

Volunteering to do some sort of work [color=#FF0000]in Taiwan[/color] with or for a company/entity situated [color=#FF0000]in Taiwan[/color] that has some impact on people or things [color=#FF0000]in Taiwan[/color] is obviously different from remotely doing work for a foreign company situated [color=#FF0000]outside of Taiwan[/color] where such work has no impact on Taiwan and salary for such work is paid by the foreign company situated [color=#FF0000]outside of Taiwan[/color] in a foreign currency into an account situated [color=#FF0000]outside of Taiwan[/color].

There is nothing even remotely close to being “technically[color=#FF0000]illegal[/color] regarding the work of which the OP inquired.

I would have thought that we all understand the meaning of the term [color=#FF0000]illegal[/color]:ponder:[/quote]

The only way it would be illegal is if Taiwan made some law protecting the use of their Bandwidth by foreign entities.

I dont’ think the authority would care that you continue your work while you are in Taiwan, studying the language. I’ve done that in New Zealand and Japan. I work remotely for a company in the US, and no one cared that I was working for a company outside of the country. My teacher knew it and he was more concerned of how I could get my paycheck when I am all over the world. He thought I was really his kid student. :roflmao:
I don’t think Taiwan is any different, though I can’t say from my personal experience. I am Taiwanese. Finally, back to my own country and people. :slight_smile:

Nothing in this post is meant as legal advice or legal opinion.

Here are some Google word searches (using double quotation marks, as written below) that might yield information of interest:

[i]“with regard to the remuneration paid by their foreign employers”

“The non-resident expatriate’s compensation received from a foreign employer”

“Taiwanese-source income and the income received from foreign employers”[/i]