I am a long time reader, first time poster here on Forumosa. I have had a strong interest in Taiwan since I visited while teaching English in Korea a few years ago. It has been a dream of mine to come to Taiwan and teach English. I finally took the steps to do this a few months ago. I got offered a job by a regular private school (not the public school system, but not a cram school.) It’s just outside Taipei, and I was ecstatic when I got the news that they had decided to hire me.
My qualifications that got me the job were my experience in Korea, TEFL certificate, and my substitute teachers license from Illinois, USA. I had heard that it was possible to get a job at a regular school with a substitute teaching license in Taiwan, and my recruiter told me it should hold up.
As what I’ve seen is typical in Asia, they tend to do things in the last minute all in one big rush. My visa had not been fully processed before I left, but I was told that this was normal and that it would all be taken care of shortly after arrival. I was told to just come on a 30 day landing visa.
The night before the morning I am supposed to leave, I get a call from my recruiter who tells me there may be a problem with my substitute teaching license because there is a limitation on it. In Illinois the substitute teachers licenses state on them “90 days substitute teaching.” This is a limitation of 90 days per school district per school year. The limitation is not applicable to Chicago Public Schools, however. I would have the right to work a full school year in CPS, which constitutes a very large number of schools in Illinois.
I was told that the labor office was trying to use that to deny me the work permit, that they would do everything they could to push it through, but that the chances were 50-50. I decided to get on the plane anyway the next morning to Taiwan, and just hope that everything worked out.
I brought all my original documents with me to Taiwan and met the recruiter Monday of last week in the morning. I continued to call him throughout the week, and we met again on Friday. He gave me the bad news that my work permit for the school had been denied by the labor office, despite all of ours efforts and support from the school, the education office here, and the local education office in Illinois.
At this point, I am looking to have to work at a cram school, which I dread. I did not come all the way over here to work at a cram school, or to go back to the US having wasted a couple thousand dollars attempting to get a job. I intend to get the job, or similar job, of what I came here for.
If anyone could help me or give me more info or is an expert on dealing with the labor office, please write something here or send me a PM. If you have some special knowledge you’d like to share, please help me out. I can send a scan of my teaching license if you provide an email if that will help. I need to know if there is any way around their decision, or how to further plead my case or get it reconsidered, or if there is any technicality I can use for my advantage. I am willing to try anything, and don’t want to end up in a cram school.
I was told that the education office could do something if I write them a letter or complain, but it would take some time for anything to happen. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Also, if you are from Illinois, and want to come to Taiwan with a substitute license, this could happen to you.
Thanks for your help and thoughts.