Employment Services Act, new Article 51

Sorry about the confusion! I sent out a covering email to many people, however I may have missed your email address.

Basically, the CLA people at the front counters are still very confused about the new regulations. In fact, they are still very confused about the old regulations. So, I don’t suggest that you telephone anyone over there and try to get a straight answer to your questions.

If you want to send me a photocopy of all your application forms and attachments for reference (and indeed several people have done so), that is fine. I will have those on hand when I continue my meetings with CLA officials immediately after the Chinese New Year holiday comes to a close.

With best wishes for a happy (and liberalized) future, I remain,

(etc., etc.)

Thanks Richard. I was stupid not to make copies of my application, but I can redo the application just as before and send a copy of it to you, so that you have my name on your list when you meet with the CLA officials after CNY.

Thanks again. And the best to you and your family.

My wife sent in my paperwork exactly as your original email stated.

We sent it speedpost+double-registered-mail (with a reply card) and included the $100 fee. That was right before New Years, in mid-February.

So, I am hoping that the permit in the form of a letter will arrive soon.

What should we do now? So far… I did not get my reply-card back from the post office.

The way I understand it, this work permit will allow me to take any job or even help with the family business (selling things in the street). That would be the answer to all my prayers.
Thank you.

Did anyone get a work permit under the new regulations yet?

I am married with a Chinese, so the new regulations should apply for me too.
Did someone who is married to a Chinese too, get already this working permit?

In regard to applying for permanent residency, I’ve been told that there is another limitation, that I have to stay in Taiwan for at least 183 days for the past five years. Is that correct? I haven’t found any information about that (in regard to applying for a work permit) on the official Chinese document which outlines the work permit application procedures.

Correct. The application for the work permit does not require that you accumulate five years of residency in Taiwan, with 183 days or more per year physical presence inside the country.

That is strictly a requirement for applying for permanent residency as a foreign spouse.

Shouldn’t any PR status automatically confer ROC employment rights?

Otherwise, there is no basic difference between a non-immigrant status and immigrant status of ARC.

For ARC, this is really like a Green Card having to also apply for an Employment Authorization Permit (EAD) in the USA. One certainly really needs to fundamentally distinguish between an immigrant and non-immigrant status.

Alien statuses are not categorically the same, and thus while their inalienable civil rights are not so necessarily equal to the ROC citizen. But any immigrant status should be far more protected than any “enemy alien”.

I have my Permanent Residency and would like to apply for an Open Work Permit in Kaohsiung.

Can anyone tell me where the CLA is in Kaohsiung?

Applications for a work permit for a permanent resident foreigner are made through the CLA in Taipei. I appreciate the fact that you have sent me a private email outlining your inquiry in detail. I have emailed you the relevant forms for category 51.01.05 (which I have as MS WORD files) this morning. I believe that the forms are very straightforward.

Leave the name of Employer and Manpower Agency completely blank. If you have other questions, contact me by email promptly.

I have mentioned, once before, that I am a professional musician. Will Article 51 enable those in this profession to somehow work legally?

Unfortunately, I am a bit confused as to exactly what this will enable us to do. I already have a foreign spouse ARC and an article 48 work permit at an English school, so what must I do to obtain an open permit?

Thank-you much for your assistance!

Yes, I am sure that someone in your position will be able to work legally as a musician. Your problem in the past has no doubt been the lack of a “fixed employer”.

That is not a problem with the new law passed January 21st, 2002. You apply for the work permit yourself. It is not specific to any one employer. It is just specific to the entire Taiwan area.

If you don’t have the forms for applying for a 51.01.01 work permit (as a foreigner married to an ROC national), please send me a private email so that I can email those to you promptly.

I’ve been in Taiwan for more than 5 years but have been here on Multiple entry visas the whole time. I work freelance and consult for overseas companies and have had work visas on and off with different companies to do projects. I’ve lived in Taiwan for well over 180 days every year but I’m always afraid to inquire about my status in fear that they might say, “Wow! You can’t do this!” and toss me out. Is there any chance I might be eligible for this open work visa? Am I best not to inquire? If you have any advice Richard I’d greatly appreciate it.


Granted that an Open Work Permit is issued to the applicant, is he required to stay in Taiwan for at least 183 days every year?

Do we have to renounce our nationalities to get this OWP?

Hey, has anyone been granted one of these new work permits yet?

quote[quote]Granted that an Open Work Permit is issued to the applicant, is he required to stay in Taiwan for at least 183 days every year?[/quote] You are confusing Permanent Residency with an Open Work Permit. With an OWP, there is no requirement that the holder must stay in the Taiwan area any number of days per year.
quote[quote]Do we have to renounce our nationalities to get this OWP? [/quote] You are confusing the application for Taiwan nationality with the application for an Open Work Permit. It is assumed that the holder of an OPW has foreign nationality.
quote[quote]Hey, has anyone been granted one of these new work permits yet? [/quote] As I understand it the Article 51 work permits specific to one employer are now being issued. Anyone who fits in one of the five categories can have multiple work permits (with different employers) under that formulation. After that procedure has been fully implemented, and appropriate coordination with other government bodies completed, we can expect open work permits to be issued. You may ask: "If I fit in one of the five categories, may I apply for both?" The answer is yes.

I’m a bit confused at this point. The previous posting mentions “Article 51 work permits specific to one employer…” hence this seems to indicate that there are two methods for applying for the Article 51 work permit, for the five categories of eligible persons:
(1) individual application — open work permit for the Taiwan area.
(2) employer’s application – work permit specific to that employer.

You have additionally stated that for those who have their application sent in by the employer, they can then have another employer send in another application, and so on and so on; hence receiving “multiple work permits.” I assume that the specification of a minimum salary level of NT$ 16,000 per month would apply.

Further from what I understand from the previous posting, the “employer’s application” for Article 51 work permits (specific to that employer) are now being issued, however the the “individual application” (meaning an open work permit for the Taiwan area) is still being processed, coordinated, and reviewed.

So, this amounts to saying that the wheels are slowly beginning to turn, but we are not quite there yet?? Is that correct? (It is understandable). The new law was promulgated by President Chen on January 21, 2002, however and that is a fact. I know that implementation does take some time.

What actually will the new open work permit be? Is it a piece of paper which the government sends us personally, which we then can show to any prospective employer (or multiple employers) to demonstrate to them that they don’t need to bother about a work permit for us? (My experience in Taiwan tells me not to expect things to be so blessedly simple…) Or will prospective employers still have to have some amount of dealings with government agencies in order to give us jobs?

So, adding all this up, it amounts to saying, for those five categories of persons who qualify under Article 51, if they have determined which employer wants to hire them, and they are in a hurry so to speak, then they should help the employer fill out an application now (specific to that employer). However, for those who are currently stable, they should just submit the individual application, and wait for that to be processed. This is my reading . . . .

Thanks for your patience and excellent help!

I’m curious about category three - foreigners who have resided and worked continuously for years or more.

I have a friend who has lived here for 7 or 8 years, but is ineligble for Permanent Residency because he left for about 5 months a couple of years ago. Residency requirements for PR (if you’re not married to a Taiwan citizen) are over 270 days per year for seven consecutive years, so he misses out.

What are the requirements for ESA Article 51? If it as just 183 days, he might qualify. But this leads to another problem. This is just a work permit right? Where are the residency rights?

[Moderator’s note: A person on a tourist visa who obtained a 51.01.03 work permit could apply with MOFA-BOCA for a resident visa based on employment.]

Can you have your friend send me a private email with a more thorough explanation of his circumstances?

I would probably be better able to evaluate his particular eligibility status at that point.

Received my permit last week, so they’re being processed. I applied before Chinese New Year, the first week of February I think it was, so it does take more than the 21 days you mentioned.

A friend who was originally going to apply was told then that this work permit is only valid for so called “low quality” jobs, shop clerk or the like, but not for technical or administrative jobs. I wonder how the line there should be drawn and hope that it was only a communication problem somewhere. Anyone with more reliable data?

[Moderator’s note: This information is incorrect.]