In a messy situation and need some advice

Hello everyone! I have been an active viewer of these forums for quite some time now and am now in a position where I could use some advice after finding myself in a unfavorable position with a school.

A month ago I signed a contract and began training at a school. They asked me to train in the classroom and even asked for me to teach some with students in the room. Red flag number one.

I should have left as soon as they asked to train during live classes as I only signed a contract and did not have my work permit.

A week ago they started processing my work permit but things in the past week have started to go awry. Bad communication, them asking me to work while my permit is still processing, and there is a lot of disdain between us.

I expressed my desire to leave and the communication has gotten to the point I think even if I were to suck it up and stay I would be miserable at the school the rest of the year. I asked them to cancel the permit because I think there are teachers out there that would be much happier and effective as teachers due to their disorganized and challenging curriculum.

Anyways, my main question is, would it be difficult to get a work permit processed if I find another school?

As of now I am avoiding the place and there is no telling if my work current permit will be canceled or not. I also do not trust they would tell me the truth.

Due to the illegality of the way they try to on-board teachers I’m not sure what they can do to affect my potential to work for another school even if I break contract, but I’m curious as to what y’all think or if anyone has had a similar experience!

Nonetheless this will be a lesson learned on my end, I just want to teach at a legitimate establishment and am not sure if that will be possible now.

There’s been a thousand threads about disgruntled teachers breaking contracts at buxibans and worrying about their work status moving forward. If you think they exploited you or didn’t fulfill their contractual obligations (for example, withheld pay) then you can make a claim against them with the Ministry of Labor. But it’s a he-said/she-said situation and they’re likely to win unless their abuses are really egregious. Most likely, if you leave without giving the notice as stipulated in your contract (usually 60-90 days), then yes, you’ll have trouble and might even be blacklisted as they could very well file a complaint against you as you are in breach of a legal document and they have no reason to cut you slack. Find out about your options here.

Thanks for your response, Drew! I see what you are saying. The thing is they had me in the classroom before they even began to process my work permit.

As far as I know, it’s illegal to train and have teachers teaching in class before a work permit is issued, right?

Yes. Unfortunately you can also get in trouble for that situation. There have been raids where teachers have been busted for working without a permit. So I wouldn’t report that. The school might get in trouble, but so will you.

As difficult as it might be for you, I’d try to part on amicable terms. Ask them how long it’d take them to find a new teacher and work until then (or review your contract and see what it says about leave notices).

OTOH, if no permit has been issued yet, maybe you can just leave. :man_shrugging:

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The permit is being processed currently and they might have it sometime next week. That’s why I’m on the fence of leaving or trying to stay and stick it out.

Okay, I see. Well, see if you can get them to cancel it. If they give you a hard time, make some excuse like a family member back home is sick. If they process it, your situation becomes a lot more difficult.

Thanks for the advice!

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If the OP leaves before the work permit is done, can the school still file a complaint about breaking the correct?

In the absence of a legally binding document, it’s just their claim against his. He could deny it without proof.

A work permit is already applied means a signed contract exist. Me think.

The school can still do it. A teacher cancels a contract in the first year of employment in Taiwan, and the school makes a complaint can lead to future problems.

OP - keep some evidence that you’ve been teaching before your work permit came through. Pay slips or something. You can use these to threaten the school if they decide to get vindictive.

Tell the school your grandmother has died and you have to return home. Do this before your school processes your work permit.

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Thanks everyone for adding to this! They told me that the permit would take 7 business days on which this Tuesday would be the 7th day.

School told me we would talk next week and I’m hoping they have enough distain for me to pull the permit application but who knows.

If they still want me I’m going to attempt to make it work because even with some excuse like, my grandpa died and I need to leave, they still might be dicks enough to let the process finish, file a complaint and screw me over anyways. They’ve had a lot of past teachers in training that have left so I’m sure they would love to screw me over due to their past issues.

I totally have proof of them asking me to work but at this point I don’t know how much the headache is worth it.

On that note, if I do get stuck at this school, and I’ve read mixed answers on this, is there a minimum amount of hours they must legally give me? When I told them I wanted to leave they pulled a lot of supposed hours from the schedule from me.

minimum is 14 hr.

Full-time Foreign Teacher in Cram School

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Thank you!

In case anyone is interested to hear how this ended, the last I reported was that my potential employer and I were going to talk next week (so this past week).

On Monday I reached out and the owner said she was not in Taipei. The next day I reached out and got no response. I also contacted the administrative assistant about the status of my permit and got no response.

Wednesday came and I went to the Workforce Development Agency to inquire on the status myself. They told me my company requested to end the permit application that morning. Them ignoring me and failing to tell me this really makes me happy I decided to leave.

The agency told me I just needed a paper saying we agree to end the process and the school’s stamp as signature. I went to the school, wrote it out, got the stamp and took it back. I’m a free woman hahahaha.


If you want, you can write some words in the blacklist topic, so others won’t find themselves in the same situation.


Congratulations. They’re being petty, but I can understand their annoyance. But that’s not your concern. It’s very lucky it wasn’t processed and I think you’re off the hook. Please be more discerning about the next job you apply for, so you don’t repeat this situation again. Good luck!

Thank you! And I most definitely will be. I plan to call WDA on Monday to confirm everything has been cleared but I’m certain I’m free now!