Infuriating situation re illegally employed intl students

I was legally employed at a buxiban, had been there more than 5 years, and then the boss fired me (and told me they plan to fire the other legally employed teacher there too) and parceled out my hours to three foreign students whom she is paying significantly less than I was getting. I am not happy about this and am in the process of taking the boss to court.

These students did not have work permits, nor did they have a BA degree, and one was from a non-English speaking country and was hired to teach English.

Despite reporting these students and the buxiban to the relevant authorities (Labor, Education, MOFA) the people doing the inspections have not done their jobs and have refused to apply the rules/laws.

Firstly, they visited and discovered the students did not have work permits (even though they had been working there almost a year in one case.) So they administered no punishment and gave the boss a number of weeks to register them.

The boss has entered the students’ qualifications on the system and falsely stated that they have BA degrees. An inspector visited the school but did not ask to see copies of the students’ qualifications to check, instead they accepted the boss’s assurance that they are suitably qualified, even though I supplied the evidence that they are on undergraduate programs in Taiwan.

These students are on big scholarships from MOFA, ones that include tuition, dorms, AND enough to live on. MOFA says they are working legally if they have a work permit. This is simply not true, as the law states, with no exemptions, buxiban teachers need a BA degree and can only teach the official language of the country their passport is from.

Has anyone else had any experience trying to deal with a similar situation? My next stop is to forward all the reporting/correspondence to the Mayor of Taipei City, while when we get to civil court I will have these students called as witnesses, cite the laws they have broken, and have to pray that a judge might not just turn a blind eye, too.


3 posts were split to a new topic: From infuriating

A lot of uni students I teach teach English part time. I thought they were allowed to work up to 20 hours a week. A BA would be needed to get a work permit, but they effectively already have a work permit. English is an official language of all their countries.

Or am I missing something?

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They don’t need a BA to get a work permit because a work permit covers a number of types of work. They do need a BA to be employed in a buxiban.

Re: speaking English, again, you are incorrect. Taiwan’s MOFA provides scholarships to a number of Latin American countries where Spanish is the official language.

Not necessarily. JFRV or APRC holders can teach in buxibans without a bachelor’s degree. Yes, it’s a loophole, but it is possible.


Students holding a 20 hour work permit can legally teach at buxiban regardless of passport country. They CAN’T if they’re on a MOFA scholarship, which would preclude them from a student work permit.


This isn’t accurate. If someone has open work rights, they can teach legally at a buxiban without fulfilling those qualifications. I’m not sure if something similar may apply to whatever situation these students are in.

If they have a “work permit” I suspect it is some type of open work permit that would enable them to work in a buxiban. It seems like an impossibility that they could have processed a “work permit” through a local education ministry without a diploma/English speaking nation passport.


You are not correct. The law regarding employment at a buxiban states that a BA is required, as well as limiting teaching to the language of a person’s passport.

They can apply for a work permit from their university and it will be given, but they must still meet any legal requirements for the jobs they apply for.

I am not actually looking for legal advice/clarification, as I know the law and have a lawyer handling my case. What I was looking for was anyone else with experience of dealing with the situation, not comments from people fancying themselves as knowing the rules/just interested in commenting while they self-isolate.

The loophole is that the boss doesn’t need to apply for an ARC for them, where she would have to submit copies of their diplomas. She has registered them for work permits and falsely stated they have BA degrees. This is confirmed by the Taipei City gov website.

Why would Taiwan shoot itself in the foot by being tough on shady foreigners’ work permits? That would only raise the minimum 600 NT/hr causing inconvenience for parents islandwide.

How do you think they kept the base 600 NT hourly pay for foreigners the same for the last 15 years?


Sorry, that’s not accurate. Anyway, good luck.


they’re not getting their work permit as Buxiban teachers, but as students. It’s a bit of a quirky law.

So you know more than my Taiwanese lawyer. Right.

I really feel for you, but as far as I know most of the laws you think are being broken are requirements for obtaining an employer sponsored ARC to teach in a buxiban. There are many ways around this, all of which make a mockery of the MOE, but I’m almost certain they aren’t illegal.

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That is not actually right, they are listed as employed as teachers on the Taipei City website that publishes the info.

Apparently so. People with open work rights can perform any work that Taiwanese people can perform without special certifications, such as working at a buxiban. You may want to consider the possibility that your lawyer is not fully informed or mistaken.


They are illegal. You clearly didn’t read the post. I supplied evidence that one of these students worked at the school for a full year before the boss applied for their work permit, which she only did AFTER a visit from the inspectors.

Just wondering what the OP’s desired result is here. Revenge? Financial compensation? This seems like an unfortunate situation, but is it really worth the time, cost and effort involved in a lawsuit?


If everyone else is saying you’re wrong, then maybe you’re wrong.


So you are a lawyer? I doubt it. But you know more than a Taiwanese labor lawyer. Again, I doubt it.

The law:

Foreigners to be employed as foreign language teachers as specified in Article 46.1.4 in the Act shall have the following qualifications, and their weekly working hours in teaching-related work shall be no less than 14 (fourteen) hours:

  1. Be 20 (twenty) years old or above.
  2. Be graduated from colleges or above.
  3. The language to be taught by the foreign teacher is the official language used in the country specified in the passport of the teacher.

I see. Well, let us know how the case goes.
Which city is this BTW?