Hi! I’ve come close to your experience, so here’s what I found: your current employer is supposed to notify the local police office (close to your home) so the police know you are unemployed and your ARC is invalid. You are supposed to be on the next flight out of Taiwan. I’m not sure about the “5 days” rule - from my memory of reading Taiwan laws, there is no specific time mentioned so your ex-employer could be very nice (slow in getting around to the notification) or very nasty (same-day notification, giving you no time to stay here legally!).
The local police could then also be very nice or they could seek you immediately. I wouldn’t bet on either response.
If you really need to quit, it’s best to find a way to keep your ARC “temporarily valid” between jobs.
I was planning to do this by having a friend’s small company “hire” me for a little while and I would stand in line to process any ARC sponsorship transfer paperwork myself so it wouldn’t trouble them.
Another possibility if you have plenty of money: put a large sum of NT$ into a local company, since this gives you a perpetual ARC as an investor. I don’t remember the amount required - sorry!
Another possibility: get admitted a college and change your ARC to “student” status. It’s a hassle and not the best solution, but at least it keeps you legal.
If you need to know more details of the laws, try contacting the Taipei city hall department of labor relations. It’s best to have a Taiwanese friend help you. On weekends, the department often has a real lawyer give free, brief and private consultations (since lawyers are supposed to do “pro bono” work). It’s a good point of reference, but still you should get a few “second opinions”.
Also, I seem to remember there’s a website sponsored by city hall with lots of legal info in english.
I believe most employers will see trouble in hiring someone with an expired/invalid ARC…they will be expecting a hassle from the authorities when they do the paperwork to assume sponsorship of your ARC…so I think it’s best to never let your ARC expire. At the least, I believe you can expect to pay a fine when they try to reinstate your ARC since the Authorities will obviously see you were here illegally for a while.
And one more note: from my view, the political & legal system is still very young so interpretation and enforcement of the laws can vary widely from place to place. You might even get different answers from two Authorities in the same office (and then watch them “discuss” their differences!). From my view, the letter of the law is secondary to what the Authority believes was the original intent…
I think we’re considered just “visitors” here (since most foreigners don’t stay long anyway) so be careful to understand the “Taiwanese way” of doing things.
Since you’re currently employed, I suggest you “play nice” until you have a new job then walk quickly with a smile (don’t run!) out the exit door.