[LONG] Work-search advice sought for USA natl relo'ing to TW for wife to get Taiwan National ID 身分證

Hi all,

My wife, two kids and I are planning on relocating to Taiwan from New York City in 1Q of next year so that my wife can get her Taiwan National ID (身分證) etc. She’s a USA born/Taiwan dual national (with passport, but no National ID) and her whole extended family lives in Taiwan. From a logistical standpoint for us, it’s a no-brainer and would be a pretty easy transition. I’ve been to Taiwan loads of times, and I lived for many years in Jakarta going to middle school and high school there, and graduating from high school in Singapore. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of returning to Asia and giving my kids the awesome experience of living there. My main concern is getting a good position in Taiwan and not having a big gap on my resume if I can’t find anything and I need to return to the US after a year or so. Of course my main goal is to get a great position, grow my career, and stay in Taiwan more or less permanently.

About me: mid-thirties, I’ve got a BA and a law degree, have worked in the digital services and technology group of a major global media organization, as well as a start-up digital media company. Now consulting for a big data start-up. My work has always been on the business side, business development, product management/engagement, strategic partnerships and client services. Not a developer or an engineer. Also not a lawyer despite the law degree. I think I’d be good in a role leveraging those skills for a tech company or company with a global presence in Taiwan. I’ve got a lot of focus on content/analytics products, but I am pretty product agnostic when it comes down to it. Last big point: only utterly basic Chinese skills, not even enough to list on my resume. (Indonesian skills: yes!)

I’ve got a few questions I’m hoping for some advice on:

(a) What’s the best way to get noticed when applying to a job in Taiwan I find somewhere like LinkedIn, from New York?
(b) good idea to put an objective on my resume saying I intend to relocate?
© how crippled am I from the lack of Chinese skills?
(d) do 104.com.tw and 1111.com.tw list any jobs for non-Chinese speakers? Any other resources come to mind to secure a position prior to moving?
(e) is it worth submitting a resume to a recruiter like Michael Page?
(f) am I eligible for the ‘marriage visa’ based on my wife being a national, but not yet a resident?

Thanks in advance!

The best way is guanxi. Failing that, 1111 and 104, probably.

No clue.

Quite. A law degree is nice, but if you can’t speak Chinese I don’t see how it would be terribly helpful. I"m notoriously cynical when it comes to Taiwan’s job market, however.

Very few, and when they do, they usually have everything posted in Chinese anyway. You’d probably do better to identify some companies in Taipei (go for US companies with operations here maybe) and throw your resume to them directly.

But I really, really emphasize the importance of guanxi. If you had a previous business client with Taiwan operations, see if they know of any possible openings at their Taiwan branch. Or if they know anyone who would be interested.

No experience here.

Again, I don’t know, but I kind of suspect not.

Best of luck.

The job market in Taiwan sucks big time.
Nobody will understand the terms you’ve just used and there aren’t jobs that exist in those areas or would pay remotely well here.

Appreciate your responses, that’s mostly what I figured. Will keep researching and seeing what I come up with.

I think someone with your skills and background would eventually find something here and perhaps even be able to fashion something of a career. But listen to Headhoncho. The job market sucks and the kind of job you have doesn’t exist in Taiwan. You will have to reinvent yourself. People do it all the time though. Pay is low. Especially now and especially at first.

One part of Hokwongwei’s advice is wrong.

[quote]Quite. A law degree is nice, but if you can’t speak Chinese I don’t see how it would be terribly helpful. I"m notoriously cynical when it comes to Taiwan’s job market, however.

There are a several very successful foreign lawyers in Taiwan who speak no Chinese at all. Hokwongwei overvalues a skill that he worked hard to obtain. Chinese is nice to have but far from essential. Of course making an serious effort to learn it is a great idea and has all kinds of other rewards.

On to your questions.

You can’t. Seriously, it’s really tough to get hired from overseas in Taiwan. Taiwanese companies are notorious for ignoring applications from overseas and not responding to emails. One good reason for this is that hires from overseas often don’t work well because of very different expectations, communication problems, and sometimes bad faith.

Emphasize your experience in the US and concrete plans to move to Taiwan.


Not much. It will be inconvenient at work but that is not what you are being hired for. You are being hired for your experience in the US.

Yes they do. Search for English keywords like ‘cloud’ ‘data’. ‘editor’ etc’

This is very difficult to do unless you have some kind skill like mobile phone design or patent litigation that is in demand. Then you are in a different class. I don’t think you will be able to line up a job before coming to Taiwan but you can certainly try. You could reapply when you get here.

Probably not. But why not unless it costs money


Very unlikely to get hired in Taiwan from outside Taiwan.

The only silver lining here is that it is relatively easy to get hired and the hiring process is usually quick and straightforward (because of lower pay and ease of firing and not many foreigners). Often they’ll want you to start work straightaway, no hanging around or deliberation. If you’ve got your ba degree or masters there will be one or two year overseas work experience requirements which is a piece of cake for you to apply for the Work permit ( if you can’t get the joining resident visa first).

Criticism accepted.

If I may qualify: Not having Chinese will not prevent you from finding a job if you are qualified. However, it will make it very, very difficult to climb up a corporate ladder (if such a thing is possible at all for foreigners) if you are ‘seen but not heard.’

Thanks for your responses. I had applied to a few things via Linkedin, but based on your advice won’t hold my breath. We’re definitely prepared to move without something lined up, it’s just the security of the thing. Appreciate all your advice.

Good luck! I’m planning a move myself in a few years!

Please take a look at the threads started by me in the “dual nationality” forum. Pending changes to the Immigration Act (likely to be passed during the next legislative session) will give children of ROC nationals with ID cards the automatic right to an ID card. Perhaps as early as the second half of the year, your wife will only have to enter Taiwan on her ROC passport and apply at the NIA to get the ID card - no need to reside in Taiwan for a certain period of time.

In the meantime, have her family call up some legislators to keep the ball rolling!