Nine Categories of Employment

Some people have asked about the nine categories of employment open to foreigners in the ROC. These restrictions are contained in Article 43 of the Employment Services Act, to wit:

Article 43
a) Except as provided in the act, an employer shall recruit foreigners to practice only the following jobs in the Republic of China:

(1) specialized or technical work;
(2) executive positions for an investment project or business conducted by an overseas Chinese or a foreigner and approved by the authorities concerned;
(3) teachers for the following school systems:
(A) public or private registered colleges, or above, or foreign schools;
(B) approved foreign language courses offered by private registered elementary and middle schools; and
© bilingual courses offered by public or private registered experimental high schools, or bilingual schools;
(4) full-time foreign language teachers in a registered cram school compliant with the Cram Education Law;
(5) sports coaches and athletes;
(6) religious, art and entertainment jobs;
(7) domestic helpers;
(8) jobs identified by the central authorities concerned and related to major national construction projects or the developmental needs of economic and social activities; and
(9) specialized fields where domestic manpower supply is insufficient and necessary for business operations, provided that such demand is approved by the central authorities concerned.
(b) The central authorities concerned shall stipulate the job qualification and review standards for foreigners practicing the above job categories.
© Prior to employing foreigners for practicing jobs described in (a)(3)(B), (a)(3)©, (a)(7) and (a)(9), an employer shall first recruit the needed manpower in the domestic workforce under reasonable labor conditions. When such recruitment fails to meet the demand, an employer is then allowed to submit application for hiring foreigners to supplement only the insufficient manpower.

(d) An employer hiring foreigners to practice jobs described in (a)(7) and (a)(8) shall have their labor contracts drafted in accordance with those described in the Labor Standards Act.

(e) Dependents of foreigners practicing jobs described in (a), in the event of injury, illness, pregnancy or death occurred outside the effective territory stipulated in the Labor Insurance Regulations, are not covered by the insurance benefits offered in the Regulations.

The ESA has been revised here in May 2003. Although the basic structure remains the same, there may be some minor technicalities which are different.

Perhaps someone can post the latest news.

Article 43 3.B is now Article 46. 3. It reads:

“Qualified foreign teachers of foreign language courses at public or registered private high scools, junior high schools, and elementary schools.”

I’m interested as to what is meant by ‘qualified’ concerning work in state schools. I have a Trinity cert. TESOL (recognised as being the only equivalent to the RSA/Cambridge cert.) and will have two years elementary-age teaching experience before long. Is that enough, or do they want people who are certified teachers in their own countries?


We have no idea yet. The latest amendments to the law have to be promulgated by the president. The Ministry of Education will then update its regulations, which is when the crucial question of what “qualified” means. I believe they are required to hold public hearings on this. It’s really a shame that there is still no viable representative organization for foreign teachers that could apply pressure to the Ministry. This is exactly the sort of situation where the existence of such a group becomes critical.

Here is the Chinese text of the amendments. I may get around to translating them later.