Order of Operations for a first timer to Taiwan

I’m an English language teacher from Australia looking to move to Taiwan in July with my (Taiwanese) girlfriend to work.

Just want to make sure I’m correct on the (rough) order of operations here:

-Find a job (online most likely)
-Employer will help with work permit
-Work permit, then > ARC
-ARC = can live and work in Taiwan, just renew every year?

At which point do I need to be in Taiwan? Can I be there before I get a job? Do I need a return ticket when I first go?


I think you can be here before you get a job but you will have to leave to convert your Visitor Visa to a Visa with a Work Permit

Can the OP apply for a Work Permit before coming to Taiwan? Or does he have to come in to Taiwan as a Visitor no matter what and then plan a Visa run?

If you are Australian or certain other nationalities, you may not need a return ticket when you land because you may be able to apply for a 30-day? Landing Visa on Arrival. You would then plan a Visa run to HK and get your Visa with Work Permit there at that time

Your flow chart is correct. If this is for buxiban work, I wouldn’t sign a contract before being in Taiwan and visiting the school personally. You can certainly be in Taiwan and get a job after arriving, which I recommend.

Regarding visas: Australian citizens can enter Taiwan Visa-Free for 90 days (This is not a “Landing Visa” which is not applicable for most people). Airlines will probably ask you for an outward ticket dated within that 90 days; you can buy a refundable ticket to anywhere like Hong Kong, then cancel that ticket once you have a job and your ARC in process.

English teachers (“white collar workers”) can take their Work Permit and get a Visitor’s Visa, then take that to get their ARC, without leaving Taiwan, as long as this takes place within the 90-day Visa Free entry period. See “Notice, Part 7” https://www.boca.gov.tw/cp-166-276-48430-2.html

Something to consider: If you are in Taiwan for less than 183 days in a tax year (Jan 1~Dec 31), you will be taxed at 18% instead of the normal 5%. You might consider arriving a bit earlier if this is a concern.


Thanks! Really helpful. In regards to work permit:

-Apply for job
-Sign contract
-Work permit

Or do I need that before I even look for work?

Always girls, always girls… another yellow fever case? :slight_smile:

You can come with a visitor visa and do everything here in Taiwan. You just get a job, the company will apply the paperwork for you to get the “working permit”, you go to NIA and cancel your tourist visa, apply the working visa and if you wish, you can go and apply the ARC at the same day and surprisingly they will cancel the working permit and you just need to wait for your ARC that usually is ready within 14 days.

You don’t really need to do any visa run!

/me did as described above.

The first thing is to get the job. You will sign the employment contract, then the employer will apply for your work permit. You will need to provide certain documentation for the employer to apply for the work permit. I don’t remember all the documents required, but for sure your passport, diploma/degree, and health check. The employer should be able to tell you how to get the health check.

Things have changed since I arrived and you might need to also provide some kind of background check from your home country. Hopefully others can verify this.

IIRC it will take about 1-2 weeks for the employer to get the Work Permit back, which they will give to you.

Then you take the Work Permit and other documents listed here to get your Residence Visa/ARC. If you arrived on a Visa-Free entry and you’re still within the 90 days, you must first get a Visitors Visa, as explained in the above link.

As araujobsd above mentioned, if you decide to get a Visitors Visa before coming to Taiwan, instead of entering Visa-Free, then you’ll already have that. You’ll simply be paying for the Visitors Visa before you arrive instead of when you apply for the ARC.

Ahah! Yes well, I was actually planning to come before we had even met but no amount of explaining gets past the stereotype I guess :laughing:

Thanks for the info, really helps.

Thanks for clarifying. I feel like I actually understand the process now :smiley: really appreciate it!

You can do either way

  • come to taiwan > find a job > sign contract > work permit > visa > ARC


  • find a job > sign contract > work permit > visa > come to taiwan > ARC

no, you can convert your visa exempt entry or visitor visa to residency based on employment without leaving taiwan

Yes, you (your employer) can get a work permit and resident visa from overseas, if you find a job and sign the contract before you come to taiwan.