Problems with open work permit?

Interesting story. I’ve just been talking with a friend of mine who deals with work permit issues for the teachers at her company, a job at which she is an expert with many years’ experience.

She’s just been having an argument with some woman at the education ministry who is EMPHATIC that even if a foreigner has an open work pemit, the hiring company must still go through the entire work permit procedure at the Education Ministry, submitting all the foreigner’s details and documentation, just as if the person has no open work permit.

According to the Education Ministry person, it would also be impossible for them to issue more than one work permit for the same person, so he or she would STILL be limited to working at only one school.

I guessed from this that it is just a case of the Education Ministry worker being uninformed of the new regulations, but in this case, the holder of this open work permit has been denied a job because of this ignorance.

Can you cast any light on this, Richard?

I have an OWP and i was under the impression that i could only work at the place that it was issued with.

Aha, even more confusion. I was under the impression that the OWP does not have ANY “place of employment” on it.

This is making me wonder if the whole OWP thing is not just a meaningless sop by the government to the foreign community.

Question: Will these kinds of affairs all be cleared up when (and if) Taiwan re-unifies with the Mainland under the “one country, three systems” formula?

Well, but seriously now, please remember that the 51.01.03 is not technically an “open work permit”, but is still specific to one employer.

I have made inquiries to the Council of Labor Affairs on April 26th about this entire jurisdictional matter, however the reply I received was still somewhat vague about SPECIFICS. So I submitted a new letter and am waiting for a reply. Sorry about the confusion.

Sounds like bullshit to me. I think it’s too bad that this person was denied a job as a result of serious bureaucratic disorganization. I thought that the Ministry of Education had no jurisdiction over the OWPs. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the CLA ALONE is responsible for these. From my understanding, the Ministry of Education really has no authority in this regard, so it really shouldn’t matter WHAT they think, anyway.

Mark, you must be confused as to what an open work permit is. It is NON-SPECIFIC to any one employer, and those that fall under the eligible categories stated in Article 51 of the ESA (with the exception of category 3) can apply DIRECTLY to the CLA for an OWP. However, it was my impression that Article 51 category 3 permits ARE specific to one employer, BUT still allow for the acquisition of multiple work permits.

Either way, it would seem this woman with the Ministry of Education is mistaken. Let’s hope so, or there will be some serious problems.

Hey Mo’ Joe. Sorry if i gave you (or anyone else) the wrong info. This whole thing is confusing enough already. I have the open work permit and it does state on it my place of work. I didn’t realise that i was still entitled to apply for further work (not that i’m going to!)

I think you have a 51.01.03

I’ve been thinking about this and I guessed the education ministry would have this kind of reaction. They have their own regulations about what a foreign teacher must do to be licensed.

I didn’t renew my teaching work permit this time around because I have the open work permit due to my marriage.

Am I wrong that this allows me to work anywhere and that if the cops come to our school this paper would not be enough? Can’t possible see how that could be the case.

Anyway I’m half expecting the education ministry to give me hassle about it at some point in the future but they’ll get a hell of a mandarin argument out of me before I take their stupid health exam again.

Could it be that there are independent laws on the books for foreigners teaching English in Taiwan, and that to teach you must be approved by the Ministry of Education? Just asking. In this case, it wouldn’t necessarily be a matter of work authorization, but simply certification for a certain line of work … not unlike having to be certified to be a nurse or laywer. I remember when I taught English, they specifically wanted to see my diploma and health test/HIV test … In this senario I could see their being a lot of confusion between government departments. Oh, the joys of living in Tawian. This is classic.

If your work is related to teaching, the application for your work permit has to be made with the Ministry of Education. If you are going to work at a company, the responsible organisation is the Ministry of Economics.
There is a kind of certificate, called “jiang shi zheng” (iirc), but that has nothing to do with the work permit. Your school (but probably no buxiban) can help you apply for one. If you receive such a certificate, further applications in the field of education should be easier, because it shows you have been “approved” and teaching before.
I don’t know if there is any other organisation granting work permits, perhaps those “military advisors” get their work permit through the Ministry of Defense, but that should be all…
And of course, each has an own set of rules how to “evaluate” a foreign candidate…

Schmartzell> Question: Will these kinds of affairs all be cleared
Schmartzell> up when (and if) Taiwan re-unifies with the
Schmartzell> Mainland under the “one country, three systems”
Schmartzell> formula?

You mean 一果兩汁? Why, that’s impossible, anybody knows that. And what’s this about open wife permits? Is that why the lady was so emphatic? Is that what we are paying you for these days? No wonder the Vice President’s commission wants nothing to do with us.

For those who have already obtained an “open work permit” (also called “personal work permit”) and still have questions about it’s full applicability to do any kind of work in the ROC, I invite you to send in your own inquiry to the Council of Labor Affairs.

I have come up with a one page letter in Chinese specifically for this purpose (MS WORD format). If you want a copy, please give me a private email, clearly indicating your email address, and I will send it to you by return email.

(To printout this letter on your computer will require Chinese system).

Notes: Open Work Permit categories are –
51.01.01. Foreign persons [1] who are married to citizens with household registration within the territory of the Republic of China and [2] who have obtained residency.

51.01.02. Refugees who have obtained residency.

51.01.04. Foreign persons who have obtained approval to live with their lineal blood relatives with household registration in the territory of the Republic of China.

51.01.05. Foreign persons who have obtained permanent residency.

Actually this topic is getting a little confusing. I was under the impression that once I get back from Australia, married, I would be able to apply first for my JFV (whatever) and then OWP based on marriage to a local spouse. After this I would be free to work wherever I wanted provided they wanted me.

Can somebody please tell me if this above info is correct. And if not, where and why?

I believe that everything you have said is correct.

As to the where and why of how it may be possibly incorrect, we are still investigating.

Do you want a copy of my Chinese form-letter? Please indicate your mailing address.

Yeah Richard I’d appreciate that thanks. Amos.

I have a copy of the official letter which the Council of Labor Affairs sent to a KMT Legislator recently. This letter confirms that a foreigner with an ESA Article 51.01.01, 51.01.02, 51.01.04, or 51.01.05 work permit does not need any additional permission to work in a bushiban, kindergarten, child-care center, university, etc. or anywhere else.

If you need a copy of this letter, please send me a private email with your FAX number, or indicate your mailing address. (If you are writing a Chinese address in English, please give me some indication as to how to write the characters.)

Well, Richard emailed CLA’s official answer. It is simple. If you have an OWP (excluding 51.1.3) then you can work pretty much wherever you like.

You don’t need to apply anywhere else.

However, most Taiwanese HR depts schrew up, by asking some ill-informed paper-pusher in some of the departments who mistakenly think they have any jurisdiction over the matter.