Requirements for Working at a Trading Company in Taiwan

This is an open question to anyone with some experience with finding NON English teaching work.

Especially related to a trading company or perhaps any business that does foreign trade. I’m looking for any entry point or foot in the door into a local or foreign company here in Taiwan. I’m prepared to start at an entry level position even if it means dealing with foreign sales, communicating with foreign clients etc etc just to get started.

I have a Masters in Finance and 2 years work experience related to research, 4 years teaching experience in Taiwan.

I’ve been using local search engines such as 104, 111 and a few others to find a non teaching job. I already have a few interviews lined up with some decent companies. There are a lot of options here but do I meet the legal requirements for applying for these posts.

Looking at the government website about requirements for foreign professionals, it seems quite tough to enter the corporate world here as a foreigner. law.moj.gov.tw/eng/LawClass/LawA … e=N0090031

Here is the deal from the government website:

First, you must meet one of these requirements.

Qualifications:

Other than meeting with other criteria specified in the Standards, foreign employees have to acquire one of the following qualifications before undertaking the jobs/assignments specified here above:
  1. Acquire certificates or operation qualifications through the procedures specified in the Examinations of Specific Profession and Technician Guidelines.
  2. Acquire credentials of Master degree or above from universities in the ROC or in foreign countries or acquire Bachelor degree and with more than two years working experiences in the specific field.
  3. Expatriates to the ROC that have been employed in multi-national companies for more than one year.
  4. Specialists who have been trained professionally or self-taught in the specific field and have more than five years experiences in related skills and have demonstrated outstanding performances.

It seems like my Masters can get me through here.

Industries for foreign professionals.

  1. Civil engineering or practice of architecture;
  2. Communications and transportation;
    3. Tax and financial services;
  3. Practice of real estate agency;
  4. Immigration services;
  5. Practice of attorneys, or of patent attorneys;
  6. Practice of technicians;
  7. Health care;
  8. Environmental protection;
  9. Culture, sports, and recreation services;
  10. Academic research;
  11. Practice of veterinarians;[b]
  12. Manufacturing;
  13. Wholesales; or[/b]
  14. Other work designated as per the joint consultation of the central governing authority and the central competent authorities.

    I can narrow my options down to the following: Financial, Manufacturing and maybe wholesales.

Specific requirements now include:

Job descriptions for foreigners to be employed in the tax & financial service field should be within the following categories:

  1. Securities & Future Trading
    (1) planning, research, analysis, management and new technique initiation work on securities and marketable securities.
    (2) Future trading, investment, analysis, auditing in the financial and business sectors or new techniques initiation.
  2. Financial industry: depositing, crediting, investing, trusting, foreign exchange , other financial businesses recognized by the central competent authorities along with authority concerned at the central government level and the planning, research & analysis, management & consulting work of these business sectors.
  3. Insurance industry: Claims for life or property insurance, approval of insurance policy, actuary, investment, information, re-insurance, insurance brokerage, insurance agent, training, notarization, engineering , risk management or new techniques initiation.
  4. Assisting businesses or services specified by the CPA Guidelines.

The job descriptions for foreigners to be employed in the manufacturing industry should include: operational management, research, analysis, design, planning, maintenance, consultation, instrument installation and technical supervision.

The job descriptions for foreigners to be employed in the wholesale business should include: operational management, design, planning and technical supervision.

So my question here is… I[b]t seems like Finance is an option here for me but only with a financial institution, not a regular company.

But what about trading companies, sales or those doing international business? I’m also curious where technical writers fall in here because that might be a starting point. Or are there any other means of getting in that I’m not aware of.

Comments or thoughts from anyone with any knowledge or non teaching experience will be most welcome.[/b]

I’ve worked in a few trading companies as an “English secretary” but never legally. Generally they can’t get work permits for foreigners because they (the companies) are too small and they can’t demonstrate any real need for a foreigner. English secretary is not recognized as a category for a work permit since local Taiwanese can perform that work. That’s why most non-teachers here fall into editing/translating/tech writing type jobs.

Correct. I have worked for a few trading companies as a consultant (not specifically in an English capacity). They were all in the same industry I have been in for the last 10 years (clothing). However, I have a JFRV.

I asked why the company did not hire other foreigners, and got the answer that it is difficult to get work permits for them, even with industry experience. There are enough Taiwanese who speak a sufficient level of English to do foreign trade. I have a Taiwanese friend working for the biggest trading company in a specific industry here. He gets 40K a month. He works till 7PM most nights. So the companies know they will not find a foreigner that would take this type of salary even if they wanted to.

It was actually the business culture that did my head in. If someone screws the pooch, god forbid you crap them out like in a Western co. This would take 5 minutes. To preserve face you have to talk around the point for 6 hours telling him what a good job he is doing meaning what a bad job he is doing. Or when the managers,fathers, uncles, friends, cousins son gets a job with 0 knowledge or experience in the industry due to guangxi.

Although I think this system is extremely inefficient, I accept it is the way things are done here and on the mainland. However, when I do business with the mainland I am the foreign devil customer, so it expected of me to scream and shout. :discodance:

I would advise to look for a position in an industry where you have specific experience. At a trading co it is likely all you would do is correct emails or occasionally make a telephone call.

Actually, I have several classmates and fellow Latinos working legally in both financial institutions -investment holdings kind of stuff- or diverse trading companies. salaries are not outstanding, but it is a good stepping stone: they get contacts in the industry, and move to greener pastures. Some have taken the knowledge and strated their own company. :wink:

Trading companies in Taiwan are on the way out, as most contacts are being handled directly from the Chinese production facilities. At least there is a market for Spanish speaker, albeit small, preferably Overseas Compatriots. That is why there is some difficulty in getting these jobs. getting permits for foreigners means opening your tax books and other interesting books to authorities, as the company must be checked to have a minimum. That is why you shouldn’t look at places that do not already have a foreign worker. Inventing the hot water will not work here. 40K is the minimum minimum -foreigner must earn double the minimum salary of Taiwanese per law, that is why I said it is low.

Going directly to certain companies -bike industry comes to mind, maybe petrochemical- might be a good strategy for info/openings.

What do you have an interest in? What can you bring to the table?
There’s usually no quick way, you just get your foot in the door and work from there.

I am not asking anyone to do anything illegal, however would it be too dangerous to use the investor ARC route?

[quote=“headhonchoII”]What do you have an interest in? What can you bring to the table?
There’s usually no quick way, you just get your foot in the door and work from there.[/quote]

I completely agree. However, other than a financial career, which is an option for me here (but not my first choice by any means - for various reasons) can another career in trade/sales or other be pursued legitimately within the legal boundaries. (As a single male going on 30 without a JFRV and unable to apply for the APRC due to low salary in my 5th year in TW). I’m aware I could drag on my life through Finance or teaching for another year just to stay on and hope something works out, but I feel that I’ve spent enough time doing jobs that I know aren’t in my long term interest. I guess I can just feel the clock ticking and my career development not taking off.

I have been receiving interviews for jobs can do and would be a great start. The problem seems to be that it’s not within the framework of the law for these companies to hire me for these positions. Many companies don’t seem to know it and sometimes they don’t ask because they assume it’s possible and perhaps they haven’t had experience hiring foreigners. Some ask me at interviews if I know the visa requirements. I’m just not sure I want to say it’s legit and then set them up for a nasty surprise after giving me the job and then finding out they can’t do it legally.

I’m sure there are some that have managed to tiptoe around the government requirements set out for foreign professionals here (evta.gov.tw)
I’d be curious how they went about it and even better, if a career outside of my financial specialization could be a perfectly legal option.

Thanks again and all comments are appreciated.

There have other threads with the same topic. I think with a masters it is one year job experience or less that is required, outside Taiwan. If showing experience is necessary and you don’t have it be creative.

I had a brief look around but I couldn’t find them. Would you mind sending the link if possible.

Also, while my qualifications may be sound, looking at the specific requirements (see below) outlined by the government, do you know how to get around or fit into these regulations for international trade or sales. Any past experience with this would be welcome. I’m concerned about the application and how I can explain it to a company interested in hiring me.

Thanks

Specific requirements now include:

Job descriptions for foreigners to be employed in the tax & financial service field should be within the following categories:

  1. Securities & Future Trading
    (1) planning, research, analysis, management and new technique initiation work on securities and marketable securities.
    (2) Future trading, investment, analysis, auditing in the financial and business sectors or new techniques initiation.
  2. Financial industry: depositing, crediting, investing, trusting, foreign exchange , other financial businesses recognized by the central competent authorities along with authority concerned at the central government level and the planning, research & analysis, management & consulting work of these business sectors.
  3. Insurance industry: Claims for life or property insurance, approval of insurance policy, actuary, investment, information, re-insurance, insurance brokerage, insurance agent, training, notarization, engineering , risk management or new techniques initiation.
  4. Assisting businesses or services specified by the CPA Guidelines.

The job descriptions for foreigners to be employed in the manufacturing industry should include: operational management, research, analysis, design, planning, maintenance, consultation, instrument installation and technical supervision.

The job descriptions for foreigners to be employed in the wholesale business should include: operational management, design, planning and technical supervision.

I was told if you have a masters you don’t need any experience. I’ve been on the phone to Labor Affairs a lot recently.

Your prospective employer has a minimum revenue requirement, too. A company applied for my permit recently, but it was declined and they were told their revenue must be above 10million NT per year.
I think that figure depends on the company’s age. Check with other Forumosans.

As for the employment catagory / job title. I wouldn’t panic about that. If you can make yourself sound like a one-of-a-kind specialist, you should be OK.

If anything the requirements are easier to meet than they were when I started.

Again, be creative with your experience, when it comes to low salary the fifth year, can’t you get the boss to declare more and then pay that little extra tax?

When I applied for my APRC, I was starting up a co, and did not have 2 coins to rub together, I declared and paid for some more tax, no worries after that.

This is the deal breaker:

[quote]I have been receiving interviews for jobs can do and would be a great start. The problem seems to be that it’s not within the framework of the law for these companies to hire me for these positions.[color=#FF0040]NO, the law states very clearly what is required of these companies to hire a foreigner. That they pretend not to know or that they really do not know is another story.[/color] [color=#4000FF]Many companies don’t seem to know it and sometimes they don’t ask because they assume it’s possible and perhaps they haven’t had experience hiring foreigners.[/color] [color=#FF0000]This is very dangerous.[/color]Some ask me at interviews if I know the visa requirements. I’m just not sure I want to say it’s legit and then set them up for a nasty surprise [color=#FF4040]no, no, it is not you setting them up, they should know their stuff[/color]after giving me the job and then finding out they can’t do it legally.

[/quote]

You are OK. You have the degree, so you’re fine. Now you have to find a company that knows their stuff. It is NOT up to you to do the paperwork. It is their responsibility and the CLA won’t take a single piece of paper from you unless it is through the company. You need to look for a position for a foreigner, not just “a sales position”, for instance.

I know what it is for a company to fight foot and nail to keep the foreigner in… and fail, not due to negligence, but rather a bad year in sales and they did not make the minimum. So no matter how attractive the company is, how much you wanna work there, sometimes it is not just up to you. The receiving company carries the heaviest burden in this “relationship”. I know you want to get out of teaching but you also want to make the time count for further rewards -APRC, experience, savings, whatever you are looking for. So you gotta be picky, if they do not know how to hire a foreigner, and have never done it before, it is a setup for grief. Most probably, they can’t. So it is not your fault.

You guys are thinking too much, it is not that kind of hard to get a permit even for small companies. Just the culture, they will not tell you they found someone else, they will tell you some story they really like you but cannot do because of the size of their company whatever. Actually your masters + 49k salary is more than enough to get a permit if the company wants. Like another poster mentioned more likely connections important.

It is THAT hard to get a permit for some companies, it’s been discussed here many time before. You have a minimum revenue requirement and some other issues that can cause trouble. 49k/mth is also more than some small companies are willing to pay for a new hire. For a decent sized small company it is not that hard, but it is hassle for the HR, so not all of them are willing to bother. Find a manager who wants to hire you and he/she will push it through.

Remember OP, working in Taiwan you sometimes have to bend the rules a bit to get the foot in the door, it’s just the nature of the beast. If they want certain documents, give them the documents. Don’t give them fake academic credentials though!
I believe you don’t need to show experience with the Master’s now, as another poster mentioned, so you probably just need to show your degree, your tax affairs are in order etc. to get the work permit along with a company able and willing to hire you.

Man, I wish this process wasn’t so difficult. It’s always really discouraging to read the reality of these situations.

[quote=“headhonchoII”]It is THAT hard to get a permit for some companies, it’s been discussed here many time before. You have a minimum revenue requirement and some other issues that can cause trouble. 49k/mth is also more than some small companies are willing to pay for a new hire. For a decent sized small company it is not that hard, but it is hassle for the HR, so not all of them are willing to bother. Find a manager who wants to hire you and he/she will push it through.

Remember OP, working in Taiwan you sometimes have to bend the rules a bit to get the foot in the door, it’s just the nature of the beast. If they want certain documents, give them the documents. Don’t give them fake academic credentials though!
I believe you don’t need to show experience with the Master’s now, as another poster mentioned, so you probably just need to show your degree, your tax affairs are in order etc. to get the work permit along with a company able and willing to hire you.[/quote]

Thanks for all the comments everyone! I’m really learning something now.

I recently chatted with a friend of mine who managed to get his foot in the door because he knew someone and they really wanted him. I believe he has a bachelors degree was theology :slight_smile: and that’s certainly not what he’s working on.

I also learned that you can get an employment agency (with experience getting foreigners hired) to sort out the paperwork, make sure you sound legit and word the application accordingly and within the framework of the law for a few thousand. Anyone know of these kind of agencies?

Today I was interviewed ( a fun challenge since it was all in Chinese -I was cramming vocab like a champ before the interview) and the company would like me to handle and grow their foreign business. They believe that a native speaker would be best for the job and I they really seemed excited to get me working immediately. So, the companies are keen and now it seems like it’s a case of crossing the red tape. Salary is not great ( I see their is a legal minimum 40k something - not sure ), but there will be commissions for new business I create. A decent paycut from teaching but a healthy change of scenery I believe and certainly a foot in the door to gain experience.

SO- Employment Agencies anyone ??? I’ll talk to them first to make sure and then recommend them to the company if I decide to take it.

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress. Keep those comments rolling in. Thanks again. I’m feeling much better after yesterdays bout of disillusionment and wondering wtf I’ve been doing all these years in TW just to go back home empty handed.

No, I wouldn’t recommend you engaging with any employment agency or agent. Most experiences I’ve heard are quite devastating. Again, the problem is not yours. It is the company’s. Let them and their HR department figure it out. Actually, be careful if they use an agent, as your work permit will end under them, not the company. Some may hav it easier due to guanxi at CLA, but then it means you also get the short end of the stick if there is trouble.

I am not sure if I want to work at a trading company… my sister has extensive experience working there and lets just say the working hour is very long, the workload is excessive (the mentality is save as much money as possible, so they expect you to do the work of about 4 people), and the pay is barely enough for a frugal lifestyle (starting salary of around 22k). I tried interviewing for a few of those jobs but didn’t get it because some expected me to write in Chinese which I can’t do. However if you are very good with business you can get better and better pays but being a company man does not help you in this case… you have to switch jobs every few years to get pay raises because getting that from a TW company is almost impossible regardless of performance. My sister gets around 40k a month from her trading job now, but she’s been doing this for the last 10 years.

You may have better luck in China as there are far more “trading” going on there.

Ok!

Today I managed to get an offer for the 48k minimum package with possible incentives. It’s a start.
They wanted 30k but I stood my ground on the law and what I believe I can offer them.
The company certainly appreciated my research and printouts of the law and requirements to hire me.

They seem committed to want to hire me (even though experience is lacking) and train me.
It looks like I’m going to take it.

Let’s hold thumbs and see what happens.

Life as I know it seems like it’s going to change… out of the teaching wold, one step at a time.

[quote=“cyberguppy”]Ok!

Today I managed to get an offer for the 48k minimum package with possible incentives. It’s a start.
They wanted 30k but I stood my ground on the law and what I believe I can offer them.
The company certainly appreciated my research and printouts of the law and requirements to hire me.

They seem committed to want to hire me (even though experience is lacking) and train me.
It looks like I’m going to take it.

Let’s hold thumbs and see what happens.

Life as I know it seems like it’s going to change… out of the teaching wold, one step at a time.[/quote]

This is very inspiring and I’m very happy to see this cyberguppy. Good luck and hopefully things will work out for you in your new role. Let us know how it goes! Other people would like to follow in these type of footsteps… :bravo: