Side job

What was the first day of the period of validity listed on the permit?

Sorry I cocked that up…the period of validity started on the issue date i.e. April 13. April 10 is the expiry date 3 years down the line.

So issued on a Thursday and received on a Tuesday (but sent via a law office).

Oh, it looks like I read your post too fast. But anyway, validity began on Apr 13, and you started work on Apr 18. Nothing gray in that. :slight_smile:

Check your current contract to make sure it doesn’t prohibit working for another company.

Good idea, and then check with the labor department and/or a lawyer, because the clause may or may not be valid.

The law presumes an employee has the duty to be loyal to the employer, but there are limits to that.

As the child of a litigator, I don’t like jawboning with legal eagle types, but in my experience both in and out of the courtroom I’ve seen the gray area defined as a theoretical blind spot of uncertainty.

So, yeah, illegal to work without work permit in paw or use of above loophole.

Here’s the uncertainty part. If employers know it’s illegal to bring you on before the issue date, why do they consistently, and I mean on a fuckin’ daily basis, bring foreigners in to work when it’s clearly against the law? We don’t know. We can speculate. I have a pretty good idea why they do it viz-a-viz their calculations of odds and guanxi and whatnot. There are odds and risks. @ironlady put it perfectly: it depends on your stomach for risk. Similarly, why do foreigners agree to it? Can’t be sure.

There’s no way to argue against the documented cases, and there’s much to be said for staying on that clean side of the line. My old man used to say there are gray areas to every single law on the books. I know you’re right to say, “It’s illegal, period” but it doesn’t allow for any sort of uncertainty, of which it seems the whole work racket is based upon. I remember coming over on my visitor visa and the people at TECO said, “Remember, you can’t look for a job while you’re there” with a wink and a nod.

My stance on working online for a non-Taiwanese company or whoever is that while the keystrokes and mouse clicks are being performed in Taiwan, the work is outside of Taiwan. So it doesn’t count as working in Taiwan. Whatever helps you to sleep at nighttime.

1 Like

The work is performed by you, and you are in Taiwan. The prosecution rests. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Not even to mention the legal implications on income tax.

Purely legal reasons aside, I think it’s interesting to see that few people here find moral fault with illegal work and the connected tax evasion / NHI premium evasion etc.

Sure, a lot of locals also under-report their income and save a few thousand NT$ in NHI premiums. But does that make it better?

So if somebody who works for a company overseas, travels a lot and takes their work with them wherever they go, they aren’t permitted to keep up with emails and assessment portfolios or whatever while in Taiwan on a 3 day stop over?
It’s another one of those legal gray areas.

Concerning non-remote work: I’m not judging anybody; I’m no saint myself. And I’m not calling anybody’s judgment into question. I have poor judgment myself. Some people, maybe a lot of people, also have better instincts than I do. My survival so far is probably due to the Grace of Whoever Is in Charge of These Things. Maybe I’m kind of like this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8GTHXTEvIc

On the subject of risk: risk to me (and this is not an original thought on my part), consists of (1) the likelihood of harm, and another element that I am sometimes slow to consider, (2) the gravity of the harm if it occurs.

Anyway, this links to a tl;dr-type post I wrote in 2011.

That hinges on the definition of work. Are you working when you’ve clocked out and get an email that your boss expects you to respond to before the next work day? It depends. It may be something work-related but not actually “work”.

If you’re a “visitor” de facto residing in Taiwan because you do your work in Taiwan, the fact that it’s online work doesn’t change your status. (If anyone can cite an official source contradicting this, please do.)

It is possible for a country to say you can do whatever you want as a “tourist” or “visitor” as long as you don’t have an effect on the labor market, i.e. if you’re a true digital nomad you’re okay. Will Taiwan ever do this? :tumble:

Well are you working when you’re working on some code for a software project that you’re on the team of in your company back home? I’d say yes. You program through the night on a plane from Australia to Taiwan and as soon as you enter Taiwan airspace, are you working illegally in Taiwan?

There’s been a lot of discussion on this in forums in Thailand where there are tribes of digital nomads roaming the guest houses. Government officials are openly on record as saying they give zero fucks about it. I think it’d be a cool thing for Taiwan to promote itself as a home for digital nomads. There’s many co-working spaces and the obligatory hipster cafes springing up already and its a good way to attract talent.

Iirc the statement from a Thai government official a few years ago was that it’s okay to do your work emails on vacation. That’s not the same as giving zero copulations about tribes of nomads, and I think it was before the coup anyway.

Under martial law and no constitution (or do they have another one already?), their discretion is vast, and that works both ways.

I as actually thinking of Australia when I mentioned the “impact on the labor market” thing. I don’t recall the wording, but it was along those lines, i.e. if you’re not taking away anyone’s job, it doesn’t matter where your tourist dollars come from.

If I had your way with words that’s what I would have said.

There are threads on remote work; I’m not sure how helpful they are:

There may be other threads; I’m a little rushed right now.

Nah it was specifically addressing the populations of pygmy nomads in Chiang Mai and Pai. Obviously post-coup all bets are off. You’d have to be pretty draconian to bust someone on holiday for answering a work email.

Hi everyone,

thanks for all the useful suggestions. I found some good answers.

Cheers!

Ferris

In every country in the world, except for maybe Somalia, I guess, the basic deal is that if you (as a resident) earn, you’re supposed to pay taxes.

If you live (the definition of which being where things get kind of wiggly) in Taiwan, the government kindly requests that you surrender a percentage of your earnings to pay the grannies who sweep up the park at dawn, keep gas in the garbage trucks, and bang out Lee Teng Hui’s friggin rent.
Among other items.
You may not like it, but it’s a pretty standard arrangement across the globe.

Granted, we live in a country where weaseling out of paying taxes is pretty much the national pastime.

As has been discussed before, good, bad, or otherwise, the ROC Tax Administration has decided that the best way for them to try and enforce the arrangement is to, quite literally, follow the money.

So they couldn’t really give a monkey’s how much revenue one generates offshore, digitally or otherwise.
They’re perfectly happy to sit drinking Old Man Dirt Tea until the moment that you attempt to reconfigure those earnings into spendable readies, that is, actual living NTzers, whether in actual wads of purple paper or digitary numbers on an accredited bank’s computer.
That’s the moment when they change their blue and white sliders for proper shoes and start noticing you.

So if you have an account back in the US or the BVIs or Honkers, into which your pay is being deposited, you’re laughing. And they don’t care.
Or if your PayPal credit is like DM8.5 mungogingillion, you’re laughing. And they don’t care.

Since, at this point in time, at least, landlords and noodle stand guys don’t accept bitcoins, though, sooner or later you’re going to need the kwan, and that’s where they DO start caring.

Anyone who’s had even a small amount of money deposited from overseas, they know that the banks have to expedite more paperwork to free it up than Hitler generated invading Poland.

1 Like