Unable to find a job here

Hello all how are you?

I moved to Taiwan with family 4 months ago. I happen to have experience in what the industry does in Taiwan. I have never seen so many job offers that fit my profile. For instance, I developed 5 years ago the EUV technology that TSMC is using now. Well, I did not develop myself, I just was one of the responsible people for that. There are literally hundreds of jobs I fit perfectly. I 'm also an expert in CMOS based camera development at the highest level (this I did some stuff entirely myself). I also have done good stuff for medical stuff and so on. With my age, I have made different things….

So I have applied for dozens of jobs here, but never got an answer. I finally talked to an HR, a friend of a friend, who told me that the problem is that I’m foreigner and I don’t speak Chinese, therefore, even multinational companies will prefer to hire local people. They told me the only way to work here is beasue you’ve been sent for an appointment by your “western” company as a expat (you work from the country you come from) or you teach English (or your language). Another problem is that my age and experience is so high that forget about being hired here.

Question is, do you think guys is actually possible? Should I assume I will never get a job here so I have to either live like that (not feasible) or just leave? What is your insight?

Thanks a lot in advance!


When you snatch the pebble from TSMC’'s hand, it will be time for you to leave.

1 Like

It is very difficult to find good work here as a foreigner no matter what skills you bring to the table.
I’d recommend that you work remotely for companies outside of Taiwan or open your own consulting business. Many choose to open in Singapore due to Taiwanese investment laws.
At different times, I’ve been the expat sent here, worked for a Taiwanese company, and now run my own business founded in Taipei.
The easiest was being the expat, working for a traditional Taiwanese company sucked beyond belief, and working for myself is absolutely the most difficult but fun thing I’ve ever done.


Have you got a Chinese version of your cv?
Not all companies need Chinese speakers and some will appreciate experienced engineers like yourself with good English.

Taiwanese companies do hire foreigners locally, few are actually on expat packages. Are you married to a local? You need to apply for a work permit? even then that should be straightforward.

I also had problems with getting hired by multinationals in Taiwan for a long period, they often prefer hiring local Taiwanese for various reasons…

Taiwan ITRI may be interested to hire you…send them an email and tell them about yourself . Big campus in HSINCHU. You don’t need to speak Chinese there.



Currently, I’m doing a distance learning degree in Computer Science with the University of London, while living in Taiwan on an APRC. I’d be interested in hearing how you do with the job search because that will be me in a couple of years. Right now I’m wondering whether it will be better if I uproot my family and head back home to the UK once I graduate and try to find work there, or try to give it a go in Taiwan. However you do, I wish you the best of luck, and it would be great if you let us know how it works out.


If you’re over 45 you’re past the unofficial cutoff age for tech employment in Taiwan. Working for a Taiwanese company is wretched anyway. The area of tech you’re in doesn’t lend itself well to remote work so your best option is to start your own business utilizing your tech skills to buy/build low in Taiwan and sell high in the West. Plenty of opportunities there if you’re a hustler and Taiwan has a good business/tax environment for running a small business. In that regard you’ve come to the right place.


Xenophobia, racism towards foreigners
No or weak mandarin
Most Job Ads say 25 or younger

In China, mandatory retirement blue collar
Men 60,
women 55.

It will not change in your lifetime

1 Like

When applying to larger companies/multinationals your CV ends up in HR, who sort through heaps of applications. Fresh local grads with low salary expectations and overtime willingness are preferred as others mentioned above. People in HR often lack technical skills to understand the skills/potential of a candidate. One might not even get to the interview stage.

Try to avoid HR and seek direct contact with R&D lead or similar.
Create profiles with CV on known job seeking websites in Taiwan, so they can find you and your skill set.
Go to tech shows/expos and talk to tech workers, they can put you in touch with the right people.

At my current job HR was only involved to sort out documents when I was already hired. R&D lead did an interview and a bit later introduced me to the upper management.


your chances of finding a high paying professional job without Chinese are slim, but not zero.
it might require a career switch (e.g. from R&D to sales ) and a long long search time.
language skills are a barrier, imagine the chances of a KR/JP/TW engineer finding work in the USA wothout speaking English…thats similar to where you stand.


Just keep searching! However, if your main working area is HW, it will be more difficult without Chinese, but not impossible.

Also, you shall try to look for jobs in Hsinchu, Taichung, and Tainan, they have more HW jobs there than in Taipei. But don’t despair as yet, keep searching and also check overseas companies that have business here, remember Taiwan is the land of HW.


Thanks a lot for the answers,

I moved here with my wife and son, and I entered by a “married to a Taiwanese” visa, so I have permanent residence and as far as I know, I do not need a working visa arranged by any employer. Actually, I’m over 45, and most of the answers here somehow agree with my presumption about being almost impossible to get a job here if you are not local and do not speak the language.

Somebody said my English is not good and you have to speak the local language wherever you go, well, it might be true that my English is bad, actually it’s not my mother tongue, but having had a PhD in physics from UK, and having travelled and worked in English all my life, I wouldn’t say my English is the problem, in fact, I haven’t met any Chinese with better English than mine to be honest. Moreover, I remember when I was in USA for conferences and having to translate what my British colleagues said to people from USA, as they didn’t get the accent, so go figure. I have lived in almost half Northern Europe, and I worked in English, and most of the people I came across spoke English, even if they weren’t fluent, they always tried to help and communicate.

But going back to the topic, as I said in my first message, it’s really frustrating that there are literally hundreds of offers I fit perfectly, something I never saw around the EU, but not even a declining application reaction. Therefore, I guess if I don’t want to waste my time, I better move somewhere else, I know moving with family is a pain (I just went through 4 months ago), but here I’m wasting time and money. Again, thank you very much for your insight, really appreciated!

Best Regards


Yea and look forward to a lot of gaslighting if you work for a Taiwanese boss… basically they want to micromanage you as much as they want. Also really low pay. Just now there was going to be strikes at some banks because there were people working there for almost 30 years and still makes less than 30,000nt a month.

Taiwanese workers should strike more… that’s the only way things will improve for workers.

Age discrimination is a big problem here. If you are over 40 don’t count on being employed at all. The assumption is you should have a pension already.


Thanks, I don’t take it in a personal way either, I just try to help others and be helped here, I wouldn’t judge people based on language skills for stuff coming up here, unless I want to hire an official translator, so to speak…


I think there are some real poorly motivated employees in HR here, so your CV might not have made it through to the business unit. It’s just a lot of work for some low paid HR person to parse through all of the English in your resume and see if you meet the basic requirements.

Age discrimination too, when I interviewed here when I first arrived, I was referred to as ‘old’ in at least one interview, and I was considerably younger than you back then. So you might be being culled based on age.

Also, it is likely just fear upon fear. HR scared to bring you in for an initial interview in case they look like they are wasting time. Business scared to hire you in in case you are a loose cannon or don’t fit the mold. Lump you in the too hard basket.


I heard working conditions in China aren’t as good as in Europe, in general, but my impression was that yes, it might be difficult to get a job shouldn’t you speak the language, but having the perfect match technically for what companies look for in a candidate, I got a wee shocked when I realized that doesn’t matter whether you applied hundred times, you will be immediately turned down. My bad for not having done a better research on the matter beforehand. Age is also a burden everywhere in the world, but as you say, it seems like a huge hurdle here…

Thanks guys!

Your English seems perfectly fine to me, that’s the least of your worries.

Age is a real issue, I’d say the arbitrary cutoff is somewhere in the early 50s. A lot of companies will dismiss you out of hand based on age, but not all. Likewise, lack of Chinese ability is a dealbreaker for a lot of companies/managers – but not all. You don’t have to appeal to everyone, just someone.

Most companies here, even good ones, won’t reply to every applicant/candidate, even good ones, I know it’s annoying/discouraging but that’s just the way it is.

Get a LinkedIn profile (probably you already have one), fill it with technical detail/accomplishments/keywords, fill in the Skills section, decent photo, etc. Lots of companies are using LinkedIn these days to ‘headhunt’. And might as well put your profile on 104.com, I don’t think you need to translate your whole resume but it can only help to have some Chinese keywords on there, especially your technical skills. Also there’s a platform called Contact Taiwan, might as well put your profile and resume on there as well. Apply to jobs through all platforms, sometimes it’s the same HR person dealing with all of them but sometimes not.

As mentioned above, you want to get past HR and direct to the hiring managers, easier said than done of course, but conferences, trade shows, etc. are one possible way to get around HR.


Another thing I have realized here is that the cultural mindset, so to speak, is about being fast and high throughput, but creativity here is hugely something they don’t belong to. All my CV is about inventions, solutions, starting from the scratch, publications, even patents, I have been working in a semicon fab where EUV technology was developed, and I had to work like a robot too, but that is not my strength, and you see clearly in my CV, and that’s why I had some jobs at top places in Holland, Belgium, etc… Anyway, that’s the way it is…

Thanks, I already have everything you mention, but I will try to follow your advise and try to mention some skills keywords in Chinese.

Try contacting the offshore wind power companies. There is a bunch of them in Taiwan.


What’s the employment landscape like in Europe at the moment? My impression since Covid is a lot of countries globally are retreating into themselves, and only want to hire from within. A lot of the remote opportunities that have sprung up since Covid restrict you to the country the company is hiring in.