Visa/Border Run 101

I think you mean visa exempt. Though, is it illegal to look for work without a visa? Boca, Mofa, or NIA site has an instruction how to get resident visa for white collar workers from visa exempt.

You need this one. It’s illegal to look for work on a tourist visa. This includes the Visa exempt landing stamp.

From the AIT website
If you are already in Taiwan on a Visitor Visa, you should contact Bureau of Consular Affairs, MOFA to apply for a Resident Visa after you receive the work permit. If you entered Taiwan without a visa or with a Landing Visa, you will need to leave Taiwan to apply for a Resident Visa. For detailed information, visit The section “Taiwan Visas” also has further information on visas

If you are currently outside Taiwan, you should apply for a Resident Visa before entering Taiwan. See the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Taipei website for more information.

After you enter Taiwan with a Resident Visa, you must apply for an Alien Resident Card (ARC) within 15 days of your arrival. For information about the ARC visit .

White collar workers can get resident visa without leaving taiwan.

Resident Visas for White Collar Workers

Applicants who enter the R.O.C. (Taiwan) without a visa and have obtained a work permit issued by competent authorities of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) may apply to the Bureau of Consular Affairs or any of its Central, Southwestern, Southern, or Eastern Taiwan Offices for an extendable Visitor Visa. Subsequently and with the extendable Visitor Visa, the applicants must apply to the National Immigration Agency for an Alien Resident Certificate

The employment seeking visa allows you to stay in Taiwan for 6 months. I don’t know the law saying looking for work on visa exempt is illegal.

I would like to know more about that. Have you seen other threads about working for foreign companies which seem to say something different? For example:

With the key point being:

… if the only aspect of the work is your physical presence in Taiwan, whereas the website/person/company you work for is overseas and is not receiving your work through any kind of local representative office etc., then you don’t need a work permit.

@tando @eCanada What do you think about that? Do all those digital nomads perhaps unknowingly violate the law?

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True, but like the look I posted states, you need to pay to change your Visa before you apply for a work permit.

The trade office told me before that it’s technically illegal to look for work but yet they’ll switch the Visa over when you find work. I’ll try to find a link

Point is, they don’t enforce it

Yes, I do think they all violate the law… Many probably knowingly

you don’t need a visa to apply for a work permit. You need a visa before you get an ARC.


But how do you interpret the ministry’s response then?

I’m confused myself, that’s why I try to find more information about that.

That’s new, I thought you needed to get a work permit first and then apply in person for an ARC.

Right, sorry. I meant have your work permit waiting for your and have your ARC shortly after your arrive.
“Nationals who intend to enter Taiwan for the purposes that require qualifications – such as religious work – must obtain a visa from the R.O.C. overseas missions before entering Taiwan”

purposes that do not require a permit—such as engaging in tourism, visiting friends or relatives, attending social events, conducting business, attending exhibitions, and engaging in fact-finding missions or international exchanges

I’m asking to boca looking for work belongs to which category.

Yes I read this too…

Interesting… Looks like I’m wrong.

white-collar professionals who have obtained a work permit within their permitted duration of stay(Brunei, Philippines, Russia and Thailand are not included) may apply for a work visa together with their spouse and minors (under age 20) who entered the ROC at the same time.

They must have updated it. This was not the case then I came. I had to fly to Hong Kong with my contract to get the Visa there once.
I distinctly remember my application at TECO stating that I could not look for work and I had to pretend I was only a tourist. Same for my Visa except landing stamp.

I have my APRC now, when you land, can you tell them your purpose in Taiwan is to look for work?

So have I understood this right?.. if I work online such as teaching English… I don’t need a work permit?

From what I can tell (but I’m also still waiting for someone who might have a definite answer): If your English lessons clients are ROC citizens, you must not teach without a work permit.

The issue is not doing work on the internet or something like that. It merely depends on whether those who pay for your work are ROC citizens/companies.

So as long as digital nomads have their clients overseas, they are fine with the law or am I misunderstanding something? What about remote workers whom the employers and clients are abroad? Can they stay in Taiwan and border run?