What happens to your existing work permit if you get Open Work Rights via APRC?


If get an APRC, then open work rights, what happens to your existing work permit? Does it get canceled, remain valid with the open work rights, do you need to ask your employer to switch from the work permit to the open work rights?


Interesting question. When I first got my open work permit I got a letter and I just told my current boss to stuff it and I’ll remain working.

I assumed that my new legal status. I mean that is the basis for my ARC overrides all other previous statuses.

I guess you are still under your contractual obligations. But in my experience, it seems the boss would do enough naughty things such as asking employees to work at locations that are not covered by the employees’ work permits, cheat on taxes or violate laws other laws or contract clauses that you pretty much can negotiate a settlement or you could pay a visit to the relative authorities. They will not be in a position to sue you. This is my experience and opinion of about 13 years ago. I was working with family since then and have a more restrictive contract so I don’t have a normal employee, employer relationship now.


If I’m not mistaken, your obligations to your employer are a civil matter between you and your employer, whether you have an open work permit or not.


My question is more along the lines of “Does getting an open work permit automatically cancel your existing work permit?” When you get an open work permit, do you need to somehow convert your existing work permit to use the open work permit or can you use the existing work permit after being granted the open work permit?

I’m not talking about double dipping in employers, just whether or not there is any conflict by having both at the same time or any obligation to switch over to the open work permit once obtained.


When I got mine, I just informed HR and they thanked me for it but no docs were updated/processed from their end. I think there wouldn’t be any conflicts, as long as you are still doing work that your contract with your employer allows.


Article 51 of the Employment Services Act states that foreign workers with permanent residence should apply for work permits by themselves (this is what is usually referred to as “open work permit” on this forum): 前項第一款、第三款及第四款之外國人得不經雇主申請,逕向中央主管機關申請許可

The the act nowhere explicitly says an existing work permit would be rendered invalid after a foreign worker’s APRC application is approved. Make sure however that you always hold a valid work permit, as APRC holders can still be fined. I would assume that this is not really an issue anyone who wrote the law or executes the law spent much thought on. For the vast majority of APRC holders, applying for an open work permit means freedom and was probably their primary motivation in the first place.

Also, I have noticed a number of people here mix and confuse their work contract and job description with the regulation and administration of foreign workers. These are separate issues.


You need to apply for open work permit after getting your APRC.
It’s not automatic.

The government office dealing with them are different. APRC in Immigration office, work permit in Ministry of Labor.
You are obliged to replace it ASAP, due to your “change of information”.
It takes 100 NT and a few hours of waiting (or by mail also available).

When you apply a new one, your restricted (old) work permit automatically replaced by the open (new) one.


If you’ve been here for twenty years and lost the permit, should you apply for a new one. I’ve been on an APARC but have been working in a family owned business. Now, I’d like to seek outside work.
Do employers need to see the copy of the permit? How do I get a replacement document which was just a typed letter with a stamp on it at the time?

Does having an open work permit really make it easier to be hired? I know that I could be a seven eleven counter person if I feel like it but will the local employers know that?
I would like to teach at various language schools without entering a stupid contract.
Since I don’t need ARC or even health coverage as I’m covered by my family, do I have an edge at negotiations? I just want part time work and would like it to be taxable to show my home country.


Visit the Ministry of Labor before 10:00 am on a weekday. Bring your APRC, passport, copies of both as well as a passport photo and 100 NT$ application fee. Your new work permit should be issued within an hour or so. Here is the address:
Ministry of Labor

You can also apply for the open work permit by mail, but some people have reported weeks and months of processing time.


I have seen job offers saying APRC holders are welcome to apply because they won’t have to sponsor your ARC and apply for a work permit.


With an APRC open work permit can you work at two different companies?


Yes. You can essentially work in any position as long as you hold the required licenses / university degrees as mandated by regulation. Obviously many jobs do not require any licenses. You can take license exams however, and most licenses are open to foreigners, i.e. physician license, bar exam, midwife license, etc.
Jobs that require ROC nationality, such as police officer, are also off limits.


You can work at 2 or more companies even with a regular ARC. It’s a matter of obtaining the work permits and your ARC sponsor allowing you to work elsewhere when you only have an ARC. Some jobs will state that you cannot work elsewhere in the contract.

I once had 3 work permits at the same time for 3 different organizations. My ARC sponsor (first work permit) allowed this because they provided me with the minimum hours, 14 per week, and since I already had an ARC the other two organizations were open to hiring me, but still had to process work permits. I guess I was lucky with those two, because they probably would prefer someone with open work rights already, but that’s not always easy to find someone that they actually want to hire who has that. I don’t think this would happen most of the time but the other two non-ARC sponsor employers have to do everything by the book due to their relationships with both foreign and local governments. Point being, most jobs here would just have you work under the table and if you got caught somehow, you’d be screwed.

Once you have open work rights, you can work as many (or as few) jobs as you want. There might be clauses in a contract with an employer forbiding you to work elsewhere, but as has already been stated by another poster, that would be a civil matter and might not even be legal and certainly isn’t enforceable.


Not really true, you need to have certifications for some jobs.


True, and you can’t run for President. The point is that the requirements that apply specifically to work permits no longer apply once you have open work rights, so you’re subject to the same requirements as any local person, which in most cases amounts to whatever the employer is willing to accept.


If it’s legal, it’s enforceable through the civil courts. The plaintiff is supposed to prove it’s actually suffered harm (and how much harm) because of the defendant’s violation of the non-competition clause. The defendant just needs to prove the clause was invalid in the first place, which is usually true. (We’ve had several threads on the subject.)

Just to avoid confusion, the 14h rule (for normal work permits) only applies to buxibans.


By enforcable I mean that just because your contract has that clause in it does not mean it can prevent you from getting another job somewhere else to begin with, I don’t think most secondary employers really care or check your contract. But yeah, if you got caught, I suppose you would face possible legal consequences if your employer decided to take you to court over it, but I think the legality of it is in question to begin with. Contracts here are fraught with illegal clauses.

yeah, you’re right about the 14 hour rule, however, if you worked at a regular school, you’d probably be full time and have a clause in your contract stating that you are not allowed to work elsewhere.


I didn’t say “any” job, I said “as many” meaning that the total number of jobs you want, assuming you are qualified and can get hired for them, becomes unlimited once you have the open work permit.

Just a word to the wise, having an APRC does NOT mean you automatically have open work rights. You must apply for the open work permit at the Labor Office, the one on No. 39 Zhonghua Road directly across from Ximen-ding (if you’re in Taipei.)

Just saying this because I know people with APRCs who have assumed that they get it automatically. You must apply, but it’s easy as hell, like getting a library card back home.


A plain reading of the law suggests it’s not actually necessary to apply for the OWP once you qualify for it (i.e. once you have your APRC), but it’s probably a good idea to apply anyway, just in case. (Iirc the explanation is in the “what exactly is a JFRV?” thread.)


If I can ask here. I have gone into 3 counties NIA, all extreme south, and everyone one of them have told me I don’t need an OWP. I have had an APRC for a while now, they won’t let me apply. I’m wondering how important open work permit is, or is this just NIA not knowing the law and I should walk into a different arm of the govs office? I have gotten a lot of misinformation and contradictory statements over the years, so curious if this is BS too. Just seems interesting 3 offices had the same answer of don’t need one, rarely is the gov that consistent haha.

I’m legally a farmer, but will probably sign on to a company this year hence the question.

Marriage + work ARC = safe to freelance?