Why do companies keep asking me to teach without an ARC?

I’ve been applying to jobs, and setting up interviews and some of them have been vague about the arc sponsorship. Is it a bad idea to teach without an ARC? Some schools have been mentioning a “trial period” of two weeks or longer before they “go through the hassle” of doing the ARC paperwork, or simply want me to start immediately. AFAIK, it’s illegal to even do demo lessons with real students as many of the schools request.

Does anyone have any advice on the matter? Seems like a lot of places want someone to work part time and don’t really want to give an ARC, and I’ve gotten reassurances such as “don’t worry about it” or “it doesn’t really matter” but it seems like the risk is on my part in working without the proper paperwork. Should I just refuse to work before the ARC is issued? A lot of these schools seem nice or well-intentioned but it seems like they might not know what’s involved on my part (I don’t want to get deported or have to go to Hong Kong).

I’m also getting irritated because sometimes I’ll get in contact with a school, ask them questions and they say “we’ll discuss it when you get here” only to find out that they only have a few hours, or they can’t sponsor ARC, or something, after I go through all the trouble of finding it and spending the money to get there…

Sorry for venting lol, if anyone has any advice it would be helpful especially teaching without an ARC.

you are responsible for your ARC. They only get you the working permit… with that you have to apply for an ARC by yourself. It just costs like 1000NT… no need to get “sponsored”.

That’s not what the OP means.

In general terms, a school “gets you” your ARC because they provide a work permit, which lets you go and pick up your ARC. But without the work permit, you cannot get the ARC. And yes, there is a need to get “sponsored”. You must have a legitimate reason for being in Taiwan to get an Alien Residence Certificate, or else we’d all be hanging out on the island freelancing and generally enjoying life.

As for why schools keep asking – it’s mostly because they don’t care. One foreigner, another foreigner. IF there is a problem and a teacher is caught working without an ARC, generally speaking it’s a fine for the school (and the size of the fine depends on how good the school’s relationships are), but it’s often deportation for the teacher. Which has a worse effect on the recipient? The school will just hire the next foreigner who walks in the door, under the same terms, and play the odds.

As a teacher seeking a job, you are the only one who will put your interests in first place. Make sure you do. Don’t believe everything you’re told by agents or schools. They often either don’t really know or don’t really care, and will tell you whatever puts THEIR interests into first place.

Thanks for the comments, helpful and encouraging and definitely good to know. Is it possible to work multiple part time jobs legally? It seems like you can have multiple work permits for different schools on your arc and therefore legally work for different schools, which was different than what I thought (only able to work for one main school at a time).

Always convert reassuring sentences to purely egoistic ones when your employer is willing to break the law for his own convenience. “[I] don’t worry about it.” “It doesn’t really matter [to me].”

Destructive Advice: Don’t be stupid. Hiding information is a clear sign that the job is godawful, so just don’t go. Did these places call you? If they did, they had better be willing to reveal information about the position to you if they’re sincerely interested in hiring you.

Constructive Advice: I become a greater-than-usual asshole on the phone once I find out that a school wants me to break the law or refuses to provide relevant information that would determine whether I would be interested in interviewing there.

[…after a while of discussing my qualifications and experience…]
Buxiban Rep: “When can you come to do an interview?”
Me: “Is that it? Do I not get to ask any questions?”
Buxiban Rep: [offput] “Uh, okay, sure…”

Me: “What is your average pay rate?”
Buxiban Rep: “We won’t be able to offer you salary information until you do an interview.”
Me: “Well, I’m not going to waste my time on an interview if the salary isn’t high enough. Do you understand?”
The conversation fizzled from there.

I’ve been talking to some in Chinese during the interview, with very accusative language [Trans: “Hey, you didn’t answer any questions I have for you.”], and then corner them and get them to answer questions.

When they do explain the illegalities of their operation, I become an immense asshole towards them, since I want them to delete me from their contact lists permanently.
Me: “What are the ages of the students?”
Buxiban Rep: “They’re from ages four to whatever.”
Me: “Well, it’s illegal for me to teach students under the age of six in this country.”
Buxiban Rep: “But we’re an after-school program, not a buxiban.”
Me: “It don’t care what you call yourselves! Teaching students under the age of six is illegal for foreign instructors!”
Buxiban Rep: “I’m not the HR director, so I’ll see what the details are.”
Me: “Well, call me back only if the details are different from what you’ve described.”
I never heard from them again.

There are eight things that I check off during a phone call, and my prick-liness towards them increases with every refusal to provide information: student ages, student ability levels, class sizes, course materials, average employee salary for the position, work schedule, company location, and ARC sponsorship.

But I start looking for my new job six to seven months into my old job, just to filter out crappy job offers, and maybe to have some extra perverse fun in phoning the police with an anonymous tip that a given school is hiring foreigners to teach kindergarten classes, or getting them to reveal their contracts to me, which I then post on popular Internet sites to frustrate their job searches.

Yes, exactly two, plus one full-time employer (at fourteen hours per week being “full-time”). You’re only allowed to work for a maximum of thirty-two hours per week as a buxiban instuctor.

AFAIK you add up to 3 employers. One of them has to provide a minimum of 14 hours, the other two a maximum of 8 hours each. Total hours can not exceed 32.

As soon as your school has applied for a work permit you are allowed to teach. The obvious problem with this is have they actually applied for one. Unfortunately the cards are always stacked in the employer’s favour, so watch your back because nobody else will. If there’s a problem it will be your problem.

Schools don’t want to sponsor your ARC because it means additional costs for them. I don’t know all of the extra costs but I think schools pay between 2000-3000NT/mo for NHI depending on what they declare the foreigner is making. There might be other costs associated with hiring (on an ARC) a foreigner also. But at the end of the day you shouldn’t even bother working for a school that won’t go to the time and cost to get you an ARC. Either they are incredibly cheap, they are looking for other ways to screw you or they don’t have enough guaranteed hours to sponsor an ARC. Or all of the above.

Or they don’t want to waste their time hiring newbies. :wink:

Yeah, a lot of the schools called me. I definitely need to sort through jobs more, but at least now I have more in mind what I’m looking for, and the types of questions I need to ask them.

I’ve got a part time position and discussing with them now about the work permit, but they want me to teach a 2 hour class immediately. Does this sound like a good idea? I’m a bit worried because there’s a police station right next to the school…lol

Illegal. However, you’ll have to do it if you want the job. You probably won’t get caught but you might.

Furthermore, it means paying taxes and opening their books for the Gment to see. Definetively, a dangerous situation if not everything is kosher.

Try to avoid temptations, it only takes one call. BTW, you cannot take a part time UNLESS you have a full time somewhere else.

Yeah, I think I’m gonna cancel and stick to only short demo lessons, since if I teach this class it may lead them to keep wanting me to teach without issuing the work permit. I called them and they said they wanted to discuss it when I came in, which seems like they may want to negotiate or convince me to work without the permit. If that’s the case, I’m sure it’s easy for them to find someone who is willing to do so since that’s what they’re asking basically.

I’m not in a position where I’m forced to take the first thing I get, or have to take weird part time hours so I think I’m just going to focus on full time jobs and screen out all companies that offer only part-time or are unclear about work permits. I do find it weird that a lot of companies here seem to operate in a semi-legal manner, maybe it’s part of the culture or something…but I already had a labor officer come in to an interview while I was giving a demo and I had to leave, so I think I’m gonna do things by the book.

Why have I not once ever seen a labor officer? I’ve paid taxes, gotten work permits, and done everything else. I’ve just never seen an official who works for the CLA.

Yeah this one came in while I was doing the interview, the school seemed pretty desperate, kept calling me even afterwards, so I think they must have been doing something shady if the officer just happened to come by while I was doing my demo…

How long have you taught in Taiwan? Have you taught all five of the weekdays at your jobs? They show up almost once a year exactly at the schools that I have been at.

[quote=“Coolguy123”]Yeah, I think I’m gonna cancel and stick to only short demo lessons, since if I teach this class it may lead them to keep wanting me to teach without issuing the work permit. I called them and they said they wanted to discuss it when I came in, which seems like they may want to negotiate or convince me to work without the permit. If that’s the case, I’m sure it’s easy for them to find someone who is willing to do so since that’s what they’re asking basically.

I’m not in a position where I’m forced to take the first thing I get, or have to take weird part time hours so I think I’m just going to focus on full time jobs and screen out all companies that offer only part-time or are unclear about work permits. I do find it weird that a lot of companies here seem to operate in a semi-legal manner, maybe it’s part of the culture or something…but I already had a labor officer come in to an interview while I was giving a demo and I had to leave, so I think I’m gonna do things by the book.[/quote]

Here’s a simple way to find out if they will offer you an ARC or if they are just bullshitting you: get your health check done right now (takes 10 days to get it back) and have it with you when they offer you a position (w/ a contract). Tell them that you already have your health check with you and they can file for a work permit tomorrow. they can have your work permit back in about a week and then you can get your resident visa and then ARC.

But basically no job is worth taking if they want you to work illegally long-term. For you an ARC is a non-negotiable req’t when you are dealing with a school. Although it isn’t contractually binding and schedules change you should also find out what your schedule would be, how many hours/wk and what levels of classes you would be teaching. Big chains usually won’t be able to tell you this if you are being hired at a central office but smaller schools should have an idea of what classes they expect you to teach.