Work visa -- issued in my home country?

I’ve just been offered a job in Taipei, and I don’t know what to do with the visa. I doubt that the owner knows also since he basically asked me to find out what I need to process to be able to go to Taiwan. Of course, a visitor visa will always do but since I will (hopefully) be working there, I assume that I’d need a work permit. Where do I apply for the work permit? in my home country? or do I just go to Taiwan on a visitor visa and apply for it there? but then there’s another question… although I have a bachelor’s degree, I don’t have 2 years work experience, how do I go about with that? :?

Any help will be GREATLY appreciated! :smiley:

Need more information.

Is it a teaching job or something else? If the employer doesn’t know about work permits then there’s a high chance he can’t get you one. It’s the responsibility fo the employer to process your application for a work permit, and this is done in Taiwan.


Thanks for your reply :smiley:

No it’s not a teaching job, actually, I don’t really know what the nature of the job is. I was just referred by an acquaintance and all he said was that this company is looking for someone who can speak English and a bit of Chinese, so i assume it’s an office job. And since it’s a company that exports their products to US and Europe (as I’ve been told), I’m quite sure it’s legit and safe (hopefully!). I’m maybe going to call/email the company tomorrow to clarify things out.

But still, i’m worried about the 2year experience requirement to get the work permit, how do I tell the employer about this :? i know he needs to know, but I think he would withdraw the job offer if things get complicated… :frowning: do you think it’s fine if I tell him about the visa run? and how many times can one do it before they kick you out of the country? --> this should be my last resort since I don’t expect a high paycheck that would afford me a visa run every 2 months! :?

This is an excellent summation of the facts for those who are interested in attempting to work legally in Taiwan.

there may be exceptions, but for non-teaching jobs, to work legally you need 2 years experience in the field. Also there are only a limited number of ‘professional’ fields that employers can hire foreigners for. It seems to me that your boss is 99% unlikely to be able to get you a work permit. In this case you would be working illegally, which is possible but, um, illegal.

Oh yeah,

I wouldn’t count on it,

whew :!: and i was so happy when i received the email :blush: … anyway, i will just call them up tomorrow…

so about visa runs, are they illegal too? what about those people who do it? are they considered to be illegal workers :?:

Yes, a ‘visa run’ means leaving the country to get a new visitors visa. It’s illegal to work on a visitor’s visa. Lots of people do it though.


hmm ok, tnx so much for your replies :smiley: 'preciate it!!

You need me. I am the guy who explains in patient detail how to get around all those annoying labor laws, tax laws, and any other laws.

First get a business visa from the local TECO(Taiwanese pseudo embassy) office. Have the employer write you up a letter stating that your comapny will be working closely with his company on product development for the next 3 years. If in Taipei, sign up for non-compulsory visa extending Chinese classes. You’ll have to extend your visa every 30 days after your 60 days are up for a total of 180 days in country before visa runs. Have an emergency fund and a way out of Taiwan. Most clueless employers are not just clueless about one thing. Do you want to gamble that he’s clueless about paying you? I didn’t think so.

Have a back up plan. It seems odd though that he can’t find anybody with those qualifications in Taiwan. What’s the pay he’s offering, if your in the mood to share. The whole set up worries me and sounds very fishy. Do a search on this guy and see what is being said about him and why he would want somebody out of country. PM me for anymore details on how to work illegally. The mods might have a problem if I share all my secrets.


hi okami,

tnx for your reply.

product development, for the next 3 years? i’m not sure if he will be up to that, ill try :blush:… btw, will that mean that i have to be with his company for 3 years? btw (again), any other ideas? :blush:

how much do these usually cost?

i’ve spoken with a friend of his, and he said that this guy wanted someone whom he knows, or at least whom a friend of his knows, basically someone he can trust. [just an acquaintance but i must have looked like an angel for him to give me this opp :slight_smile: ]. so since his friend knew that i was looking for a job, he told me about this opportunity. basically, they just helped me find a job.

about the pay, i have no clue how much he’s going to give me. his friend asked me, and i asked him how much the guy usually pays, and he didn’t know either, so now i have no clue. since i’ve stumbled to this forum, i’m kinda sure that there’s no shortage of english speaking ppl in taiwan… so i don’t know how much pay i’m going to ask for, if he asks me… any idea though?

about working illegally, i don’t really want to do that, bt if i won’t have any other choice, i will PM you… and thanks so much in advance… :smiley:

Just because you tell them your in product development for 3 years doesn’t mean that it’s true, see in Taiwan, it is better to have something, even if it is the wrong thing than nothing at all. You just want the 3 year 60 day at a time, multiple entry visa. Anything you say or do to get this is perfectly ok. Your visa is free from your boss that way.

An ARC is a lot like a collar, and the boss has his hand on the leash. Your boss doesn’t like you and you have an ARC, he can do the following and get away scot free: not pay you, revoke your visa(giving you 7 days to leave the country), kill your dog, break into your apartment, and sodomize you. Your legal rights(I know Hartzell and others will probably argue this one) are zero, zip, nada, don’t exist. Civil rights were left at the airport in the US. Police in Taiwian give new meaning to the word “useless.” Police are pensioners waiting to retire.

Without an ARC/work permit you are your own person. You really need to be independent of your boss. That means getting your own place and not letting them know where you live. In all of Taiwan only 3 people know where I live. There is a reason for this. I don’t answer my door for nobody. Paranoid, yes, but considering that there are a lot of scams and burglaries in Taiwan and the police are useless except to persicute me, I think such precautions have merit.

Non compulsory Chinese lessons are about NT$ 6700 for 3 months.

The lack of info is a warning sign. I pray that you aren’t coming to Taiwan till you know what you’re being paid. I understand that such import/export jobs pay Taiwanese wages($30-40K NT) and are not enough for someone moving half way around the world to set up a new domicile. I would ask for $55,000-65,000/month depending on your Chinese ability and goals. Be clear about taxes, paydays, holidays, vacation time, travelling, etc… Taiwanese bosses are known for having mercurial temperments and expecting their employees to stay in the office till they leave and not when they are suppose to get off. 9-11pm at night is not an unusual time for some employees to get off from their job that they started at 9 am in the morning. Some Taiwanese bosses are good people. It’s just luck of the draw.

Working illegally seems a given for this kind of work. Don’t worry the SWAT team won’t show up. I doubt you’ll ever see a police officer as it cuts into their online game time at the police station. They do go out occasionally at the beginning of the month to give enough tickets to scooters to justify their pay and benefits.


thanks so much for your reply okami… :smiley:

i wasn’t able to speak with the guy from the company 'cause the person who answered said he was busy. she did try to take my number bt when she knew that i wasn’t calling from taiwan, she started to ask me questions again (she asked A LOT before), and 4got about my number, which i wasn’t able to give completely… but i was thinking, i had my # in the resume, so if he wanted to call or something he could do it… hmmm bt now that i think about it, i should have called again, but i wrote an email instead.

now all i do is wait for whatever he’s gonna say and, i still hope that this will not be illegal!

i also wanted to know the standard of living in taiwan, like can you live comfortably if you have around NT $40T for salary? i mean, you eat well, live in a good place, save a little, etc… [i know i shouldn’t post this here, bt it does saves space :smiling_imp: right?

[quote]i also wanted to know the standard of living in taiwan, like can you live comfortably if you have around NT $40T for salary? i mean, you eat well, live in a good place, save a little, etc… [/quote] You might be able to survive on 40k, but only just – its a really low salary unless you’re being hired just as an office girl or something. You’ll probably have to try and find some moonlighting if you want to save, go out, etc. I get the feeling this guy is trying to exploit you. Tread very carefully.


i worked here on NT$32 000 a month doing a similar job to what you have described. crazy, but i had my reasons. after the school fees to get the visa and the cost of travel insurance, as well as knowing i had to leave taiwan every 6 months… well, (ha) , it was a joke.

if the work was to be legal, the boss would have told you so already. and by my guessing, the company will not be able to afford anything like NT$55 000 a month to have an english-speaking office assistant around. you’d be lucky to get NT$40 000. you’d need specific business skills and experience to pull anything higher. (correct me if i am wrong though)

ever thought of being an english teacher here first, and then slowly hunting around for something that might be legit?


I have to back up what Sandman has to say. As someone who has been burnt here more than I care to remember, this whole job thing sounds very fishy. Why bother moving to a developing country if you have to do all the homework for a work permit, put up with unreturned calls, all for the hopes of a very low salary. If they are serious about their offer, it really doesn’t work that way. If you really want to come to Taiwan, I would come and try for an English teaching job. If you don’t get something on paper with this “offer”, you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

Actually, this entire thread is extremely important.

I want to say something here that some people will consider irrelevant, but it isn’t.

It involves the Chinese concept of “lying”. The Chinese employer (for example) will not consider himself to be lying if there is no deliberate attempt to deceive, mislead, or distort.

It is also important to realize that this notion of “deliberate attempt” is not analysed in any sort of objective way . . . . it is just a general feeling that the Chnese person has.

Hence, even if you get something written on paper, where this person guarantees to employ you for so much a month, plus bonuses, living arrangements, car & driver, etc., etc. and he will negotiate with his friends in the central government for your work permit, etc., etc. and then you arrive in Taipei and none of this fails to materialize . . . . . the employer will not feel that he has lied to you.

In his “go with the flow” type of reasoning, this entire series of events is something beyoned his control, and he accepts no responsibility for them. Additionally, now that you have arrived and he doesn’t like your hairstyle, or your clothes, or the color of your skin, then he suddenly realizes that his own plans have changed . . . . and . . . . . and . . . . . .

At any rate, you can be sure that the employer will feel himself under no obligation to set anything right . . . . . because in his estimation he hasn’t done anything wrong.

[Note: Of course, there are also issues of race discrimination here. However, it is a common mistake to make the charge that Chinese discriminate against those who are not Chinese. This is not true.

The Chinese also discriminate against other Chinese in many, many ways. In general, the Chinese sense of “racial discrimination” is very hard for a foreigner to understand.]

1. Most employers have no idea how to obtain a work permit.

2. You need to have a work permit to live and work in Taiwan legally.

3. Living and working in Taiwan legally is MUCH more convenient than doing so illegally.

4. Getting a work permit is not that difficult if you ahve two years of documented work experience and if you frame your application correctly.

Of course I respect what Feiren has to say. I will add some more items which may or may not be relevant to his original train of thought.
5. The Council of Labor Affairs is derelict in not making full explanations or conducting seminars for local employers so that they can learn about how the work permit system functions.

6. The work permit system interferes with and obstructs ROC citizens’ rights to run a business the way they want to, and hence in a larger sense to make a livelihood. This is actually a violation of their constitutional rights.

7. Living and working in Taiwan legally would be much easier to understand if the CLA would publish full, comprehensive guidelines which all foreigners and employers could refer to.

8. It was stated that “Getting a work permit is not that difficult if you have two years of documented work experience and if you frame your application correctly,” however (for the newcomers) you have to remember that only certain categories of jobs are open to foreigners.

Great stuff.

When I wrote “get something on paper” I forgot to add it should be notarized by God. :slight_smile:

Thanks so much again for all your replies. :smiley:

It seems like the easiest way for me to work legally in Taiwan is to become an english teacher. however, I’m not a native speaker, nor do i have yellow hair, so I don’t think it will be that easy for me. I heard schools don’t accept non-native speakers, but if and when they do, you must look caucasian, or rather, you MUST be one.

i still don’t have any news from the company, bummer. i guess it’s time to forget about them. :frowning: