Working Holiday Visa in Taiwan

So, just to briefly introduce myself, I am 23 y.o. Czech male. You can usually find me laying in my bed, dreaming and dreaming over again. Besides some interesting hobbies I am not doing anything remarkable - except of going to the office during the working week. I don´t really like my actual job. After 3 years of working I just can´t stand the idea of repeating the same stereotype every day. I think I´m wasting my time. And we live only once, right ?

I don’t have a girlfriend or many friends, basically my family are the only ones I have. I still live with them in one house.I have no obligations here. I can go anywhere easily.

I was never into traveling. But things have changed when I visited Thailand for first time. I was alone, on the other side of the world, and I had to rely only on myself. After few days, It felt so good to be there. I was happy. Everyday, I met someone new. I made friends so easily on my travels. In 3-weeks, I made more memories, than I made in my country in whole year.

Since my first trip to East Asia, I have fallen in love with Asian culture, food, nature, people and their hospitality. Since then I am dreaming and trying to figure out how to stay there somehow longer than just 21-days vacation. Recently I have discovered that there may be some option, that is fully legal and that permits me to earn some money. And that is WHV. I have been lucky that my country offers 3 different places in East Asia - Taiwan, Japan, South Korea. After some research , Taiwan is on top.

So for clarification, I have high school graduation in automotive field, I am holder of international certificate of a car mechanic, I have almost 4 years history of working in multinational automotive company (3 years as an Prototype Engineer, currently almost 1 year as an Internal Auditor of quality), I have strong knowledge of English but no Mandarin

I am deeply committed to step out of the comfort zone and put myself into this challenge. I know for sure that I would regret one day, If I haven´t chased my dream to the end. I just think the best time to do something like that is very close.

What do you think about this ? Am I just plain crazy to choose Taiwan as an Working Holiday country to travel ? I am only worried about finding some job, as a non native english speaker. I understand, that it is going to be completely different than my holidays in Thailand, as I will work there, but I am fully aware of this. Of course I´m not applying for visa until I have more than enough money to survive first weeks / months ? w/o job. If I decide to go this way, I am also going to start studying Mandarin and Taiwan culture in deep - to be as prepared as possible.

I’m searching for information on the internet about WHV in Taiwan for more than a few days, but It looks like not many people go there. I’m afraid it’s because of lack of job opportunities in Taiwan.

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It could be tricky finding work simply because the business owners here do not know about the WH visa and how it works.

When you apply for a job they will see that you are a foreigner and might ignore your application, because they do not want the trouble of additional paperwork.
Usually you have to get an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) to stay and work in Taiwan. This involves the business to do some paperwork with relevant agencies.

A lot of foreigners here teach English. This is also out of the question since buxibans hire people who were born in an English speaking country.

Without Chinese language abilities it will be difficult to find small gigs with locals.
Often WH backpackers around the world work in hospitality.
Taiwan has a lot of cheap labor from Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, etc.

Your best bet is to find a job in a car workshop.
Explain from the beginning that you have a work permit and they do not need to do work permit paperwork.

Don’t expect to be paid very much. But living expenses are quite low here.

You could try to find some gigs with other foreigners who live here and have small businesses. They will be more likely to hire you.

Well, this is pretty discouraging. Maybe studying there will be a better bet ? But It does not solve my issue with finding some kind of income.

After some months on a student visa you’re allowed to work about 20 hours/week PT.

Yes but there is still the same issue - finding some job. As it will be still a challenge.

Bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, farms, sub teacher for buxibans, amusement parks etc

Probably would do something else than just come on a working holiday visa with no Chinese ability, Taiwan can be pretty limiting in that sense. Maybe do a semester of Chinese classes and get to know the place a little then take it from there.

If you only want a working holiday in an Asian country, I would recommend Japan, the WH is popular there so is easy to find jobs in tourist or factories, also the pay is not bad, is you are more open do the WH in Australia and then you will have a lot of money to travel around Asia. Another alternative you can apply for a Taiwan Scholarship

I agree with most of @slawa’s advice. However…

Just to be clear, you don’t apply for an ARC while you have a WHV, unless you’re British.

There’s no law preventing them from hiring a WHV holder for as long as the WHV holder is permitted to work at a single job (which should be 6 months for a Czech). They can still choose not to because they think non-native speakers are unqualified, but in general they also hire Taiwanese to teach English (and then there’s the notorious “white monkey” syndrome), so it’s possible.

To teach in a buxiban, you need a criminal record check, as discussed in several other threads. (This is a relatively new requirement.)

Your mileage may vary, depending on what you’re accustomed to in Czechia and wherever you’ve traveled. The NT dollar is almost equal to the Thai baht, but you’ll probably find prices in Taiwan higher, in general, than those in Thailand.


More information:

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I read on the internet that Japan is not so foreigner friendly. I read some pretty depressing stories about working in japan as european. South Korea was nearly the same thing.

Actually, I was thinking about doing WH in Australia, save money, and then travel Asia. But I just do not like the idea of being somewhere just because of money, and keep dreaming about Asia on the other side of planet. I can stay there then. Also It wouldn´t be so authentic.

I wonder why they started with WH visas in TW when there is this problem with jobs.

I read that topic five times haha. Thank you.

My english is not perfect, I can not teach there.

I would highly recommend doing Australia first.
Just be disciplined and determined in your goal. It is easy to get lazy and spend your hard earned dollars in Australia. But you get a tenfold out of your money if you spend it in other Asian country.

Working holiday agreements are reciprocal, and Taiwanese want them. :2cents:

I understand your point. Unfortunately, to do WH in Aus, one of the conditions is the need to have BA degree. So there is only option of studying something in Aus and work there part time.

Another option is New Zealand. But quota is quite small (100 people) and it is full after minutes after opening. Huge demand there.

Did not know Australia allowed Czech residents to get a WHV, that must be recent because in my 2 years there (2010-2011), only France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Estonia, Belgium and Netherlands were the allowed European countries.
Unfortunately, Taiwan and Thailand are very different, in Thailand you can speak English and most people will understand and reply to you, in Taiwan not so much especially the not so young people.
But I once saw an European guy working in a small brunch restaurant, saw him in the kitchen, was quite surprised, he was probably a student learning Chinese and working part time. All the staff was young so they probably could speak Chinese, or the guy could speak decent mandarin.
Also, don’t expect to be able to converse in Chinese after studying for only 6 months.
I sound discouraging but this is my honest opinion.
But if you can go to Australia, I would personally not hesitate a second.
There is also the Canada option, met two Czechs there when I was working in 2014, both worked in a restaurant. Canada is complicated though with a lot of paperwork compared to laid back Australia.

Australia is allowed for Czech, as well as Canada, NZ, Izrael, Chile, Japan (most recent, started 2018), Taiwan, South Korea, and I think that´s all at this moment.

But I personally can not apply for WHV in Aus because I don´t have BA degree.

I have written an email to embassies of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. I asked if the quota was fulfilled and they all answered the same - It wasn´t. So I can apply anytime. I meet all required conditions so the chances are pretty high.

But as I have written. I would love to stay somewhere in Asia. I prefer Taiwan but If it is not possible to speak English there with locals and job opportunities are so low… I think It will be better to look anywhere else. Even though It´s making me a little sad.

I wonder if it’s possible to do woofing in Taiwan (working in a farm and get the accomodation for free). Obviously the farmers will speak no english or very little but it could be fun and a good way to be forced to learn some mandarin. It’s probably possible even though a few people will do it.

60 US dollars for 8 hrs of work is not bad at all. If I consider prices in Taiwan.

Was thinking the same when reading the article. I knew backpackers in Australia who would get less for similar work.