Updated: Aug 3
According to data released by the Ministry of Education, there were 106,680 foreign students enrolled in Taiwanese universities in 2019. With graduation season right around the corner and with more and more students interested in policies meant to increase foreign talent in Taiwan, we thought it would be good to provide some guidance to the future graduates about how to get a working permit and be able to legally work in Taiwan.
The most common way to obtain a work permit in Taiwan, which can later be used to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), is to be hired by a company.
When a foreign employee is hired by a company established in Taiwan, there are two possible scenarios: either the foreign candidate graduated outside Taiwan, or he/she graduated from a Taiwanese university.
- In the first scenario, a foreign professional who did not graduate from a Taiwanese university requires that the company pays him/her a salary of no less than 47,971 NTD to qualify for a work permit.
- If the foreign professional has graduated from a Taiwanese university (foreign students with a degree from Taiwanese universities, ethnic Chinese students, and/or overseas Chinese students) then he/she must reach 70 points from the point system criteriatable. Go check the table and add up your points!
Each criterion must be proven to the Ministry of Labor by attaching the necessary documents; here you can find a brief explanation of how to demonstrate each item:
- 1) Education: The education level can be demonstrated by providing a copy of the highest-level diploma (if the foreign professional wants to attach diplomas for previous programs, these might need to be authenticated and translated to Chinese if they were not obtained in Taiwan).
- 2) Employment Salary: This can be demonstrated by attaching the signed employment contract and the employment certificate.
- 3) Work Experience: This can be demonstrated by attaching the previous work employment certificates. In order for the Ministry of Labor to consider the certificate as valid, the work must have been performed after the applicant obtained his/her bachelor’s degree (these need to be translated to Chinese).
- 4) Job Qualifications: This can be demonstrated by attaching the documents that certify special expertise such as professional training for the role, course attendance, skill certifications, creative works competition awards, patents, etc. (these need to be translated to Chinese).
- 5) Chinese Language Proficiency: This can be demonstrated by attaching the documents that certify the number of Chinese study hours or the foreign student Chinese language proficiency test result scoring enough points to be deemed in an “Intermediate” level or higher (these need to be translated to Chinese).
- 6) Foreign Language Proficiency: This can be demonstrated by attaching the certificates that certify the foreign professional’s foreign language ability. To prove fluency in one’s native tongue, a copy of a passport which includes your national language or any official document stating it can be used (these need to be translated to Chinese).
- 7) Overseas Experience: This can be demonstrated by attaching the documents that show that the applicant has resided in foreign countries for more than 6 years (these need to be translated to Chinese).
- 8) Cooperation with Government Policy: This can be demonstrated by attaching a copy of the certificate given to the employer for its compliance with a government policy issued by the central competent authority (these need to be translated to Chinese).
This article is only meant to provide guidance, some of the documents listed above might need authentication. To be absolutely certain which documents require it, the company should contact the Ministry of Labor previous to starting the application process.
In addition to documents described above, a note to the Ministry of Labor explaining why the company requires hiring a foreign instead of a local employee (language skills, special qualifications, etc.) might also be requested to start the application process!
If the work permit is approved, it will be sent to the company within 2 to 4 weeks. It is important to know that it is only after the work permit has been issued that the employee can legally start working, otherwise it will be considered as illegal work and might cause problems to the applicant in the future.
After receiving it, the foreign employee can go to the closest immigration office to apply for a new ARC. The following documents will be required:
- Work permit.
- Application form.
- Passport, original and photocopies.
- Current ARC (if available), original and photocopies.
- Employment contract.
- Employment certificate (provided by the company).
- 1,000 NTD (fee to apply for 1 year ARC).
- Rental contract with the new address if the residence has changed since the last application of ARC (changes of residence must be reported within 15 days from the day it takes place, failure to report can result in a penalty ranging from NT$2,000 to NT10,000).
After the application has been submitted, the new ARC should be issued within 3 to 4 weeks. If you provide the immigration office a self-stamped envelope with the address of the company, the immigration office can directly send it there.
The above article is a contribution of Juan Fernando Herrera Ramos, Freelance Writer, Journalist and Content Project Manager at Solomon AI and 3D vision. If you have any further inquiries you can connect with him on LinkedIn or write to him at email@example.com.