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Complete guide to obtaining a work visa and permit to work in Taiwan

If you are a foreign national who wants to work in Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China( (ROC), you must get all three of the following:

  • Taiwan Work Permit, which authorizes you to work
  • Taiwan Work Visa, which allows you to travel to Taiwan for the purpose of employment
  • Taiwan Residence Permit (Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)), which allows you to live in Taiwan long-term

However, not everyone can just up and move to Taiwan and hope to get a job. The Taiwanese government only issues Taiwan work permits to specific categories of workers. Additionally, before you can even apply for a Taiwan work visa, you must first have a job offer in Taiwan.

Who is Eligible for a Work Permit for Taiwan?

According to the Workforce Development Agency of the Taiwan Ministry of Labor, only the following foreign professionals are eligible to work in Taiwan:

  • Specialized or Technical Workers in one of the following fields:
    • Civil Engineering or Practice of Architecture
    • Communications and Transportation
    • Tax and Financial Services
    • Practice of Real Estate Agency
    • Immigration Services
    • Practice of Attorneys, or of Patent Attorneys
    • Practice of Technicians
    • Health Care
    • Environmental Protection
    • Culture, Sports, and Recreation Services
    • Academic Research
    • Practice of Veterinarians
    • Manufacturing
    • Wholesales
    • Other fields as decided by the Central Governing Authority and the Central Competent Authorities
  • The Director or Manager of a business established or invested by an overseas Chinese national or a foreign national
  • School Teachers
  • Foreign Teachers in Cram Schools (full-time)
  • Sports Coaches or Athletes
  • Artists and Performing Artists
  • Contract Worker (construction, sale, technical cooperation etc)

In addition, if you find a job in any of the aforementioned sectors of employment, your salary cannot be lower than the average monthly salary determined by the central competent authority.

How to Apply for a Taiwan Work Permit?

It is your employer who has to get a Taiwan work permit for you. They can apply for your work permit in one of the two following ways:

  • Online, through the website of the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) of the Ministry of Labor; or
  • By submitting the application at the reception counter of the Workforce Development Agency of the Ministry of Labor (either in person or by registered mail)

Once your employer obtains a Taiwan work permit on your behalf, then depending on your situation, you may:

  • Apply for a Taiwan Work Visa (if you are abroad); or
  • Apply for a Taiwan residence permit (if you are already in Taiwan on a Visitor Visa)

**Work Permit applications for School Teachers have to be obtained at the Taiwan Ministry of Education, not the WDA.

What are the Requirements for a Taiwan Work Visa?

When submitting a Taiwan work visa application, you must have the following documents:

  • Completed Work Visa Application Form, printed and signed.
  • Two passport-size pictures, taken within the past six months. They must have a white background without any patterns. Dimensions must be 35mm by 45mm without a border.
  • Your passport, valid for at least another six months and with at least three blank pages where the visa can be affixed.
  • Health Certificate issued in the past three months (original and photocopy). Before you apply for a Taiwan work visa, you must get a Health Certificate by a hospital appointed by the Centers for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan or a hospital in your home country. If you receive a health certificate from a non-Taiwanese hospital, you must have it legalized by a Taiwanese diplomatic mission.
  • The Taiwan Work Permit (original and photocopy) which is valid for at least six more months.
  • Any additional documents based on your profession.

This is not an exhaustive list of documents. The Taiwan authorities may request additional documents that they see fit on a case-to-case basis.

All the documents you submit have to be in either English or Chinese. If they are not, they must be translated by an official translator and authenticated by a Taiwan overseas diplomatic mission.

How to Apply for a Taiwan Work Visa?

A Taiwan work visa is one of the types of Taiwan Resident Visa, which is issued for long-stay purposes. You can apply for a Taiwan work visa in one of two ways:

  • Abroad: at a Taiwanese diplomatic mission (embassy, consulate, etc).
  • In Taiwan, at the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) or any of its offices

Applying for a Taiwan work visa at a Taiwan diplomatic mission

After your employer obtains a work permit for you, you must apply for a Taiwan work visa at a Taiwan diplomatic mission. The application process is as follows:

  • Complete the Taiwan Work Visa Application Form online (here). Print it and sign it.
  • Collect the required documents (see below)
  • Submit the application form and the documents at a Taiwanese diplomatic mission in person within 30 days of completing the online application.
    • When you complete the application form, you will have to select which diplomatic mission you will apply in from a dropdown menu.
    • You may apply at any mission, but you are advised to apply in the one in your country. If there’s no Taiwanese diplomatic mission in your country, apply to the nearest one.
  • Wait for the Taiwan work visa to be processed
    • The diplomatic mission staff could also request an interview, if they think it is necessary
    • If they think your application requires additional examination, they will forward it to the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Taiwan, who will notify them of what decision to make.
  • Collect your passport. If your application was approved, your visa will be affixed to your passport
  • After entering Taiwan, apply for a Taiwan residence permit at a local service center of the National Immigration Agency within 15 days.

Applying for a work visa once you’re already in Taiwan

If you are already in Taiwan with a Visitor Visa for employment purposes (such as business, investment, employment-seeking), you do not have to leave the country to apply for a Resident Visa. You can apply to turn your Visitor Visa into a Resident Work Visa at the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Taiwan.

You must apply for the Taiwan Resident (Work) Visa after your employer obtains your work permit, and at least 8 days before your Visitor Visa expires.

Once the BOCA issues your work visa, you must apply for a Taiwan residence permit at a local service center of the National Immigration Agency within 15 days.

Taiwan Residence Permit for Foreign Workers

Even though the Taiwan work permit allows you to work and the work visa allows you entry into the country, you cannot stay in Taiwan longer than 90 days unless you have a valid residence permit. The residence permit for Taiwan is called an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and must be obtained from a local service center of the Taiwan National Immigration Agency.

The ARC can be issued for one, two, or three years and is renewable.

How Long is a Taiwan Work Visa Valid For?

The work visa itself is valid for a maximum of three months. However, if you intend to work for longer than that, you must get an ARC that is issued for one, two, or three years.

Can you Extend a Taiwan Work Visa?

No, you cannot extend the Taiwan work visa itself. However, if you will work in Taiwan for longer than three months, you must receive an ARC that may be renewed. You must apply to renew an ARC at least 30 days before your current one expires at the National Immigration Agency in Taiwan.

Taiwan Work Visa Fee

The visa fees for Taiwan are as follows:

If you apply at a Taiwan diplomatic mission:

  • Single-Entry Resident Visa: US$66
  • Multiple-Entry Resident Visa: US$132

If you apply in Taiwan:

  • Single-Entry Resident Visa: NT$2,200
  • Multiple-Entry Resident Visa: NT$4,400

In addition to the Taiwan work visa, you must also pay a fee for the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). The Taiwan Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) fees are as follows:

  • For one-year duration: NT$1,000
  • For two-year duration: NT$2,000
  • For three-year duration: NT$3,000

If you’ve lived in Taiwan with an ARC for at least five years (out of which you must have been in Taiwan for at least 183 days annually), you are eligible to apply for an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC). The APRC does not have an expiry date and you do not have to renew it.

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