Working legally

Resident visas and Alien Resident Certificates explained

Working legally

If, prior to your arrival you have received permission to work in Taiwan, you will need to apply for a resident visa and resident certificate. These can be applied for at an overseas consulate or representative office of the Republic of China.

Already there?

If you are already in Taiwan you will have to complete the following steps to receive a visa

Step 1.  Apply to the office of BOCA  (Bureau of Consular Affairs) for an employment visa.
Step 2. Apply to the NIA  (National Immigration Agency) for an Alien Resident Certificate.  

What is a resident visa?

It is illegal to work in Taiwan on a visitor visa. Therefore, before starting work you must apply for a resident visa which lasts up to 3 months. Normally, it is your company's responsibility to apply for a work permit on your behalf, which involves them paying the fees.

Applicants will need the following documents when applying: 

  • A passport valid for at least six months.
  • A duly completed and signed original application form with two photographs.
  • The photographs should have a size of 2 inches.
  • The photographs must have been taken within six months.
  • The photographs may be either in black and white or in colors with white background.
  • Supporting documents or official letters of approval from the relevant authority of the Taiwan, eg. Letter of Acceptance.
  • Other relevant documents. (student ID card, payment receipt, NT$3,000)
  • Health certificate, if applicable.


NT$2,200 (US$66) for a single entry; NT$3,000(US$90) for multiple entries. For US citizens, visa application fee is NT$3,600 (US$100).

There are no additional charges placed on resident visas for foreign nationals from countries with which Taiwan has entered into reciprocal agreements.

Once you have obtained the resident visa, the final step is to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

What is an Alien Resident Certificate?

An Alien Resident Certificate must be applied for within 15 days of arrival in Taiwan and after possession of a Resident Visa. You will usually be able to obtain them from the foreign affairs police under the National Police Administration  of The Ministry of Interior.

Illegal work in Taiwan

It may be tempting to avoid all the paperwork and taxes, however, working illegally is a risky business in itself.

Company policy

Although it is illegal to work without a work permit and work visa in Taiwan, there are many companies that are willing to commit this crime as they prefer not to deal with all the paperwork or pay their taxes. 

These companies will either look the other way and hire you illegally, or they will instantly dismiss all applications received from foreigners. 

If you do get caught

Professionals caught working illegally without the required work permits will be deported and risk future visa difficulties when entering Taiwan. 

Further reading

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