Taiwan has made great strides in accommodating the staffing needs of international companies with operations in Taiwan. Not only have application requirements and procedures for work permits for foreign nationals been clarified and streamlined through the consolidation of what was once the domain of many different agencies into a single window, many restrictions have either been lifted or significantly relaxed for multinationals, thus allowing for greater hiring flexibility.
The following information is provided as general reference only. Please be sure to check with the Council of Labor Affairs, Bureau of Consular Affairs, and the National Police Administration for the latest information and requirements.
Employers who wish to hire foreign nationals to come and work in Taiwan are required to first apply with the Council of Labor Affairs to obtain a work permit for the foreign nationals they wish to hire. A work permit application form must be submitted in Chinese and requires recent passport photos of the person and supporting documentation such as photocopies of the candidate’s CV, passport (picture page), employment contract, health certificate from a pre-approved hospital, proof of education, and proof of previous work experience. Please note that certified Chinese translations are usually required for all foreign-language documents. The work permit application review process takes approximately two weeks. Once the application is approved, the work permit — a formal government-issued letter of approval — is sent by registered mail to the employer. The letter, which serves as proof of permission for the prospective employee to undertake employment in Taiwan, is required for the resident visa application.
After receiving the work permit, the prospective employee should apply for a resident visa. If they have arrived in Taiwan with a Visitor’s Visa, they may change their visa status without departing Taiwan by applying at the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei, Taichung or Kaohsiung. If they are not in Taiwan, they must apply for a Resident Visa at the nearest Taiwan representative office. If they have entered under the Visa Waiver Program or received a Landing Visa, they must depart Taiwan to apply for a Resident Visa.
Alien Resident Certificates
After receiving a resident visa and entering Taiwan, foreign nationals are then required to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate with the foreign affairs police under the National Police Administration of the Ministry of Interior.
Foreign Nationals with Resident Status in Taiwan
Different rules apply for the hiring of foreign nationals with resident status in Taiwan. For example, foreign nationals who are married to ROC nationals and have obtained legal resident status are permitted to work in Taiwan without having to apply for a work permit. As for permanent residency holders, they may apply for an “open” work permit directly with the Council of Labor Affairs and do not need to apply for a work permit through their employer.
Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, Council of Labor Affairs
Website for Foreigners Living in Taiwan from the National Police Administration (with links to relevant government sites, including the Bureau of Consular Affairs)
Taipei City Police Department info related to applying for permanent residency