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Work Permit for Foreign Professionals
  • Introduction
    The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) under the Executive Yuan began to issue work permits to foreign professionals on Jan. 15, 2004. However, the following foreigners must submit their applications to the following agencies:
    • Foreign ship crew members must apply to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
    • Specialized technicians employed by ROC manufacturers in the Science-based Industrial Parks must apply to the Science-Based Industrial Park Administrations (SBIPA).
    • Specialized technicians employed by ROC manufacturers in the Export Processing Zone must apply to Export Processing Zone or its branches.
  • Work permit:
    • Basic principle: A foreigner cannot work in the Republic of China if his/her employers do not apply for a work permit (Article 43 of the Employment Service Act).
    • Exceptions:
      • Foreigners who work for central or municipal governments agencies or public academic research institutions as consultants or researchers need no work permit (Article 48 of the Employment Service Act).
      • Foreigners whose spouses are ROC citizens with household registration and who have been permitted to stay in the ROC need no work permit (Article 48 of the Employment Service Act).
      • Foreigners who can directly apply to the governing agency of the central government without needing to apply through their employers include:
        • (1) Foreign refugees who are permitted to stay in the ROC.
        • (2) Foreigners who are permitted to live with their lineal blood relatives who possess household registration in the ROC.
        • (3) Foreigners who are granted permanent residence.
  • Approved fields of work:
    Foreign professionals who are employed to work in the ROC are limited to working as:
    • Specialists or technicians.
    • Executives of enterprises set up by overseas Chinese and foreign investors.
    • School teachers.
    • Teachers at supplementary language schools.
    • Sports coach or athlete.
    • Religious, art, or entertainment arts workers.
    • Crew members of merchant ships or working ships.
  • Duration limit:
    • A work permit can be issued for a valid period of up to three years. When the work permit expires, the employer can apply for an extension if necessary (Article 52 of the Employment Service Act).
    • If an employer and an employee sign a one-year contract, the maximum approved duration of the permit will be one year. However, if the contract is five years long, the maximum approved duration must not exceed three years following the government・s review.
  • Employment Transfer:
    • During the duration of the work permit, if a foreigner needs to change employer, or is employed by two or more employers, the new employer(s) must submit an application for a new work permit for the foreign worker.
    • When a foreigner applies to work for a new employer, the new employer must also submit documents concerning the foreigner・s termination of employment from the previous company.
    • Foreigners who are categorized as professionals in the ROC cannot change status to blue-collar foreign labor workers, who work by the express permit of the R.O.C government.
  • Regulations to follow:
    • Health examination
      Foreigners who work as supplementary language school teachers must submit a medical check certificate issued within the previous 3 months from hospitals designated by the Department of Health, along with their work permit applications. If the medical check certificate is issued by a foreign hospital, it must be authenticated by an ROC embassy or overseas representative office.
    • Wages
      • The wages of foreigners employed as specialists or technicians must not be lower than the average monthly wage of technicians specified in the latest survey of the average monthly wages in the same field announced by the central governing authority.
      • :Wages; shall include "fixed wages" and "special wages." Fixed wages include the base salary, professional allowance, monthly bonuses, and fixed subsidies including housing, electricity and water, transportation, and lodging allowances or monetary compensation for goods. Special wages include overtime pay, irregular bonuses and subsidies (not on a monthly basis) such as those received for the Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat, and Mid-Autumn festivals, special bonuses for giving up annual leave, allowances granted for missing meals, etc.
    • Illegal working prohibited
      Foreigners who engage in any of the following behaviors are considered illegal workers in the ROC:
      • Those who work in the ROC for employers without applying for a work permit.
      • Those whose work permits have been revoked or expire, yet still continue working in the ROC.
      • Those who do jobs that are not approved by the government.
      • Those who are employed by other employers aside from their legal employers approved of by the government.
  • Information related to employers applying for work permit(s):
    • Please refer to "Qualifications and Criteria standards for Foreigners undertaking in the Jobs Specified in Article 46.1.1 to 46.1.6 of the Employment Service Act" regarding the employers・ qualifications, foreigners・ qualifications, and the content of the work.
    • Application forms for work permit of employing foreign professionalsHow to apply: (work permits issued by the CLA)
      • Send a designated person to the counter of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training of the CLA to submit an application (address: No. 83, Yanping N. Road, Sec 2, Datong District, Taipei City 103).
      • Send an application by registered mail to: No. 83, Yanping N. Road, Sec 2, Datong District, Taipei City 103. Attn: Comprehensive Planning Department of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training (application for the employment of foreign specialists).
    • Processing time: around 7 to 10 working days.
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