How to Work in Taiwan for Foreigners

Taipeis Skyline

August 18, 2020

An Asian Tiger Economy

This small island of 23.8 million is one of the cultural and economic powerhouses of East Asia. Known as one of the “Four Asian Tigers”––alongside Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea––Taiwan has experienced rapid economic growth over the course of the last 70 years. For anyone seeking new opportunities abroad, Taiwan offers a booming tech industry, an opportunity to learn about its 14 aboriginal tribes, and world-renowned food. On this page, you’ll get an overview of the application process to live and work in Taiwan. We hope that following this guide will help you pursue your dreams in Taiwan.


First, let’s talk about the three documents that you will need for your application to work in Taiwan. These include:

  1. Work permit
  2. Resident Visa
  3. Alien Resident Certificate

The work permit is the document that allows you to be legally paid by a Taiwanese company. This is different from a visa, and you must first obtain the work permit in order to apply for the Z visa.

The resident visa is a single-entry visa that you must hold in order to enter Taiwan, and it will inform the government that your goal is to work and receive a salary in the country. You will not hold onto the Resident Visa for long: after you arrive in Taiwan, you will trade in the visa for a residence permit after you follow the appropriate process.

The Alien Resident Certificate gives you the right to live in Taiwan for up to three years at a time, and it allows unlimited exit and re-entry into the country.


Application Process

A. Apply for a Work Permit

A Work Permit application must be made by the sponsoring entity in Taiwan to the Workforce Development Agency. The application can be submitted in advance of your arrival in Taiwan.

You will be required to provide the following:

  1. Scan of your
  2. Education certificates
  3. Reference letters for related previous/current work experience
  4. Registration documents from the employer/sponsor in Taiwan

The maximum duration that can be applied for is three years for specialised or technical work. However, the duration granted will be subject to the actual assignment period and the discretion of the approving Agency. The Work Permit processing time is approximately two weeks from the date of submission, provided all documents are in order.

B. Obtain a Resident Visa

Following approval of the Work Permit, you must apply for a Resident Visa, which will allow you to stay in Taiwan for more than six months. The subsequent processing time for the Visitor Visa or Resident Visa can vary from one day to one week.

C. Apply for a Alien Resident Certificate

Once you have been granted a Resident Visa, you are also required to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) at the National Immigration Agency in Taiwan. The Resident Visa only provides a single entry visa, while the ARC will allow you to re-enter and must be presented for entry and departure purposes at the immigration checkpoints in Taiwan.

The ARC processing time is typically 10 working days. Now that you have obtained the ARC, you are, for most intents and purposes, now considered a resident of Taiwan. You are free to travel around Taiwan and can come and go as often as you wish, without needing any extra paperwork. Congratulations, now go make your dreams a reality!



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