Due to its thriving economy, numerous job opportunities, and close proximity to the Philippines, many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are currently based in Taiwan. In this article, we will talk about how you can become an OFW in this country.
Taiwan is home to popular brands such as Acer, Asus, and Trend Micro. It exports laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and computer parts. Thus, there is a high-demand for labor in the electronics sector. The country’s manufacturing, healthcare, and education industries offer plenty of opportunities for overseas workers, as well.
Types of Work Visas
Just like in other countries, Taiwan has different types of work visas. According to the Ministry of Labour’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA), there are seven main categories of work visas. Here is a list of those categories, plus sub-categories of professions:
1. Specialized or Technical Works
A01. Civil Engineering or Practice of Architecture
A02. Communications and Transportation
A03. Tax and Financial Services
A04. Practice of Real Estate Agency
A05. Immigration Services
A06. Practice of Attorneys, or of Patent Attorneys
A07. Practice of Technicians
A08. Health Care
A09. Environmental Protection
A10. Culture, Sports, and Recreation Services
A11. Academic Research
A12. Practice of Veterinarians
A15. Other Work Designated as per the Joint Consultation of the Central Governing Authority and the Central Competent Authorities
AS0. Spouses of Foreign Professionals Taking Partly-Hours Specialized or Technical Works
2. Director or Manager of an Approved Business Invested or Established by Overseas Chinese or Foreigner(s)
B00. Overseas Chinese or Foreign Investment Officer
BS0. Spouses of Foreign Professionals Taking Partly-Hours Works as the Director or Manager of an Approved Business Invested or Established by Overseas Chinese or Foreigner(s)
3. School Teacher
Starting February 8, 2018, work permit applications for school teachers shall be submitted to and issued by the Ministry of Education.
4. Full-Time Foreign Teacher in Cram School
Cram schools are “after school” private tutoring systems that offer supplementary classes on academic subjects. It also provides foreign language teaching and test preparation.
5. Sports Coaching or Athlete
E01. Sports Coaching
E02. Sports Assignments
A sports coach should have a National Coaching Certificate. Meanwhile, an athlete should have participated in a national or international sports competition.
6. Arts and Performing Arts
This visa is issued to foreigners engaged in the arts or performing arts.
7. Contracting Foreigners
This visa is issued when a foreign legal person appoints a foreign worker to engage in works to perform contracts of construction, sales, technical cooperation, and other works.
To become a foreign worker, you need to have a job offer from a Taiwan-based employer first. There must be a written job contract, and the stated salary must meet the minimum requirements. As for the employee’s criteria or qualifications — this would depend on the type of job that you are applying for.
Aside from a job offer, you also need to obtain the following documents as part of becoming an OFW in Taiwan:
- Work Permit. Usually, an applicant should have at least 5 years of previous job experience to qualify for this.
- Work Visa. This is typically valid for up to three months, after which you need to get a residence permit.
- Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). This is the Taiwan residence permit, usually valid for one, two, or three years.
When applying for a work visa, here are some of the basic requirements that you need to prepare:
- Completed application form;
- Valid passport;
- 2 passport-sized photos (taken within the past 6 months);
- Approved work permit;
- Health certificate (issued within the past 3 months);
- Additional documents related to your profession; and
- Identification documents for your spouse and children who will accompany you (if any).
NOTE: Additional documents may be required, depending on the job being applied for. Moreover, your documents must be in English or Chinese. Otherwise, they need to be translated by an official translator and certified by Taiwan’s overseas diplomatic mission.
Most Popular Jobs in Taiwan for Overseas Filipino Workers
As mentioned earlier, Taiwan has an export-driven economy, producing well-known brands of electronics and computer parts. Hence, it has an active manufacturing industry. There is also a demand for workers in the healthcare and education sectors.
Taiwan-based companies actively produce and export laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and various computer parts. Thus, thousands of electronics factory workers are often needed.
Taiwan has a high-demand for healthcare workers, especially caregivers. For many years now, the country has been a top destination for Pinoy caregivers.
In Taiwan, there is a demand for subject teachers and foreign language teachers for all levels of education — primary, secondary, and tertiary.
How to Apply for a Work Permit
As cited earlier, one of the requirements for a work visa is a Taiwan work permit. Your employer is the one responsible for getting your work permit. It is usually valid for 6 months, although it may be extended for up to 3 years.
To apply for your work permit, your employer can either:
- Apply online through the Ministry of Labour’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) official website; or
- Submit at an application to the WDA in person or via registered mail.
As soon as your employer has obtained a work permit on your behalf, you can now apply for a Taiwan work visa.
NOTE: Work permit applications for school teachers should be obtained from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, not the WDA.
How to Become an OFW in Taiwan
To apply for a work permit, you need to go to a Taiwan diplomatic mission. For Filipinos, there’s the “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines,” which is located in Metro Manila.
Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for your work visa:
- Fill out this online application form. Print and sign the form.
- Gather all the necessary documents.
- Submit your application form and documents to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines.
- Wait for your visa to be processed.
- Once approved, you will receive your passport with the work visa. You can now start preparing to go to Taiwan!
NOTE: In some cases, you may need to undergo an interview at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines.
Getting an Alien Resident Certificate
Within 15 days of arriving in Taiwan, one of the first things that you should do is to get a residence permit, better known as the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). This certificate is valid for one, two, or three years, and is also renewable.
You can obtain your ARC at the nearest local service center of the National Immigration Agency (NIA). When applying for your certificate, you need to submit your:
- Original passport;
- Photograph (colored);
- Health certificate (notarized);
- Certificate of cause;
- Certificate of current residence; and
- Certificate of criminal record check.
NOTE: Getting an ARC involves undergoing a medical exam, especially if it is your first time in Taiwan.
Alien Permanent Resident Card
If you have been living in Taiwan for 5 years or more, you may try applying for an Alien Permanent Resident Card (APRC). Basically, this is a multiple-entry ,open residency permit. This means that you would have the same “working rights” as a Taiwanese national. The APRC is not tied to an employer, and it is usually valid for 5 to 10 years.
Licensed Recruitment Agencies to Taiwan
When applying as a foreign worker, dealing with a legitimate agency is a must; otherwise, you could get scammed — or worse — become a victim of human trafficking. Here is a list of manpower agencies that are licensed by the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to facilitate the deployment of OFWs to Taiwan:
- 10th Story Placement Agency Inc.;
- 2000 Miles Placement Agency Inc.;
- Alizabeth Recruitment Incorporated;
- Alpha Manpowerlink Agency Co.;
- Alpha Tomo (P) International Manpower Services Inc.;
- Ankor Managament Services and Consultants Inc.;
- Arandrea Manpower Services Co.;
- Bright Star Placement Corp.;
- City Employment Center Inc.;
- Ephesians Overseas Manpower Supply Inc.;
- Everbest Overseas Employment Agency Inc.;
- Expedite Movers Manpower Services;
- Eyequest International Manpower Services Incorporated;
- Faasi International Corporation; and
- Fil-HR Manpower Development and Services Specialist Corp.
NOTE: Please go to the DMW official website to see the full list of manpower agencies that are accredited to recruit land-based and sea-based OFWs around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At this point, we would like to address some frequently asked questions on how to become an OFW in Taiwan:
1. Who are qualified to work in Taiwan?
The required qualifications would depend on the specific job you are applying for. There are seven categories of workers that Taiwan is currently focusing on: (a) specialized or technical workers; (b) director or manager of an approved business invested or established by overseas Chinese or foreigner(s); (c) school teachers; (d) full-time foreign teachers in cram schools; (e) sports coaches or athletes; (f) artists and performing artists; and (g) contracting foreigners.
2. What are the requirements?
To apply for a work visas, you need to submit the following requirements: visa application form, passport, passport-sized photos, work permit, and health certificate. Additional documents may be required, depending on your profession. If your spouse and children are coming with you to Taiwan, you also need to bring identification documents.
3. What are the most in-demand jobs for OFWs?
At present, the most popular industries in Taiwan are manufacturing, healthcare, and education. Hence, the most in-demand jobs include factory workers, production workers, nurses, caregivers, subject teachers, and foreign language teachers.
4. How can I become an OFW in Taiwan?
To become an OFW in Taiwan, you need to have a job offer from a Taiwan-based employer first. He/She will be the one to obtain your work permit. Then, you’ll need to apply for a work visa at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Metro Manila. Upon arriving in Taiwan, you’ll also need to obtain an Alien Residence Certificate (ARC).
5. How can I learn more about working in Taiwan?
To learn more about how you can work in Taiwan, please visit the official website of the Ministry of Labour’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA). You can also get in touch with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, whose contact details are provided below.
Contact Information: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines
Here are the contact details and location map of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines. It is situated in Makati City, Metro Manila.
Address: 41F Tower 1 RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave, Makati, 1200 Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 8887 6688
Video: How to Apply as a Factory Worker in Taiwan
If you are interested in applying as a factory worker, check out this video shared by Martin Fernandez, an OFW based in Taiwan. In this video, the vlogger discusses the qualifications, requirements, and procedures involved when applying as a factory worker in Taiwan. The video is based on his personal experiences as well as the posts of several agencies in the Philippines:
Aside from preparing the necessary documents, you should also learn more about what it’s really like to live in Taiwan. Here are some tips and reminders about staying in this country:
Prepare for the weather. Taiwan may be located just above the Philippines, but the weather is quite different. Taiwan experiences fours seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter (there is no snow, but the winds are really cold). Typhoons come only around four times a year, but these are really strong typhoons! Situated in the Pacific ring of fire, the country is also prone to earthquakes… So it’s always best to be prepared!
Learn to use the transport system. Taiwan has a well-developed public transport system, consisting mainly of buses and trains. Be sure to learn their routes and schedules, especially if you’ll be commuting regularly.
Learn the language. The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese; however, Hokkien is also widely used. Notably, most Taiwanese people can also understand English, so you shouldn’t have much trouble with communication. Still, it’s always a good idea to learn the local language… or a few basic phrases, at least!
Diverse religious beliefs. The primary religion in Taiwan is Buddhism. Nonetheless, the practice of other religions is perfectly acceptable. There are Christians, Protestants, Taoists, and others — all are free to practice their religious beliefs.
Discover Taiwanese cuisine. Most Filipinos are already familiar with delicious dishes such as noodles, siopao, siomai, and dimsum. In Taiwan, you will definitely enjoy all of these and more in the many restaurants, cafes, and street-side eateries.
Get to know the Taiwanese people. The Taiwanese people are polite; they are also quite formal when communicating with others. When addressing your boss and other superiors, it is important to be respectful. In the workplace, the Taiwanese also value being on time (punctuality) and hard work (diligence).
Since it is located close to the Philippines, you might want to consider becoming an OFW in Taiwan — especially if you have experience in the manufacturing, healthcare, or education industries.
On the other hand, another popular destination among foreign workers is Japan. Check out this article to learn more about how to become an OFW in this country.