ARC, VISA, and Work Permits in Taiwan. What’s the Difference?!

This is an introduction on applying for Visas or ARCs. If you are looking to visit or stay in Taiwan, you’ve come to the right place.

This article should not be used as a legal advice as situations vary for different individuals. However, this article will help you understand what documents you need if you are planning to visit or work in Taiwan. If you are from China, Hong Kong or Macau, this article will not apply to you.

So right off the bat, what’s the difference between ARC, VISA and Work Permits?

VISA: A visa allows you to enter Taiwan for a limited period of time. It specifies number of visits, the duration of each visit and the validity period. Generally, you will only apply for 2 types of visa: visitor visa (business, tourism) and resident visa.

ARC: short for Alien Resident Certificate. The ARC appears to function like a visa but it is only a ID card confirming your foreign but legal status to reside in Taiwan. It is used for daily things like opening up a bank account, applying for a cell phone plan and applying for National Health Insurance. The ARC also does not permit you to work. You will need an ARC if you are staying in Taiwan for longer than 90 days.

Work Permit: For ANY work in Taiwan, even unpaid volunteering, you need to have official permission. Normally, your employer should help you to apply. A work permit allows you to work, but does not give you permission to be in Taiwan. Once the work permit is obtained, you should apply for an ARC through the National Immigration Agency. If you already have the ARC, such as the student ARC, you should also update your ARC information through the National Immigration Agency.

How can I apply for a VISA?

Visas are generally issued overseas at Taiwan’s representatives offices. You need to provide photographs, bank statements and official proof of the reason to enter Taiwan. Regardless of the reason for your visit, visas issued overseas are generally only good for one to three months. They are known as visitor visas, and are issued for the purpose of tourism, business, etc.

What if I plan to stay longer than 1-3 months?

If you are planning to stay longer in Taiwan, you will need to get a resident visa. Resident Visa holders are required to apply for the Alien Resident Certificate and Re-entry Permit at local service of Ministry of Interior National Immigration Agency within 15 days after their arrival. They may stay in the ROC as long as the Alien Resident Certificate remains valid.

How do I get a resident VISA?

If you are legally employed (have a work permit), you are permitted to remain in Taiwan for the period specified on your contract. You can apply for a resident visa at the National Immigration Agency after you’ve arrived in Taiwan. Make sure you bring all of your documents with you.

You can still work without a resident visa as long as you have a work permit.

How can I apply for a WORK PERMIT?

Work Permits:  Work permits are issued by the Labour Department and should generally be applied by your employer. The Labour department will need copies of business registration and license, as well as your contract, qualifications and passport. You are NOT allowed to work until you have a copy of the permit in your hands.

It is possible to send copies of your documents to your employer so they can apply for your work permit in prior to your arrival in Taiwan.

You are allowed to have more than one work permit. You can also have work permits from different employers. You are restricted to only working at the job and location specified on your work permit.

How can I get an ARC?

You will only need an ARC if you are staying in Taiwan for longer than 90 days.

If you have arrived in Taiwan with a visitor visa, you will first need to apply for a resident visa (see above). You can then use the resident visa to apply for an ARC. You will need your passport, valid health certificate (within 3 months), certificate of current resident, and certificate of cause.

If you need help travelling in Taiwan, take a look at our exclusive Tofu Daily CONCIERGE service here.

One thought on “ARC, VISA, and Work Permits in Taiwan. What’s the Difference?!

  • November 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    How to apply economy visa


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