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When is the best time to go to Taiwan ?

 
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Nev



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:12 pm    Post subject: When is the best time to go to Taiwan ? Reply with quote

My girlfriend and I are planning to go to Taiwan at the end of June to find work teaching English . Could anybody let us know if this is a good time to go and find work . Thankyou . Hezky Den ! Smile
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your biggest concern (aside from the summer heat in June that will be around 38 degrees) is taxes. You have to be in Taiwan for exactly six months in a calendar year in order to get your 20% initial tax refunded. For the first six months, you pay 20% tax and then it drops down to 6% after that. You can get a full refund of the overpayment for the six months provided they occur in a single calendar year. So if you go over in August and work until January at 20%, you will only be refunded for January and will lose the other 5 months. I would say go at the end of May, since it normally takes a month or so to get registered and have the taxes deducted (your first two or three weeks you just get paid without taxes). You need to be in the country and registered for 183 days to get the full refund for this period.
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Nev



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 3:57 pm    Post subject: another question concerning my degree Reply with quote

Thanks for the information you sent us:very helpful.I just have one more question.Do I have to take my original degree with me or can I simply take a photocopy of it?Will the Taiwanese authorities accept a photocopy as a bona fide document ?
Thankyou very much.
Nev and Alenka Very Happy
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The school will photocopy your degree and give the photocopy to immigration. So I assume that you could just give the school a photocopy and they would give that to immigration. Immigration will accept a photocopy of a degree.
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EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:49 am    Post subject: Get a Student Visa Reply with quote

It should be quite easy for you to obtain a tourist visa at your local Taiwan representative office. A long duration multiple entry visa is the best that most people can get. It allows you to stay in Taiwan for 60 days and can be extended, up to six months. All you have to do is leave the country and you are entitled to another 60 days.
Legally speaking, you are not allowed to work on this visa but I know many people who have been doing it for years. My father owned a business here for 15 years and used this type of visa the entire time. Simply tell them you are a foreign business person who buys things here and you won't have any trouble.
This visa will give you the luxury of looking around for a good job without the AVOIDABLE visa hassle.You can also upgrade this visa to a ARC if you decide to obligate yourself to a school and they can offer a visa. Most kindergarten s cannot offer a resident visa.
It also means that no school can blacklist you if you decide to quit. You also have the choice of refusing to work under contract.
I would reccomend you come here and look around. Take a couple of part time jobs. One in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. This is very easy to do in the summer. Tell them to pay you by the hour, once a week. You should be able to get 20 to 100 hours a week this way. Do the math and you will see what that adds up to, even at 500nt per hour.
Taipei is the best area for summer work.

Good Luck
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get an ARC as quick as you can though.
EOD says: "Most kindergarten s cannot offer a resident visa." If the school can't get you an ARC, it's not a school - ie doesn't have a business licence. To get a business licence for a school in Taiwan you need a building that is safe, fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and the owner of the school cannot be a teacher at a Taiwanese public school. Working without an ARC sucks. You can't buy a motorbike, have no health insurance, have to leave the country every three months, and can't open a bank account. If you are a bum and used to living like this it would be fine I guess. If you have living standards, an ARC is better. I did things by the book there and I had no problems (they let me leave when I wanted to, I got all my money).
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EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:34 am    Post subject: I Beg to Differ Reply with quote

With no disrespect to Itchy, I disagree.
itchy wrote:
If you are a bum and used to living like this it would be fine I guess. If you have living standards, an ARC is better. I did things by the book there and I had no problems (they let me leave when I wanted to, I got all my money).

Both myself and my father fall into that category. While I am an English teacher here, my father was a very successful businessperson, initially here in Taiwan, then Hong Kong and China. In the 15 years he lived and worked in Taiwan and then Hong Kong and China, he used a multiple entry, tourist visa. A multiple entry, tourist visa is intended for business people. Tourism in Taiwan is not like tourism in other places. Tourism means foreign businesses and the associated people.
Now I have not been as nearly successful, financially as my father. I gauge success by how well I teach and treat my students. My father however made more money in one year, than I make in ten. When he finally retired at the age of 50 and sold his business, he was very successful, financially.
This is why I recommend a tourist visa. When my boss gives me a book to teach, that is badly written and chosen for financial reasons rather than educational, I refuse to use it. I can do this because the only thing my boss can do is sack me. If he is foolish enough, to withhold my pay, he pays me far more than what he owes me, in students I take with me. He cannot blacklist me or have me deported as he can with teachers that have an ARC. When I see my students being abused, I call the police and file an official report with no repercussions to myself, unlike those who have an ARC.
I own both a motorcycle and a car. I have opened more bank accounts here than I can remember. All it takes is a passport. I have not done as well as my father financially but I have done very well. I have a house in the US and I am planning on buying a second one here.
When my employer makes a demand that I feel is unreasonable, I refuse. If had an ARC issued by my employer, I couldn't do that. It takes most a few years to understand the situation in Taiwan as far as Visa's go. Some people never figure it out. In my limited opinion, it comes down to identifying with a persons situation and how to do the job, the right way.

Keep in mind however, it is against the law.
Here is a link to the AIT (American Embassy) website about employment in Taiwan.

http://www.ait.org.tw/ait/TSS/ACS/Employment.html

I think the most interesting point is that if you are convicted of working illegally you will be fined and deported. The same thing will happen if you cross you ARC issuing employer.
EOD
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the website you gave:
Processing time for a work permit application takes approximately two months. YOU MAY NOT WORK DURING THIS PERIOD. An employer who asks you to work before you receive your permit is breaking the law and is asking you to break the law too. You should question whether or not you want to work for an employer who is willing to put you at risk of arrest and deportation. Many Americans teaching English illegally in Taiwan have complained to us that their employers never did apply for work permits for them. After a few months of working illegally and being treated badly by their employers, they usually give up and leave Taiwan.

After receiving the work permit, you must apply for a resident visa. If you arrived in Taiwan with a Visitorís Visa, you may change your 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 you entered under the Visa Waiver Program or received a Landing Visa, you must depart Taiwan to apply for a Resident Visa. Most Americans who are already in Taiwan go to Hong Kong and apply at the Chung Hwa Travel Service, 4th Floor, East Tower, Bond Center, #89 Queens Rd., Central Hong Kong, tel. 852-2-525-8315.

Within 15 days after re-entering Taiwan with your work permit, you must obtain an Alien Registration Card (ARC) at the Foreign Affairs Police station nearest you place of residence. It will take approximately two days to obtain and will be valid for the length of your work permit. There is no need to apply for an exit permit unless you overstay your ARC.

- I seriously disagree with this. SERIOUSLY!!! Here's why. I came to Taiwan on a 60 day tourist visa. I started working the day after I came. Within three weeks, I had an ARC and was working legally. I NEVER applied for a "work permit", NEVER left the country to go to Hong Kong (or anywhere else), NEVER applied for a "resident visa". I was there for nine months, then I left. I still have my ARC today (a year and a half later). You just fly over, start working, and get your ARC in about 3 weeks. That's it.

Regarding EOD's business posting. I agree Taiwan is wide open for foreign business and you can go there and start a business if you want to. But EOD is working at private English schools, as an illegal labourer. This is not running a business (unless you consider yourself an independent contractor). I found that the police watched me when I came, specifically when I went to my school. My boss was quite nervous about it and had the paperwork to show that I was under application for getting an ARC. When I got the ARC, he kept the original in the school and gave me a photocopy of it (so he could show the police). I don't think they watch business people, but they definately watch english teachers. If EOD owns a motorcycle and a car, then she bought them in someone else's name. It is not possible to buy one without an ARC (I tried to buy a scooter when I first got there and I couldn't - they wanted my ARC). Not sure about bank accounts. They used my ARC to register mine, but maybe you could get away with just a passport, I never tried. Bottom line is there's a big difference between going over as a business person and going over to teach english. Maybe if you opened your own school (which I see EOD could probably do). You would need to be fluent in Chinese and Taiwanese to be able to relate to the parents, and you'd also have to have a pretty good understanding of their culture so you didn't inadvertantly offend them or do something that's a social taboo.
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Aristotle



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1388
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:36 am    Post subject: You are Both Working Illegally Reply with quote

The only difference I can see is that Itchy doesn't have to make visa runs but has to pay taxes.
EOD has to renew his visa every 2 to 6 months by leaving the country but doesn't pay taxes (anywhere?).
Both of you are in the same boat, one on the bow and one the stern. Which has the better view? Which is a safer place to be when the boat sinks? I would recommend you both put on a life vest and learn how to swim, well. Taiwan is a sinking ship.
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but Taiwanese taxes: 6% of your gross. That's less than Canada Pension and UIC put together. And it's the ONLY deduction.
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Aristotle



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1388
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:54 am    Post subject: Taxes Reply with quote

I suppose it really comes down to how much you want to work and how much money you want to take home.
For many, working 30 to 40 hours a week at 500 to 700 nt per hour, would put you squarely in the 20% plus tax bracket.
If you want to keep your hours down to 10 to 15 per week you can stay around the 13% tax range. However you must meet many requirements to be in that bracket as a foreigner. Most people don't and find out after it's too late.
As for EOD, Itchy and the like. I suspect they would fall into the 20% tax bracket and depending on his or her nationality, may even be taxed again by another country. Probably why so many work under a tourist visa or without a work permit.
I am going to refer you to Tealit. I don't personally endorse this site but some of my associates claim they are making an effort.
http://www.tealit.com/taxes.htm
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it's a personal thing.

I can definitely see both sides of the argument for take either the illegal and legal route.

I've done both and felt like I had more freedom under the illegal route. I also always got paid in cash and could quit a job wihout worrying about it. I felt like I was in control of my situation more.

As Itchy put it, it's kind of like being a Consultant.

However, now that I'm working legally, I have national healthcare and I can leave the country as many times as I want. I don't have to purchase an out-bound air ticket from taiwan every time I com back to Taiwan. This was a pain in the ass and expensive. I'm still waiting for a refun from Air Phillipines because they wouldn't allow me to board my plane back to Taiwan without an out-bound ticket.

But I am paying 20% tax right now and that really, sucks!!

And if I things go side ways with my employer, I have to leave the country and do it all over again.

I think if I ever have a falling out with my employer and loose my work permit or they refuse to cooperate in transferring it to another company, I'll just go back to the illegal status again.

It was pretty good minus the out-bound ticket expenses I incurred.
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