Updated: Jan 2
Taiwan has been one of the countries least affected by COVID-19 this year. That makes it an ideal place to find a job. If you’re outside of Taiwan but want to be here, learn how one French national navigated the job-seeking process while living in their home country of France.
After the great experiences I’d had studying in Taiwan over the past seven years, I decided to concentrate my recent job search in Taiwan.
I am one of the lucky ones who was able to find a job in Taiwan during the pandemic, and I wasn’t in Taiwan when I got hired, I was in Europe.
I must admit that looking for a job in Taiwan while being outside the country is not an easy task. It requires a lot of searching and, to be honest, a bit of luck, as well. Here’s how I approached the job hunt from overseas.
Looking for a Job in Taiwan Online
As a foreigner, you need to hunt down companies that are open to hiring foreigners or that are willing to go through this process. I recommend having a look at any company or institution in Taiwan that is related to your native country, as it can be easier to approach people that come from the same place as you. In addition, here are some other suggestions for finding companies to apply to:
Check out the job listings of chambers of commerce and industry as well as their member companies – In my case, I found my job on the French Chamber’s job board.
Look at the event promotions of your country’s representative office; they usually highlight their partners or donors.
Startup accelerators/incubators host lots of events, and startups hosted in one of these programs might be growing and hiring soon.
Stalk, stalk, stalk! Once you find a company, go on LinkedIn to see if they already hired foreigners. If they have, message them to introduce yourself. Either you are lucky and you find some email addresses, or you just get the HR or CEO’s name and try out email address templates to send a spontaneous application, for example:Name.FamilyName@CompanyName.com, NameFirstLetter.FamilyName@CompanyName.tw, … etc.
Facebook groups are also a good resource. If a company is posting in English about a position in a department you are not interested in and they need someone who speaks a language you cannot speak, it is great news! Why? 1) They hire foreigners. 2) they are expanding abroad and might need someone with your language skills soon. One more time, get the contact details, and send a spontaneous application. The worst thing that will happen is that they say no or they ignore you.
Some countries have special programs to encourage their companies to expand abroad, so you can also check out your government’s websites, as some companies receive subsidies to hire in other markets.
Finally, there are opportunities on local job websites such as https://www.104.com.tw/jobs/main/ where some offers are written in English. Even if you speak fluent mandarin, the company might not be willing to hire a foreigner, so offers written in English are usually a good sign for non-Taiwanese.
All Hands Taiwan has also opened a job board. Have a look!
Getting a Work Visa
Once the company agreed to hire me, getting the resident/working visa was easy and only took 40 days. If, like me, you find a job while outside of Taiwan, I recommend that the hiring company call your country’s representative office before beginning the hiring process in order to know the current situation and what special steps you or your company may need to follow during this Covid-19 outbreak. Situations might vary from one company or country to the other.
Surviving the 14-day Quarantine
Finally, here are a few things to know about traveling to Taiwan and the quarantine you must undergo when you arrive.
First, make sure to book a direct flight or a flight with very few stops. Lots of governments are closing and reopening airports frequently, and you never know if they are going to allow transit on the day you depart, as the virus situation can evolve quickly.
Once you get to Taoyuan airport, special cabs will take you to your place of residence.
As of May 2020 (do your research, rules change fast!), we had to have our own bedroom and bathroom. I got a one-bedroom flat on Airbnb and made sure that the landlord agreed to host me during my quarantine. I also had to make sure that I could receive food deliveries at my door without going out or taking the elevator, as we are not allowed to leave our place for any reason.
Some hotels will also accept you to stay during your quarantine period. Here is the official list for Taipei, provided by the Taipei City government.
You also have the right to be in your own home, if you already have a place in Taiwan. However, you must be able to have your own bedroom and bathroom, and can’t live with anyone under 6 or above 65, or with anyone who has any known diseases.
To stay in touch with me, a police officer added me on every social media platform I use, and I also had to give him my local phone number. He contacted me every day to make sure I was feeling ok. If I’d had any symptoms, he would have arranged a special cab to take me to the hospital. During quarantine,I had to keep my phone on at all times as the police were tracking my location.
Overall, my time in quarantine was fine, and I was able to start my new work from home. If you do not work from home, make sure to get yourself some distractions, such as Wi-Fi, books, cooking equipment, etc., and you will be able to enjoy your quarantine in Taiwan!
Keeping Your Eye on the Ball
Finding a job during the current pandemic crisis is not simple, especially if you are not in the country you long to be in. I speak from experience: it took me eight months of research to find my job in Taiwan, so start looking early before quitting your current job. You must put in the hard work of doing online research and attending physical/online events. And once you arrive in Taiwan, seize the home quarantine opportunity to do some online learning and go deeper into researching topics related to your new job!
This author of this All Hands Taiwan blog post wishes to remain anonymous.