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Not getting paid on time...What to do?

Work Permits, Employment Qualifications, Employer Problems
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Re: Not getting paid on time...What to do?

Postby Abacus » 13 Nov 2014, 05:03

Icon wrote:
Ihoop wrote:Thanks for the reply.

I guess the part of this I am most worried about is the legality of the whole thing. Can my employer LEGALLY pay me if I have my work permit but no ARC yet? Also, if I decide to give notice now without having obtained my ARC can my employer screw me/withhold my pay because I only had a work permit and no ARC? I should add that I am still on a 90 day visa exempt entry and have not overstayed (meaning I can do another visa run with ease).

I am really unclear about these things and would love to hear from anyone who is more familiar with the law or has experience in these areas. Now I am thinking that, if I do want to quit and not even start the process of getting my ARC, will it be possible for me to LEGALLY obtain the money my school owes me? Or, would I possibly be cheated by my school out of 1.5 months pay because working without an ARC is illegal in the first place......Really confused


1. You do not HAVE a work permit. You cannot have a work permit. The work permit belongs to the company. They can activate or deactivate it to their convenience. They give you the go ahead to apply for your ARC after THEY get the work permit that allows them to hire you. You belong to them.

2. The ARC is only valid for the duration of the work permit. Hence, no work permit = no ARC = illegal work. You currently cannot be working at the premises without your ARC, so you are currently working illegally, have been paid illegally, and seems will continue to be paid illegally, until the cops bust in and you get deported. Or the school cancels the permit that allows you to be there in the first place, which they can do anytime, for any reason and have no responsibility to tell you. That is, if such permit even exists...

3.If you are working on a non visa basis, you are working illegally. Hence, no legal recourse can help you get the back wages or for them to get on track with on time payments. That is the problem. That is why they are giving you the runaround. They are the ones sitting on the catbird seat.

4. In any case, as a new arrival, you really should be paying 18% -or at least, having that removed from your salary. That means you will have a nice stash given back to you as a tax refund come tax time, but again, this is illegal money, I'd not sweat it. For the future, think of 18% as enforced savings. However, given the shady nature of the company you are dealing with, also watch your back regarding the problem of them retaining the money but such money never making it to the Tax Office. On this line of thought, make sure they also deduct your National Health Insurance, that will come handy. And it is also mandatory.

OK, now solutions: you have a contract, you say? OK, have you applied for your ARC? Has the company given you the paperwork to do so? Once you have your ARC in your hand, then we can start fighting with the tools of the system for updated payments and such.


This is completely misleading.

The buxiban/OP has a work permit at this time. It doesn't matter legally who actually possesses the work permit for work done at that location. Work performed before that was illegal but once they have the work permit work is legal regardless of physically having the ARC. The resident visa (and then ARC) needs to be applied for within 15 days of receiving the work permit but physically possessing it has absolutely no bearing on whether or not someone can legally work.

The OP has been in Taiwan for 183 days already this year so the buxiban only has to withhold 5% for taxes. Some might choose to withhold 18% though for mysterious (suspicious?) reasons. One important thing to do is check that the amount that they withheld for the year is the same amount that they reported to the gov't. They should give you tax papers to file your taxes with in January.

Something doesn't really seem right about all of this though. Why was he paid the first time but now he must wait? Why are they now saying that they need to withhold 18%? Are they completely incompetent or just shady? Or both?

On a side note - I doubt you can do visa run easily since you probably don't have your passport or it already has a resident visa stamped in it. The step after getting your work permit is to apply for a resident visa. If you still have your passport and it doesn't have a resident visa in it then I don't even know what to think.
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Re: Not getting paid on time...What to do?

Postby Icon » 13 Nov 2014, 10:06

1. OP said he is here now on a visa except. Hence, even if he was here 3 years before, 183 days a year, his counter was reset. he is like any other FOB. The 18% amount is kept but if he stays his allotted time, there is a nice refund at the end of the term. However, it is the Government the one that pushes the companies not to take the risk and trust the foreigner will not leave before that allotted time. hence, 18%.

2. I am not so sure of the legality of working on just the work permit alone,. If he had presented the paperwork for his ARC and he had the receipt and it is being processed, then he would have something to present to the authorities. As it is, he is currently working while on visa except, and that, depending on the guanxi of the school or the officer in charge, might have enough holes as to get him into trouble. Better not take the risk.

3. They are delaying the pay because they can. They also delayed his work permit. seems these people are not very up to speed. he has not processed his ARC, hence, he has no stamp on his passport, because his passport has no stamps at all on visa except, that is why he is doing a visa run.
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Re: Not getting paid on time...What to do?

Postby Ihoop » 13 Nov 2014, 10:21

@abacus

I have a visa exempt entry stamp in my passport and nothing else, seeing as I have not applied for an ARC/resident visa yet. My visa exempt entry stamp has not expired yet, and I will get a new one soon since I will be making a visa run in a couple days (my school knows I will be leaving the country, and I have cleared this with them).

The problem is that when I come back I do not want to apply for an ARC through this school anymore. They have been too shady with me lately and I really just want out....I am going to tell them I am willing to work for another month while they find another teacher, but I will not apply for an ARC in this time.

I just want to make sure that if I work for the next month with a legal work permit but no actual ARC/Resident Visa I will be ok. It seems some people are saying this is completely illegal, and others are saying as long as you have a legal work permit you are allowed to work. At this point, I just want to do what is safe. So, again, if anyone has anymore insight into the legality of working with a legal work permit but no ARC/Resident Visa please let me know. Of course, it is possible that the school will just ask me to leave immediately after I bring up resignation, but I kind of doubt this since it would put them in a tough spot.

Honestly, I am surprised by the way I have been treated. This is a a large chain school with a good reputation, but the way the "managers" have been treating me just does not make me feel safe/alright. They have been very misleading and dishonest, and in some ways almost threatening to me. I really just want to come out of this with my pay and my sanity. I feel like some of these schools feel that foreigners don't understand the law, and make false threats/accusations to try to "scare" teachers into staying in bad situations, making it seem like if they leave there will be massive consequences. Earlier this week my manager was telling me it was impossible to pay me without my ARC , even though they did it last month. She made it seem like she was doing me some huge favor by trying to get me my pay a couple days late after I got really angry at her. I am ashamed to say that I had to sort of lie to her, because if I told her I was going to quit now (before getting my pay) I know that I would probably never see any of it.

I really don't like having to be dishonest with people, but in matters such as this, getting my pay for a month is more important than being completely honest with a school that has been very dishonest with me.

You guys have all been really helpful, so thanks for the support!
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Re: Not getting paid on time...What to do?

Postby Icon » 13 Nov 2014, 10:56

Big school names outsource their stuff, it is just a franchise. hence, business oriented. In Spanish we say, become famous and sleep on it, meaning people are drawn to past fame in spite of present conditions.

Follow your intuition. If you have a gut feeling about it, your spidey senses are tingling, bolt!
Lo urgente no deja tiempo para lo importante. Mafalda.

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.
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Re: Not getting paid on time...What to do?

Postby Abacus » 14 Nov 2014, 20:48

Icon wrote:1. OP said he is here now on a visa except. Hence, even if he was here 3 years before, 183 days a year, his counter was reset. he is like any other FOB. The 18% amount is kept but if he stays his allotted time, there is a nice refund at the end of the term. However, it is the Government the one that pushes the companies not to take the risk and trust the foreigner will not leave before that allotted time. hence, 18%.

2. I am not so sure of the legality of working on just the work permit alone,. If he had presented the paperwork for his ARC and he had the receipt and it is being processed, then he would have something to present to the authorities. As it is, he is currently working while on visa except, and that, depending on the guanxi of the school or the officer in charge, might have enough holes as to get him into trouble. Better not take the risk.

3. They are delaying the pay because they can. They also delayed his work permit. seems these people are not very up to speed. he has not processed his ARC, hence, he has no stamp on his passport, because his passport has no stamps at all on visa except, that is why he is doing a visa run.


1. False - your 183 days doesn't reset because you're on visa exempt. the tax office only cares that you spend 183 days inside Taiwan in one year. Visa status has no bearing. I'm pretty sure they cannot report his income until he has an ARC and tax number though but that's not an 18% thing.

2. You can work the day you have the work permit and actually you can work the day that they have approved the work permit in Taipei but it's in the mail. It doesn't matter what his visa status is. He is supposed to apply for the resident visa within 15 days of receiving the work permit.

3. They're incompetent and possibly (or probably) something is fishy.

additionally - for anyone else in this situation. The day you have your work permit you can apply for your resident visa. It's that simple. Just go to NIA and get it done. Once you have applied (and before you have received your passport back) you don't need to do a visa run. I have taken my passport in the day before (timing was tight) I had to do a visa run and was fine.

The OP should still get an ARC through this school so he can legally work while looking another job. It's not that difficult to transfer your ARC to another school.
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