It is possible to teach Illegally in Taiwan. But doing so comes with risks of expulsion from the country, a blacklist period, and having a serious health episode that needs extensive medical attention.
Some teachers still ask if they can teach illegally in Taiwan… YES!
The short answer is YES. You can teach illegally in Taiwan. BUT you may be caught and expatriated immediately and your passport blacklisted for Taiwan return for up to 5 years.
Some teachers still ask if they can teach illegally in Taiwan… NO!
The other short answer is NO. you can not teach illegally in Taiwan because you do not have an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) /work permit. However, you can arrive in Taiwan on a landing visa and then find a teaching job. Read about that here.
There Are Plenty of Part Time and Substitute Positions Available
Teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) are always in demand in Taiwan. With more than a thousand schools in the Taipei area alone, it is relatively easy to find work. There are still schools that need teachers badly, and will hire any teacher, with or without a proper degree and not go through the proper visa application process, with little fear of getting caught. In addition, during busy summer months, schools may add short term camps or summer classes that need part time teachers for just a few weeks.
Some teachers with contacts and a place to stay can roll into town and usually find jobs quite quickly. Jobs can be sporadic and located all over the city, but if you need to make a little cash under the table, it isn’t hard to do.
What Can Go Wrong If You Teach Illegally in Taiwan?
Not too many years ago it was very easy to work illegally; however, those days are generally gone. The Taiwan government system has tightened up a whole lot in the last decade. Basically, you must have a work visa (ARC). The only way you can get a work visa is to be sponsored by the school that wants to hire you. The Education Department does make periodic checks on schools. If you are there and illegal when they arrive, it can spell trouble for you and the school you are working at. You may be expelled from the country and not able to return for 5 years.
Certainly you will still find some English teachers working in gray and illegal positions. Sometimes these positions are even good paying and very comfortable ones. These teachers have probably put together several illegal teaching jobs to earn what they need and make visa runs out of the country every three months. Back in the 1990s, it was much easier to do this. Nowadays, by doing this too often, you may draw a red flag at a Taiwan visa office and be denied.
Things To Consider
If you are illegal, there are things to consider.
You won’t have an ARC so you won’t be able to open a bank account in Taiwan, get a full plan cell phone with a provider, or have an Internet account. Also, you will not be eligible for health insurance, so if you need immediate medical care or have an accident, you may pay a large sum of cash.
If you are planning to come and teach illegally in Taiwan, do so knowing the risks.