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ARC Transfers & Release Letters

On January 15th, 2004 the national Council of Labor Affairs, CLA,  assumed responsibility for issuing foreign teacher's work permits from local city and county Departments of Education.  The resulting transfer has altered the landscape for foreign teachers working in Taiwan.  One policy the Council of Labor Affairs has fundamentally revised: ARC Transfers. They are now not necessary.

ADD A SECOND SCHOOL FIRST
As a foreign teacher, you are allowed to stay in Taiwan due to your having been hired full-time by a school.  If you lost that job or quit, you would need to leave the country.  The Council of Labor Affairs interprets the Employment Services Act as allowing  foreign teachers to be hired by more than one school without requiring permission of their current employer.  They will issue all second (and even third) full-time applications without regard to your first school.

HOW TO PROCEED
Teachers wanting to change schools should first be hired full-time by their new school (16 hours per week) .  In order to do this your new school needs to send the Council of Labor Affairs this form along with an up to date health check (health checks are valid for 3 months) and a translation of your diploma. 

It takes between 7-10 business days for work permits to be processed.

Once the Council of Labor Affairs has finished the application they will send the second Work Permit to your new school.  You take this to your local office of the Foreign Affairs Police.  They will amend your ARC.  Your existing Resident Visa remains in effect. 

Once you are hired by your new school, then you would quit your old school.  Your Resident Visa and ARC depend on having a Work Permit.  You are quitting but - you have a second full-time Work Permit-providing job.  Therefore, you don’t need to leave the country

THE FIRST JOB
The next issue is leaving your first job.  The influence of the Council of Labor Affairs is felt there as well: your old school cannot not affect the existence of your new Work Permit in any way.  

But, they also maintain a clear position: in informing your old school of your intention to quit, you need to follow the labor law in regards to advance notice (best done in writing), and abide by any terms set out in your contract with your first school regarding quitting.  You could give your school a letter asking them to sign/stamp and date it, then keep a copy for yourself.  To be perfectly safe, you could send school your written notice via registered letter the appropriate number of days in advance. 

Once your notification period is over you can ask your school to give you a copy of the Termination Letter the Council of Labor Affairs requires schools have teachers sign and return when a teacher quits.  Should your old school protest your leaving you should use a registered letter for notification.  Then, just keep going to work until you have met all the requirements in your contract and in the Labor Law for quitting. 

You could even notify the Council of Labor Affairs in writing that you have quit the job.  You have the right to leave.  Your new school’s Work Permit will allow you to continue to stay in the country.   

SUMMARY
ARC transfers are no longer performed because they are now not needed: teachers can secure a second full-time job on their own and then, following the labor law and contract terms, quit their first job.

ADDITIONAL POINTS
In addition to these changes, the Council of Labor Affairs' management of foreign teacher’s work permits includes the requirement that teachers be given Labor Insurance.  This coverage, which all Taiwanese enjoy, extends to you a percentage of your monthly income if you are hurt and can’t work, if you become pregnant, if the company goes out of business and even if you are fired.  The extent of benefits foreign teachers will enjoy is an issue we are investigating now.

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