Taiwan is one of the most populated islands in the world. It has lovely cities and stunning temples but is also famous for its natural landscapes like beaches and forests.
Portuguese sailors called Taiwan Ilha Formosa, meaning “beautiful island” and its sceneries still impress tourists.
Taiwan is the main island of a group of sixty-four smaller islands in the archipelago.
In addition, Taiwanese people love foreign travelers. It is very friendly, especially to Western people. It can be considered one of the best places in the world for expats.
Some details and curiosities are to be considered: English is spoken, but most of the writing is in traditional Chinese, and not everyone can speak English.
The culture has its own tradition, which should be considered too. For instance, Taiwan is one of the countries in the world still unable to flush toilet paper.
Does Taiwan Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
Unfortunately, Taiwan has no visa created specifically for digital nomads who want to live and work remotely from the country.
The only visa that is suitable for digital nomads and remote workers is The Taiwan Employment Gold Card.
The Gold Card has a double value: as an open work permit and as a residence permit.
Foreign professionals have been applying for this visa since February 2018 and can stay in Taiwan for one or three years. Holding this visa allows you to work for any company as a remote employee outside of Taiwan or start your own start-up.
Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa (Gold Card) Overview
The Gold Card is based on a standardized individual employment system. The central competent authority approval of qualified foreign specific professional talents awards it.
The visa is also called “Dreamland For High-end Talents” and is made for foreign special professionals who possess any expertise the Taiwanese state needs.
Foreign special professionals who plan to work in Taiwan can apply to NIA (National Immigration Agency) for a 4-in-1 Employment "Gold Card".
- work permit
- resident visa
- alien resident certificate
- re-entry permit
The Gold Card is effective from 1 to 3 years according to the work permit.
The holders who meet certain conditions may apply for an extension within 4 months before the Card's expiration date, for max 3 years each time.
The platform is online. It only accepts online applications and does not accept written requests.
You can ask others to help fill out your information, but the upload must be true and complete.
You can apply for permanent residence after 5 years.
Who Can Apply for the Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa (Gold Card)
If you desire to experience living in Taiwan, you must prove to have a $5,700 monthly income.
The visa is available for those professionals who are high-skilled in these eight fields:
- Culture and Arts
- National Defense
- Science & Technology
How to Apply for the “Gold Card”
If you have decided to travel to Taiwan as a digital nomad, you must apply online via the Official Taiwan Employment "Gold Card" website.
Note that if you are from Hong Kong and Macao, you have a different process to apply.
Once logged in, follow these steps:
- Choose "Self-application"
- Then "Apply by the Employer" or "Apply by Agent" to log in accordingly
- As a first-time self-application for the Employment "Gold Card", register as a member by completing all the information required.
- A verification letter will then be sent to your email address.
- Complete the confirmation and login to the system for application payment, submission of the additional documents, e-Entry permit, e-Receipt download, etc.
- After completing and submitting the application form online, you will receive the case number (12 digits). Enter information under the "Case Status Check" function to see the current progress.
Requirements for The Taiwan Gold Card Application
The list of the required documents when applying for a Taiwanese Gold Card as a digital nomad is:
- Digital copy of your passport photo: 2x2 inches (51x51 mm). It must be valid for at least six months
- Visa: your previous Taiwanese visa or residence permit (if any).
- Proof of the foreign special professionals: to prove your employment, the required documents depend on your profession.
- Dates of any times you have worked in Taiwan (if applicable).
- Proof of income: if you are not part of the eight fields, you must have a $5,700 monthly income.
All documents need to be 1MB in size and in PDF format.
How Much Does The Taiwan Gold Card Cost?
The fees for the Employment Gold Card are the following:
Fees for holders of U.S. passports applying abroad:
- NT$6,300 for one-year validity
- NT$7,300 for two-year validity
- NT$8,300 for three-year validity
Fees for holders of foreign passports other than the U.S.
- NT$3,700 for one-year validity
- NT$4,700 for two-year validity
- NT$5,700 for three-year validity
Fees for domestic applications by foreign nationals who entered the R.O.C. (Taiwan) on a visa exemption or a visitor visa
- NT$3,700 for one-year validity;
- NT$4,700 for two-year validity;
- NT$5,700 for three-year validity
Fees for holders of valid Alien Resident Certificates or similar
- NT$1,500 for one-year validity
- NT$2,500 for two-year validity
- NT$3,500 for three-year validity
Fees for residents of Hong Kong or Macau:
- NT$3,100 for one-year to three-year validity
Fees for the extension of the Taiwan Gold Card
The fees charged to foreign nationals for the extension of their Gold Card, as referred to in the preceding paragraph, are as follows:
- NT$1,500 for a one-year extension
- NT$2,500 for a two-year extension
- NT$3,500 for a three-year extension
Payment Methods Accepted and Final Application Steps
Note that the Taiwan platform does not support China UnionPay cards and American Express cards. Only JCB, VISA, and MasterCard credit cards are accepted for online payment.
Also no refunds will be made after the payment is completed.
After the payment is completed, the case will be directed to the review and verification stage.
Even if the fee has been paid, the Agency has the right to shorten the review time.
When the case is approved, the applicant will receive an email of approval notification sent automatically by the system.
For overseas applications, you may operate the "Download e-Receipt" and "Download e-Entry permit" functions in the "Download Area" to obtain the electronic files.
For overseas applications, applicants should download the electronic permit for entry into Taiwan, print out a color copy, and present it when entering Taiwan.
Within 30 days after entry, the applicant must present the electronic permit and their original passport at the service station designated by the applicant to collect the Employment "Gold Card".
Timeline for Applying for the Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa (Taiwan Gold Card)
The Ministry of the Interior Migration Department takes twenty working days to review the application for the Gold Card.
If the application requires additional information, you must account for an extra 20 working days.
Finally, when you complete the online bidding and obtain the package number, input the number, and the case review progress will appear in the system.
What If I am Not Eligible for the Taiwan Gold Card?
To work in Taiwan, a foreign worker must first sign an employment contract with the company (sponsor), where the company must then apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor before the worker may work in Taiwan.
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Benefits of Working as a Digital Nomad in Taiwan
Working as a digital nomad in Taiwan has several benefits:
1) The internet connection is extremely fast almost everywhere (its speed is 154.89 Mbps on average) and there are more than 50,000 hotspots all over the country. The cost for internet with unlimited data is about $26.
2) Traveling around the country is funny and cheap: the metro is the best way to travel which is modern and safe. One ticket costs only $1.
3) It is also not so expensive to live in Taiwan. The prices are quite affordable, and the cost of living is one of the best in the world. If you decide to live as a single person, the average cost of living is less than $800, without rent. One accommodation could cost from $500,00 to $750,00 (depending on the location).
4) Food in Taiwan is also delicious and cheap! Taiwanese cuisine is heavily influenced by the Chinese but also has a lot of international flavors. The most popular dishes are soups, noodles, tofu, and oyster. One meal could cost only $4 in the famous food districts and night markets.
4) Once in Taiwan, you can participate in the National Health Insurance, so you can take advantage of the efficient Taiwanese healthcare system.
Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in Taiwan
Digital nomads are free from income taxes until the 183rd day of their stay and if they don't have any personal or business interests in Taiwan. In the case of a digital nomad, if the salary is not derived from Taiwan, it will be exempt from taxes.
Holders with qualified professions enjoy discounted income tax.
Non-residents who live in Taiwan for less than 90 days in a calendar year are subject to an 18% withholding tax on their salary that comes from Taiwan.
However, an individual who lives in Taiwan for more than 90 days in a full calendar year but for less than 183 days is subject to a flat-rate tax of 18%, regardless of whether their salary is from a Taiwan-based company.
Are You Ready to Live and Work in Taiwan?
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