Quick facts about Taiwan
Taiwan is a beautiful country in East Asia and it has recently been ranked as one of the top places in the world for ex-pats to live by InterNations Expat Insider report. It has everything digital nomads looking for to live a fulfilled life! The country is safe, the people are super friendly, it’s rich in history and culture, and has incredible landscapes.
Taipei is one of the most stunning cities in the world. It has an amazing mix of modern and urban lifestyles with culture, history, and beauty. The city is also really close to beaches, forests, and mountains, and with the option of digital nomad visa for Taiwan, this could be your next nomadic destination.
Living in Taiwan as a digital nomad
Taiwan has a lot to offer digital nomads. The internet is fast, the locals are friendly, there’s access to healthcare, and the cities are vibrant and full of culture.
Taipei, in particular, is a dream for anyone looking for a big city to live in. The town is up-to-speed with modern needs and the subway system is functional and covers most of the city. There’s a huge bicycle culture as well, so moving around is accessible, quick and eco-friendly!
Attractions and best places to visit
Taiwan is one of the most densely populated islands globally, and with good reason! The country has lively cities, beautiful temples, and museums. Additionally, Taiwan has gorgeous natural landscapes like beaches and forests with beautiful trails.
Apart from Taipei, Taiwan has other big cities worth visiting. There is Kaohsiung, which is a favorite tourist destination for both locals and visitors. This city has excellent weather all year round, and it is a fantastic place for outdoor activities. Plus, Kaohsiung has a lot of historical sites that showcase the beautiful Taiwanese culture.
If you’re looking for something different, you might be interested in the Wulai district. It is located in the south of Taipei, and it is famous for its hot springs. Many indigenous towns also surround the city, so you can explore and learn about their culture and traditions.
Taiwan also has many natural parks for you to visit. There is Kenting National Park, which is considered the oldest national park in the country. It is located in the south of Taiwan, and it offers stunning fauna and flora. You can explore the beaches or the trails around it. There is also Alishan National Scenic Area, in which visitors can explore hills, valleys, and waterfalls. Alishan is also the home of Tsou people, which are known for their delicious teas.
No matter what place you visit, Taiwanese food culture is amazing everywhere. So be sure to try some of the local dishes at every site you visit.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
As mentioned above, Taiwan has different big cities that catch the attention of digital nomads. Taipei is the largest one, and this is the most popular hotspot. Being such a well-visited city, you will find many people that speak English. The city has many English schools and multilingual companies. People usually fly directly to Taipei into Taoyuan International Airport.
Kaohsiung is the second-largest city, and it is a seaport. It works as a maritime and industrial hub. There’s a lot of commerce trade, and you will find people from all over the world. Taichung is the third-largest city in Taiwan, offering a more authentic Taiwanese experience.
All of these cities offer great spots for connecting with others. They have a great internet connection, with many local restaurants for you to taste authentic Taiwanese food.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Taiwan depends on what city you’re staying in. Taipei is more expensive than the other cities because of its population.
The average cost of living in Taipei is around $1500/month. Renting an Airbnb for a month can cost you around $900, so renting an apartment in the city is more accessible. You can find a room in a shared apartment for $400, or $500 for a studio. For food and other necessities, you need around $700-$1000.
You can find lower rent prices at Kaohsiung. You can rent an unfurnished 3-bedroom apartment for $250. For food and other necessities, you’ll need to budget about $650-800. The average cost of living in Kaohsiung is $800-$1000/month.
Digital Nomad Essentials
The internet is fast almost everywhere in Taiwan, especially in the big cities! The average speed of the internet is 80Mbps. There are over 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the country, so you don’t have to worry about looking for free Wi-Fi.
Mobile internet is also incredibly fast, reaching 42Mbps on average. There are many SIM providers in Taiwan, but most digital nomads choose Chungwa. It’s popular due to its amazing unlimited data offers on the 4G plan. Plus, it has coverage all over Taiwan and some nearby islands.
Taiwan is also famous for its many coworking spaces, with affordable prices. We recommend you visit these:
Additionally, many coffee shops and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi and are perfect for working. Le Park Cafe is located in Taipei, and it is a cute French café that is open until late at night, so it is perfect for those that work best at night. Homey’s Cafe also offers plenty of plug sockets and high-top tables to work from.
Taiwan’s digital nomad visa is known as the Employment Gold Card Visa. It was introduced in February 2018 to attract talented and productive foreigners into the country.
The Gold Card Visa wasn’t created with digital nomads in mind. It was designed to bring foreign talent to Taiwan to work for Taiwanese companies. However, since it was first introduced, many self-employed people have been taking advantage of the visa.
The Gold Card gives you the right to stay in Taiwan for 1 to 3 years. It comes with open work rights, which means you are free to work for any company, either outside of Taiwan, and you can even start your own business. It also allows you to bring your family.
Unfortunately, the visa is not available to everyone. In order to qualify for the Gold Card Visa, you must work in one of these eight areas: science and technology, economics, education, culture and art, sports, finance, law, and architecture. That said, even if you don’t slot into one of those sectors you may still be eligible if your monthly salary is over 160k TWD (which is around $5600USD).
Holders of the Gold Card Visa can apply for permanent residence or citizenship after five years. Additionally, those who have the visa have access to Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI).
Current travel restrictions
Taiwan has handled the COVID-19 pandemic exceptionally well. It has one of the lowest per capita COVID-19 rates in the world, and life on the island is largely back to normal.
However, to maintain the safety they have insured, Taiwan has some restrictions when it comes to traveling:
All travelers must undergo 14-days of quarantine at a prearranged location.
Proof of vaccination is not required.
All travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test issued no more than two days before departure.
All travelers must submit a health declaration form before departure.
Masks are required on public transportation and in most public venues.
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Taiwan
Anyone who works in one of these areas qualifies to apply for the Gold Card Visa: science and technology, economics, education, culture and art, sports, finance, law, and architecture.
Even though the visa does not require you to exceed a certain income, the easiest way to apply for the visa is through a minimum income. The catch, however, is that you must meet that minimum income threshold through salary and wages. In other words, this means you must have an employer.
The minimum income is 160,000TWD/month, which is approximately $5,600/month.
You can apply for the visa anywhere, as the application is filled out online.
How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Taiwan
To start your application for the digital nomad visa for Taiwan go to this portal, the application platform, where you will need to fill out your information and submit all the requested documents. Beware that the information can’t be changed later, so be very careful when filling it out.
The website is amicable, and it has all the information you need to apply for the Gold Card Visa.
We can also provide guidance and help you apply for your Gold Card Visa.
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa in Taiwan
Copy of passport
Copy of passport photo
Previous Taiwanese visa and residence permit (if any)
Dates of any times you worked in Taiwan
Copies of all documents needed to support your application (including proof of employment, income, etc.)
How much does the digital nomad visa for Taiwan cost?
The Gold Card application has one fee paid through the application portal. The fee will vary depending on your country of origin.
If you have a US passport and you’re applying abroad, the fee for one-year validity is 6,460NT$, which is around $230. For two-year validity is 7,460NT$ ($265), and for three-year validity is 8,460NT$ ($300).
For holders of foreign passports other than the US, the one-year validity is 3,700NT$ ($131), for two-year validity is 4,700NT$ ($167), and for three-year validity is 5,700NT$ ($202).
For Hong Kong or Macau residents, the price for one to three years validity is 3,100NT$ ($110).
Timeline for Applying
After you’ve submitted your application for the digital nomad visa for Taiwan, you will receive an email with the link to make your payment. You must complete the payment through the application portal, using the same login information you used before. You will receive an email confirmation with your receipt once the payment has been accepted.
The qualification assessment takes from 4 to 6 weeks. During this process, your skills will be assessed by the corresponding ministry. You can check the status of your application through the portal.
After passing the skill assessment, you’re deemed sufficiently skilled to hold the Gold Card Visa. Now they only need to verify your identity. This may take from 2 to 4 weeks. You must visit the nearest Taiwanese diplomatic post. If you are in Taiwan, you must go to the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
After your identity is verified, the Ministry of Interior will do a final review, and your Gold Card Visa will be issued. This may take from 2 to 3 weeks.