Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa

The Ultimate Guide to Obtaining a Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have experienced severe economic downturns, especially those heavily reliant on tourism. To revive their economies and attract long-term residents, some nations have introduced special visas for digital nomads, allowing them to work remotely while exploring new destinations. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa, including eligibility criteria, application process, required documents, and benefits of working as a digital nomad in Taiwan.

Understanding the Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa

Taiwan does not have a specific visa exclusively dedicated to digital nomads. However, they have a fantastic alternative – The Taiwan Employment Gold Card, which is available for skilled professionals, freelancers, and self-employed individuals. Introduced in February 2018, the Gold Card combines an open work permit, a residence permit, and a visa. It grants holders the flexibility to stay in Taiwan for one to three years and work for any Taiwanese company or even start their own enterprise.

Eligibility for a Taiwan (Gold Card) Digital Nomad Visa

To be eligible for the Taiwan Digital Nomad Visa (Gold Card), applicants must fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • High-Skilled Professions: Professionals with expertise in one of the eight fields are eligible for the Taiwan (Gold Card) Digital Nomad Visa. The designated fields include Architecture, Culture and Arts, Economy, Education, Finance, Law, National Defence, Science & Technology, and Sport.
  • Minimum Monthly Income: Another pathway to eligibility is by demonstrating a monthly income of $5,700. This applies to professionals, freelancers, and self-employed individuals who do not fall within the eight designated fields.

Benefits of Working as a Digital Nomad in Taiwan

As a digital nomad in Taiwan, you can enjoy a host of benefits that make it an attractive destination for remote work:

  • Tax Benefits: Digital nomads are exempt from income taxes during the initial 183 days of their stay in Taiwan. This tax relief provides significant financial advantages to those working remotely from the country.
  • Fast Internet Connectivity: Taiwan boasts a fast and reliable internet connection, with a fixed internet speed of 154.89 Mbps and a mobile internet speed of 96.97 Mbps. Additionally, the country offers over 50,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, ensuring seamless connectivity for digital nomads.
  • Efficient Transport System: Taiwan’s transportation network is affordable and efficient, making it easy for digital nomads to explore the country. The metro system is particularly commendable, offering cheap, modern, and safe travel options.
  • Delicious Cuisine: Taiwanese cuisine is renowned for its diverse flavors, using a wide range of ingredients like garlic and soy sauce. From beef noodles to soup dumplings and stinky tofu, the country offers a delightful culinary experience for every taste.
  • Affordable Living Costs: The cost of living in Taiwan varies by city but is generally affordable. For a family of four, estimated monthly costs are $2,748.35 without rent, while for a single person, it’s around $744.72 without rent. The country offers affordable housing, dining, and transportation options.
  • Rich Cultural Experience: Taiwan boasts a vibrant culture with beautiful temples, museums, and natural landscapes such as beaches and forests. This diverse range of attractions makes it a fascinating destination for digital nomads to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Applying for a Taiwan (Gold Card) Digital Nomad Visa

To apply for a Taiwan (Gold Card) Digital Nomad Visa, follow these steps:

  • Gather Required Documents: Assemble all the necessary documents, ensuring they are in digital format for online submission. The list of required documents includes your passport, passport photo, previous Taiwanese visa or residence permit (if applicable), and proof of employment or income.
  • Register Online: Create an account on the Foreign Professionals Online Application Platform and fill out the application form. Make sure your name matches the one on your passport and change your password every three months.
  • Complete the Application Form: Access the online application form and provide the requested information. You can save your progress and return to it later if needed.
  • Upload Documents: Submit the necessary documents as per your profession and qualifications. Hong Kong and Macau residents may be required to provide additional proof of residence and identity.
  • Pay the Visa Fees: After submitting the application, you will receive a 12-digit application number. Log into your account and proceed to the “online payment” tab to pay the visa fees. The cost varies based on your nationality and duration of stay, ranging from $100 to $310. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Confirmation and Review: Upon completing the application, you will receive an email confirmation, indicating that the review process has commenced.
  • Passport Inspection: If your application is approved and qualifies, you will receive an email notification instructing you to present your passport for inspection. This inspection will be conducted by the Bureau of Consular Affairs or a ROC overseas mission/office. Once approved, you will receive another email confirming that your Gold Card application has been processed.
  • Receive Your Gold Card: Following approval, you will receive an email notification, allowing you to obtain your Taiwan Employment Gold Card.

Keep in mind that additional visa requirements may apply based on your nationality.

Requirements for Taiwan (Gold Card) Digital Nomad Visa

When applying for a Taiwanese Gold Card as a digital nomad, you will need the following documents:

  • Passport Copy: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months and provide a digital copy.
  • Passport Photo: Submit a digital copy of your passport-sized photo, with dimensions of 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm), and your head between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 – 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Previous Taiwanese Visa or Residence Permit: If applicable, provide a copy of your previous visa or residence permit.
  • Work Experience in Taiwan: Include dates of any previous work experience in Taiwan, if applicable.
  • Proof of Employment or Income: Depending on your profession, provide the necessary documents to verify your employment or income. Check the official Taiwan Employment Gold Card website for specific requirements based on your qualifications.

All documents must be in image or PDF format and not exceed 1MB in size.

Duration and Processing Time

The validity of the Taiwan Gold Card for digital nomads ranges from one to three years. After five years of continuous residence, you can apply for permanent residence.

Typically, the application process takes around 30 days. However, if additional documents are required, the processing time may extend to 50-60 days.

Cost of the Taiwan (Gold Card) Digital Nomad Visa

The cost of the Taiwan digital nomad visa application, specifically the Taiwan Employment Gold Card, varies based on nationality and duration of stay. Here are the details extracted from the search results:

– Visa Fees:
– The visa fees for the Taiwan digital nomad visa range from $100 to $310, depending on your nationality and the length of stay. The fee structure is as follows:
– For US passport holders applying abroad:
– One-year validity: 6,460NT$ ($230)
– Two-year validity: 7,460NT$ ($265)
– Three-year validity: 8,460NT$ ($300)
– For holders of foreign passports other than the US:
– One-year validity: 3,700NT$ ($131)
– Two-year validity: 4,700NT$ ($167)
– Three-year validity: 5,700NT$ ($202).

– Application Cost:
– The application fee is non-refundable regardless of the application outcome. Applicants must pay the specified fee through the application portal during the application process.

By understanding the cost structure associated with the Taiwan digital nomad visa application, applicants can plan their finances accordingly and proceed with their visa application process smoothly.

Tax Obligations for Digital Nomads in Taiwan

Digital nomads in Taiwan enjoy favorable tax treatment. For non-residents staying in Taiwan for less than 90 days within a calendar year, a flat 18% withholding tax applies to any income earned from Taiwan sources.

For individuals residing in Taiwan for more than 90 days but less than 183 days in a full calendar year, a flat-rate tax of 18% is applicable, regardless of the source of income.

For residents, Taiwan imposes progressive income tax rates:

  • 5% for an income of up to $17,982.92
  • 12% for an income between $17,982.92 and $40,295.05
  • 20% for an income between $40,295.05 and $80,590.10
  • 30% for an income between $80,590.10 and $150,856.68
  • 40% for an income over $150,856.68

Additionally, Taiwan has a basic income tax rate of 20% for residents, 20% corporate income tax rate, 21% withholding tax on dividends, and property tax rates ranging from 1% to 5.5%.

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Taiwan presents an attractive destination for digital nomads, offering numerous benefits such as tax incentives, fast internet connectivity, efficient transport systems, delectable cuisine, and affordable living costs. The Taiwan Employment Gold Card provides a gateway for professionals, freelancers, and self-employed individuals to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle and contribute to the vibrant culture of the island nation. Whether you are an experienced digital nomad or considering starting your remote work journey, Taiwan welcomes you with open arms to explore its rich heritage and modernity.