Life in Taiwan

How do I find a place to rent?

Renting is common in Taiwan, and there are a large range of types of dwellings available at diffrerent price points. The most popular property search website is 591. Unlike in some other countries, real estate agents offering rental properties in Taiwan are typically only brokers who present prospective tenants to landlords for a fee and you will normally deal directly with a landlord from lease signing onward. Standard leases are available from most convenience stores and it is common to use these. A one or two month deposit, refunded on leaving the property is common. Negotiation down from the advertised price is common. Properties close to MRT stations are the most desirable.

If you are looking for newer, tall modern apartment buildings, these are known as “電梯大樓” and you can limit your search on 591 to this. Other search sites include myroomabroad and spacious.

Can I purchase real-estate?

In general, yes, if your country allows Taiwanese nationals to purchase real estate in your country. There are some restrictions, such as not being able to purchase farmland, or land related to a waterway or national defense.

Does my card look any different from other types of ARC?

Yes, the entire card is gold in colour. It also has slightly different information such as a different title (R.O.C. (Taiwan) Employment Gold Card), purpose of residence (Foreign Special Professional) and a label for your professional field.

How do I register to use the e-Gate?

Visit your local NIA service center or the immigration counter at an international airport and the officials there will guide you through the steps.

What unofficial benefits does holding a Gold Card bestow?

As the Taiwan government sees holders as “worthy professionals”, this could increase your standing in the eyes of certain people. Additionally, Sometimes the National Development Council or other government agencies invite us to parties or ask our opinions on certain matters.

What happens if I change my address?

You must log in to the Gold Card Application portal and update your details there within 30 days of moving. Address changes are free.

How do I change my address?

You must change your address online. Go to the Gold Card Portal. Click “I want to apply” and login using the username and password you used when applying for your gold card. select “Application” then “Information change of Employment Gold Card”. Follow the steps including uploading proof of your address (such as a copy of your lease) and pick up location. After you submit your updated information, you will receive an automated email that says “steps of the online payment and the delivery have been completed,” even though you did not actually have to submit payment for the address change. The “Information Change” will be processed and they will get back to you per email if things are missing. Your new Gold Card with the latest address will be available for collection within approximately two weeks. Don’t forget to bring your passport, current Gold Card, and electronic “payment receipt” (which will show a “payment amount” of 0). Note: Family members of a Gold Card holder must update their address in person at the National Immigration Agency.

What if I don’t update my address?

Legally, you are required to update your address within 30 days starting from the date you move in. Otherwise here is a non-exhaustive list of potential consequences:

  • You could receive a fine between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000.
  • Some government entities, such as the tax office or NHI, won’t accept any other address than the one mentioned in your Gold Card.
  • Important documents, such as the NHI invoices, will be sent to the address, and you might miss them.

How many days per year do I have to stay in Taiwan?

There are no requirements. However, you must stay for more than 183 days per year in order to be eligible for many benefits such as: tax resident treatment and a pathway to permanent residence.

What shall I do if I renew my passport?

No problem. If your passport number changes you must update it online. Go to the Gold Card Portal. Click “I want to apply” and login using the username and password you used when applying for your gold card. select “Application” then “Information change of Employment Gold Card”. Follow the steps including uploading a copy of your new passport. Within two weeks, you will be able to pick up a new Gold Card from the National Immigration Agency that has your latest information.

How do I convert my overseas driving license?

Taiwan has international agreements with many countries that allow you to convert your driver’s license from your home country into a Taiwanese license without taking a driving test. This is done on the basis of ‘reciprocity’ - basically if it is possible for a Taiwanese national to convert their license in your country you should be able to do the same in Taiwan. The Taipei City Motor Vehicles Office maintains a list of eligible countries (and states within countries), and instructions on their website.

If you are not from an eligible state or country and need to drive long-term, you will need to sit the local license test. For the short term, you may use an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your home country, but after 30 days in Taiwan this must be validated by the local Motor Vehicles Office to remain valid. A validated IDP can typically only be used for a maximum of six months, after which you are supposed to apply for a Taiwanese driver’s license.

I am being asked to see an entry stamp in my passport, but I always use the eGate. What do I do?

These days, most foreign residents of Taiwan use the eGate exclusively to enter and exit the country. It’s fast and convenient, but it has the side effect that your passport is no longer stamped to mark your entry or exit. You may be met with confusion when explaining this to a bureaucrat in some situations. To solve this, you can visit your local National Immigration Agency service center and ask for a Certificate of Entry/Exit. It costs NT$100 and takes only a few minutes to produce. You can also apply for one online if you have a digital citizen certificate.