Taiwanese Expat FAQs

Over the years, a number of Frequently Asked Questions have emerged about expat life in Taiwan and other areas of the Far East. I have listed the most common FAQs below.
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Non-resident expats, residing in Taiwan for more than 90 days but less than 183 days per calendar year, are subject to a flat tax of 18% on gross salary income. Income tax rates for residents are progressive up to a maximum rate of 40%. These rates may be subject to change.
Taiwan is one of the top destinations for expats for a variety of reasons including safety, comfort, convenience, culture, food, socialising and employment opportunities. A recent survey of expats confirmed that 78% feel welcome in Taiwan against 66% globally.
To live and work in Taiwan you will require a work visa to enter the country, a work permit to work and a residence permit if you intend to stay for more than 90 days. Taiwan residence permits are granted by the Taiwan National Immigration Agency and referred to as Alien Resident Certificates.
Whether via direct ownership, or shares in a Taiwan registered property-owning company, there are few restrictions on foreigners buying a house in Taiwan. While still subject to government approval, where there is a reciprocal arrangement with the individual’s country of origin this should be straightforward.
House prices in Taiwan are amongst the most expensive in Asia. A property in the expat hotspot of Taipei will cost you circa US$7000 per square metre. Conversely, real estate rental yields in Taipei are relatively low at just 1.5%, with many people preferring to rent rather than buy.
In general, the rate of crime in Taiwan is relatively low, with violent crime rare. Hence the popularity amongst expats. Any criminal activity tends to revolve around petty crimes such as pickpocketing and purse snatching. However, there may be crime hotspots in some areas of the larger cities which should be avoided.
While many expats living in Taiwan reside in New Taipei/Taipei, there are other popular cities such as Taichung, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Taoyuan, Chiayi, Taitung and Yilan. New Taipei and Taipei are the most popular but other cities will have significant expat communities.
The Taiwan income tax rate for non-resident aliens is set at 18% of gross salary with a 20% charge on other income. The income tax rates for residents are progressive, starting at just 5% and gradually rising to a top rate of 40%.
After living in Taiwan for a minimum of five years, foreign nationals can apply for citizenship. They must demonstrate good character and the skills to support an independent living. All successful applicants must also demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. The Taiwan passport ranks in the 30s of the worldwide league and is relatively sought after.
Under Taiwan regulations, citizens and expats are mandated to contribute to the public healthcare system in Taiwan, known as the National Health Insurance (NHI). Contributions are deducted at source by employers who will register individuals with the NHI. Those who are self-employed will need to register themselves.

If you have any further questions about investments or the expat lifestyle in Taiwan, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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