A Diverse and Inclusive Culture
Taiwan, located in the heart of East Asia and the Western Pacific, has a rich history shaped by the presence of various communities over the centuries: Austronesian indigenous peoples, Dutch and Spanish colonizers, Japanese colonial rule, and Chinese immigrants. This convergence has led to a unique blend of indigenous, Chinese, and East Asian cultures. Taiwan's rapid economic growth and democratic development in the latter half of the 20th century has made it a shining example of East Asian democratization. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2022, Taiwan ranks as the 10th most comprehensive full democracy regime in the world.
Safe and Livable Environment
InterNations ranks Taiwan among the world’s most livable countries for international expats. Thanks to a safe environment, robust healthcare, and the friendly populace, Taiwan possesses key attributes that keep attracting foreigners to settle down for long-term residence. In 2023, UK magazine Time Out named Taipei Metro (the public transport system of Taiwan’s capital) as the 8th best metro system worldwide, touting Taipei Metro as a clean, convenient service that offers seamless commuting for expatriates.
Taiwan is also renowned for its street food, which has been featured on CNN Travel. Authentic Taiwanese snacks like bubble tea, Taiwanese fried chicken, and stinky tofu will ignite your culinary imagination.
An Island of Innovation and Technology
Taiwan stands at the forefront of semiconductor manufacturing, supplying over 90% of global advanced chip production capacity. Major global tech giants have established innovation centers in Taiwan, earning recognition for Taiwan from the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s "Four Super Innovators." Taiwan's exceptional environment for research and development cultivates and attracts top-tier talents from around the globe. In the 2022 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, Taiwan's nationwide average total R&D manpower ranked first worldwide.
There are 39 domestic banks (list) and 30 foreign banks (list) in Taiwan. Foreign banks like Mizuho Bank, Bank of America, etropolitan Bank and Trust Company, and Deutche Bank operate in Taiwan. There are 24 domestic banks that provide bilingual branch services (list) in Taiwan. For more information, please visit: Information Regarding Services Provided by Banks for Foreign Nationals Residing in Taiwan.
Opening a Bank Account
A foreign national wishing to open an account with a Taiwanese bank must visit the bank in person, taking with them two different identity documents (see Table below). Minors must also submit a letter of permission from their guardian in Taiwan.
First proof of identity
Second proof of identity
Persons holding an R.O.C. (Taiwan) Resident Certificate
An R.O.C. (Taiwan) Resident Certificate issued by the Ministry of the Interior
Another document that can serve as proof of identity, such as a National Health Insurance card, passport, driver’s license or Student ID Card, etc.
Foreign nationals without an R.O.C. (Taiwan) Resident Certificate
A (foreign) passport bearing a valid entry visa (or entry stamp) for Taiwan or a Identity Certificate of Overseas Chinese issued by the Overseas Community Affairs Council, the Republic of China
A Record of ID Number in the Republic of China
Persons from Mainland China without an R. O. C. (Taiwan) Resident Certificate
Entry/Exit Permit issued by the National Immigration Agency, Ministry of the Interior and the Record of ID Number in the Republic of China
Another document that can serve as proof of identity
Applying for a Credit Card, and Points to Note Regarding Credit Card Use
- Application: A foreign national wishing to apply for a credit card must submit tax withholding certificates or other evidence of financial status, a photocopy of their passport, and a photocopy of a valid Alien Resident Certificate etc., and must submit their application according to the rules laid down by the individual card-issuing institution. The card-issuing institution has the right to refuse to issue a card to any applicant, at its own discretion.
- Dealing with a lost credit card: If a foreign resident loses a credit card, they can report the loss and stop payment using the card by calling the issuing bank’s 24-hour card loss hotline. The cardholder may also be required to pay a card loss charge; for more details, please contact the individual card-issuing institution in question.
- Dispute resolution, revolving credit interest rates, fees, cardholder’s rights, and preferential service: The individual card-issuing institution will notify the applicant regarding these matters in writing or by e-mail; for more information, please contact the individual card-issuing institution in question.
Applying for and Using an ATM card
- After opening a bank account with a Taiwanese bank, a foreign national can apply for an ATM card at the same branch where they opened the account on presentation of a valid foreign passport, the bankbook, and the same personal seal (chop) that they used when opening the account.ATM cards can be used for domestic deposits, withdrawals and bank transfers.
- Restrictions on withdrawals: The restrictions on a single withdrawal depends on banks’ risk tolerance (NT$20,000 in the case of inter-bank withdrawals). The total amount of withdrawals made within a single day may not exceed NT$100,000. The maximum limit shall be determined by each individual bank.
- Restrictions on bank transfers: Bank transfers for which arrangements have not been made in advance are limited to a maximum of NT$30,000 per day. To make a bank transfer that will exceed this limit, the account-holder should contact the branch where they opened their account in advance; where a bank transfer has been agreed in advance in this way, the maximum size of the bank transfer is limited to NT$2,000,000. The maximum limit shall be determined by each individual bank.
- Dealing with a lost ATM card: If a foreign resident loses an ATM card, they can report the loss and stop payments using the card by calling the issuing bank's 24-hour card loss hotline. They should also go to the bank branch where they opened their account as soon as possible to fill out the necessary forms for reporting the loss and stopping payment.
- Fee for replacement of a lost or stolen ATM card: Banks are entitled to charge a fee for replacement of a lost or stolen ATM card; for more details, please contact the individual bank in question.
Foreign exchange services
When making foreign exchange transactions, foreign nationals should present their passport or ARC to the designated foreign exchange banks. Each bank may charge handling fees and cable fees for transactions based on the rates announced by the bank.
Foreign currency deposits
When in need of opening foreign currency deposit bank accounts, the aforementioned procedures of opening a bank account is applicable.
The rules for foreign currency transactions are the same as explained for foreign exchange service.
Many Taiwan's local stores do not receive Traveler's Check, therefore travelers who have Traveler's Check, please exchange for NT dollars.
If, after opening a bank account, a foreign national wishes to apply to use online banking services, they should submit their application at the bank branch where they opened the account, bringing with them a valid foreign passport, Alien Resident Certificate, and the personal seal (chop) or signature sample that they used when opening the account.
In compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) , when opening a new personal bank account (account opened after July 1, 2013), the financial institution will confirm the customer’s U.S. tax status, and ask the customer to fill in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service tax form (Form W-8BEN or Form W9) or individual self-certification, and request relevant supporting documentation.
Banking Bureau, Financial Supervisory Commission
Banking Bureau Mr. Lin, Telephone：(02) 8968-9803
If you have any questions, please send an email to:
Rental Housing Act& sample contract
Is there legislation governing the rental of housing by foreign nationals ?
The "Rental Housing Market Development and Regulation Act" is available for download from the website of the Ministry of the Interior:
Is there a rental housing model contract available for reference ?
There is a model contract available for download from the website of the Ministry of the Interior:
Sample Rental housing Contract-2020
Taiwan boasts the world’s most advanced semiconductor industry ecosystem with specialized industry division. The upstream division includes IC design and silicon IP. TSMC’s cutting-edge wafer fabrication holds the global lead in market share for the midstream division, and our internationally renowned packaging and testing companies like ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd. dominates the downstream division. Taiwan leverages its advantages in the semiconductor industry to develop smart chips by incorporating artificial intelligence and other applications.
The Internet of Things
IoT primarily spans three major industries: information manufacturing, equipment manufacturing, and software and information services. The Asia-Silicon Valley Promotion Plan was established to accelerate collaboration between startups and systems integrators. The plan focuses on developing smart transportation, smart logistics, smart manufacturing, smart agriculture, smart healthcare, and IoT security. With the expansion of IoT applications and an environment more conducive to startups, Taiwan is poised to become a hub for digital innovation in Asia.
Taiwan's communications industry benefits from a mature industry chain, including network chips, components, touch panels, and system integration. Collaborations with global industry leaders, such as TSMC and Qualcomm, have led to the development and production of 5G chips. When the 5G Open Network Testing Platform was established in 2021, it became the world's second laboratory to offer both 5G open architecture system integration and Telecom Infra Project certification. Since the pandemic, new economic models have arisen. In the future, Taiwan will continue to develop AR/VR/MR, digital twins, and other immersive, virtual-reality integration technologies and services, as well as the metaverse, as we build upon the 5G infrastructure.
Taiwan has a mature machine tool and component industry cluster built upon the precision machinery and ICT industry, and widely applied in automotive, aerospace, mold manufacturing, and digital products, etc. Local businesses offer efficient and flexible production, use smart manufacturing and contribute to the development of the smart machinery industry. Industry 4.0 and trade tensions between the United States and China are prompting companies to readjust production capacity layout. As such, global manufacturers have increased demand for vertical integration and smart machinery (i.e., automation and robots), which will further enhance Taiwan's competitiveness.