How long do Most Foreigners Stay in Taiwan ?


What is the average amount of time most Foreigners Stay in Taiwan, whether after a time for teaching, or entrepreneurship, finding a job or going to School here ? Do most Foreigners ever stay permanently ? If not is it normally between 1 and 5 years ?

Finally, what is the “Biggest” adversity in Taiwan or personal pivotal decision that ultimately makes foreigners leave, go home or just give up ?



To make clear, blue collar workers and foreign spouses are not subject to your question, right?


I am just talking about unmarried foreigners not married to taiwanese, and expats in the situation described.


I remember for English teachers it was around three years with a lot of English teachers just here for one year contract.


So that includes tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Southeast Asian factory and construction workers and domestic helpers, just FYI.


I came here just after the Boxer rebellion to buy bulk camphor. Missed my return flight and here we are.


I met a very nice chap yesterday who has been here for 27 years. Blimey! Having said that, I reckon I’m here for the rest of my natural so maybe I’ll beat him.

3 years average (for English teachers) sounds about right to me. I think that factory workers/construction workers/domestic helpers etc are forced to leave after three years. However, I’m generally wrong when trying to understand the rules here.


Iirc the controversial amendment to the Employment Service Act passed, so they can now stay as long as their contracts keep getting renewed.


I remember reading about that, but my experience is different. An Indonesian domestic worker friend of mine was under the impression she had to leave after 3 years - and that was just 6 months ago. Perhaps she misunderstood, or was misled.

I’ve long since given up trying to understand the difference between the law and what actually happens.


Unmarried foreigners, or foreigners not married to Taiwanese?

If the former, many of narrowly defined expat may be excluded.

The definition of expat is not clear. Some people dnt think English teachers or students are expat.

According to Wikipedia, blue collar workers could be included. I understood they are not subject to your question, though.

An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship.

In common usage, the term often refers to professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their employers, who can be companies, governments, or non-governmental organisations.[1] Effectively migrant workers, they usually earn more than they would at home, and more than local employees.

However, the term ‘expatriate’ is also used for retirees and others who have chosen to live outside their native country. Historically, it has also referred to exiles.


Most foreigners (2 million) came to Taiwan from the Mainland in 1949.
Most of them ended up living in Taiwan for the entire rest of their lives.
Their descents are now Taiwanese.

Pretty much like the MayFlowers from the U.K. to the U.S.


Off topic


thanks for all your replies, I just meant foreigners from countries like U.S., Canada, England and other foreigners from many other countries around the world that come to taiwan. Was wondering how long most of these people stay. Do the majority eventually go home after 1-3 years .


Do a search it’s been covered before.


According to Expat Insider survey - InterNations

a majority of expats in Taiwan (64%) plan to stay there longer than three years; with more than half of these (36% in total) even considering staying there forever.