Is the Gold Card experiment a flop?


I brought and lived on about $120000 for about six months. I paid tuition with that money too.

I didn’t have a job.


they should also subsidize their kids 1,000,000 a year to go to TAS, after all TW needs a young generation to fight off the declining population.
lets stay realistic here, having an adress in order to open a bank account is pretty standard worldwide. And if you are worried about car costs, just dont gwt a car.
all these complaints about first world problems are the reason for the cringe many felt reading the articles.
Ill be honest, im jealous of GC holders, i came here long before the program was rolled out, so it wasnt relevant for me, many here in the forum had to jump through hoops that the GC community has never even heard of, and the complaints abt how its not what they expcted dont evoke any empathy on my side.


cant save money, salaries are low, housing expensive, education even more so. add in home country visits and you need to be making millions a year to have a “western” life style here.

You could say that about any country really if you’re going to insist on living downtown.

North American lifestyles involve commuting to the big city for most middle class people.

I save money on housing because I commute. I have home country visits.


i agree, and although i share aone of the frustration mentioned in the orignal article (banking, housing etc.) id assume all these talented GC people are also talented enough to check before hand what kind of job they can do here, the pay scale, and if their kids can go to school and what school.


Life sucks donkey for the lumpenproletariat commuter.

1 Like

As I wrote above, I think this assumption might be unfounded for a decent number of gold card holders…

You obviously need some money to pay rent, yes. Gold card holders would also presumably have needed to pay a deposit and rent wherever they would have been living outside Taiwan as well (unless they were still living with their parents, which I wouldn’t immediately rule out on the basis of some of the problems encountered). Some landlords might ask for 3 months upfront as you say, but I’ve never encountered or paid that. I’ve always just paid month to month, plus a couple of months for the deposit of course. Anyway, this is all part of the normal setup costs of moving to a new place.

Although it obviously depends on the person’s standard of living, this value is quite clearly BS. Even with the dubious 5 months of rent for a total of NT$150k and the ridiculous daily car rental rate, you’re still missing between NT$260k and NT$290k. If someone is accustomed to the standard of living where they’d need this much, it shouldn’t be an issue, right? Anyway, when they find a landlord, they can wire the 5 months rent to them directly.


and then the landlord will have to go to the bank, and wait in line to sign a paper saying why he is getting money from overseas…ahhh… sweet revenge…


Is there a point to this?

1 Like

Absolutely–social critique on transportation and communities is so important. I prefer lewd bohemian and libertarian environments and my carbon imprint is low. Living and commuting in Calgary or Mississauga or socializing with the Joneses would scare the shit out of me. Too much conformity, boredom and commercialism. That is Toronto too.

Life does suck donkey for the commuters of conformism

Is there a point to this? What an existential question!

Literally no one I know has paid that. Never heard of such a thing. Sounds like this is a you thing.

Totally. Taiwan can be done on a dime. But it is really up to the person how they want to live. Cheap is easy here… we dont have real winters :upside_down_face:

Some people think a car is necessary, others AC. to each their own, sometimes things are a luxury item even if they are common. Taiwan is a great place to save money for those that can “struggle” for a while. I think if someone has the golden visa they are probably qualified here to have it pretty good from day one if they so choose to.


After working In Taiwan companies for years, everything else is ok here for me. That’s the only thing I found really soul destroying. And like a lot of people on Forumosa, i really cut my teeth in the trenches with that shit.

Everything else in Taiwan is ok. It’s not the most amazing place in the world but it’s ok. I recognize different for people with families

Don’t really get the complaining from GC people’s whose visa are not bound to a Taiwanese company. Just like leave if it’s not working for you. Taiwan is wealthy, educated and successful and the kind of internationalization you bring is more of a ‘nice to have’(to be honest)


Yup I was on about the same. $100k for 6 months
I’m super low maintenance so can live on $30k monthly easily. Well, not so much anymore
Impossible to find a 3 bedroom 2 bath for $8k anymore in Kaohsiung

Some banks allow users to open an account just by geolocation.

Others require an address but either do not demand proof of address, or that it must be printed on your ID card. For example they may either waive the requirement and let you register from a friend’s address, or allow you to use a rental contract as proof of address.

There will always be complaining. It’s human nature. I would ask that you all bear with a new immigrant but endeavor to give advice.

Commuting is not necessarily cheaper.

For example the HSR costs $1490 to go from Taipei to Zuoying for a non-reserved seat. Avoiding tolls, Google Maps says the journey by car is 389 km. The average economical car does about NT$1.5-2 per km on the highway, so the journey cost about $700 by car. Add a passenger or two and you can see it is clearly better to use a car.

Taipei Nangang to Banqiao HSR is 17.6km and the ticket costs $40. In this case it would be about the same to drive by car, but parking is an issue of course.

I did, but for a number of reasons I won’t be employed immediately.

I learnt from the estate agent that the landlord was heavily leveraged and needed the cash. I wanted the rent to be discounted, so I offered three months upfront in exchange for a discount.

This is rent for a month, and if you add full insurance coverage, NT$2000-3000 a day for the car is very possible.

The NT$260-290k is for living expenses, buying stuff for new apartment and the new second hand car.

You really have two choices in this thread.

  1. NC is making this up and I don’t believe him. So why are you here? May I suggest you save both our time and take your disbelief and cynicism elsewhere?
  2. I’m telling the truth and trying to help other would be immigrants budget for what they need in cash. I’m giving a conservative estimate which means it is an over-estimate, because the worse thing that can happen to you is that you’re stuck in a foreign land and can’t get to your money in your home country. Also maybe someone might pass this on to the GC decision makers and they will streamline the process for new immigrants.

As a serial entrepreneur I am used to risk and pain. So I understood there will be teething problems.

Spending US$1000 a month in rent is really cheap by Western standards.

I’m not the sort of person who leaves at the first sign of teething troubles. In any enterprise (and emigration to a new country is an enterprise), one soldiers on expecting a better future if they persevere, adapt and overcome.

It is neither.

For me it wasn’t the status quo or the past in the West that concerned me, so much as the future, based on the respective trajectories of the West and Taiwan.

The West is in debt, heavily so. Their budgets are running annual deficits. There is no conceivable way they can get rid of their debt other than by hyperinflation or defaulting on it. I don’t want to be there when it happens, and I don’t want any of their money or real estate when it happens either.

There is also a growing wave of all the -isms in the West (mostly stemming from nationalism), as well as laziness and unwillingness to work. In my educated circle of friends and colleagues I did not experience this so much, but it would be something my children would be exposed to one day. There is also a lot of stupidity there, as demonstrated by the pandemic - e.g. the vaccine has microchips in it, mask mandates are an infringement on my human rights, etc.

Taiwan on the other hand has a low debt burden, a budget surplus and an educated and hardworking population. My only two concerns regarding Taiwan are its ageing population and China.

Based on the international PISA score rankings, my children will also be well educated.

Also, I see that Taiwan will need experts in the defense R&D arena, so I answered the call.

So yes I do believe that things will eventually get better for me, and am prepared to endure to achieve this reality.

Good example. Oh wait, no it’s not. Of course it doesn’t make sense to be buying two HSR tickets almost the entire length of the country each day. In this case, any sane person would live in Kaohsiung (or Taipei, as appropriate).

The example becomes weirder. How many people are you driving from Taipei to Kaohsiung and back each day…and why?

Sounds like your landlord’s problem.

Oh, your choice then. You chose to pay three months for a discount.

Again, you don’t need to drive here. You’re not in the US. And you should have taken this cost into account for your example of driving from Taipei to Kaohsiung twice per day above, which would have indicated that taking the HSR is indeed cheaper (I believe considerably faster too).

More silliness. Buying a car isn’t a priority for the majority of people arriving here. If you want one, so be it, but that’s a choice you’d have to pay for in any country. Maybe if you complain about the program enough, the gold card office would contribute to a second-hand bike?

I don’t think you’re lying. You just seem rather clueless about living here and tone deaf to the answers you’re getting, and not much of a “nomad” actually. Your expectations for the gold card scheme seem rather unrealistic. Is this the first time you’ve lived abroad?


Dude. With all due respect, practically NOBODY is commuting to Taipei from Kaohsiung to work on a daily basis. With triple traffic jams, one in Kaohsiung, Taichung and Taipei/Taoyuan, one would be out of their mind to commute 12 hours a day to an eight hour work day. I apologise, but to use the worst example of why a car may be better is not a good argument. On a second note. A Puyuma express train is $900ish and does it in 3 hours, an Express train does it for $700ish in 5 hours, and the bus does it for $500ish while putting you in the same traffic as you would be in a car, with the added benefit of not looking for parking in a city that makes New York look like the countryside.

You pick the most expensive option, you know the MRT is a thing here. Right?

The options you picked for your arguments are literally the most extreme options that the vast majority would not consider. If your job is in Taipei, move to Taipei, commute. If your job is in Kaohsiung…well… Kaohsiung is relatively cheap.

I live in Danshui. I commute to Taipei for my office job. My rent is $13000. My total transport cost is $1280 for the entire month.

This is literally insane.

They don’t have to get a car in Taiwan. It’s not mandatory like the US. They’d save hundreds of thousands a month by taking public transport.

It’s not helpful to people, it’s misinforming people into thinking they need a car in Taiwan. They don’t. A Gold Card holder is very unlikely to move to a car-dependent area like Chiayi. They’re probably going to want to take one of the office jobs in Taipei, set up their own company in a big city with good transit, or work from home, which can be done extremely cheaply in any of Taipei’s satellite districts. A car is money thrown out the window.


You might want to do a tad bit more digging into what makes up “national debt”. By which I mean…if the US goes bust, they will figure out a way to make it un-bust, cuz the US prints it’s own currency and the rest of the world “trusts” the US dollar (everything in banking is based on “trust”, please don’t tell me “what if people stop trusting the US dollar”). See also: banks being bailed out after being total morons and then further destroying the US economy in 2008-~2016. Compare that to TW where the average income is NT40k/month regardless of your education level, yet a decent sized space to raise one kid will run you nearly a million USD (significantly more in Taipei city center). Yet newly weds are buying up those properties on 40-50 year mortgages, backed by mommy and daddy’s own real estate holdings.
TLDR: Taiwan isn’t going to be better economically in 20 years, regardless of what happens in “The West”