Moving from Australia to Taiwan (Taipei or Hsinchu) with family


I’m a 27 year old Australian married to my wife who is Taiwanese. We have one child (2 years old) & we currently live in Brisbane, Australia.
My wife has recently been hankering to move back so that she can be around family and be able to work with her brother etc. Over here in Australia we only have my parents & essentially no extended family. I am though very close to my parents though and run our business alongside my father, the business we run is completely online, we outsource any extra work we need done so we don’t really need to be in a fixed place. We get paid in AUD & USD with my part of the net profit amounting to 150,000 NT approx per month.

My wife’s family live in Hsinchu & Taipei which Is why I mentioned them and I have previously lived in Taipei but only for 1 year :slight_smile:

My parents would also consider moving with us a little later as we are very close & for various reasons they don’t have much tying them financially to Oz, they would benefit from the lower cost of living (while earning money from overseas). I am however concerned how they would get on here being in their 60’s not likely to become fluent in another language etc, they have previously lived in a non english speaking country though.

I’ve always been drawn to moving back here but I do wonder taking the current/future tense political & seemingly dour economic situation into account would it be better just to stay in Australia, despite it being often exceedingly expensive.

Is it a reasonable idea to move back or a better idea to just stick it out in Australia.


Oh boy this is a tough one to answer. Most will probably say stay where you are since Brisbane and Queensland is a pretty nice place in general.
Still you are young so it’s not the end of the world either way.
I don’t think you can bring your parents over here to live though and Taipei and Taiwan is crowded and busy in the cities as you know.


It is pretty nice! and has a huge mandarin speaking community so I imagine for my wife it’s more the family connections !

I am personally alright either way but sometimes it’s a bit tight trying to raise a family on 70k AUD (wife doesn’t work) in a major city in AUS and I was thinking it wouldn’t be so bad if it could get us more in TW.

About my parents, I had the idea we could incorporate in Taiwan maybe and get them a visa that way or they could possibly visa-run which I would imagine would be more tricky.


Take the leap because you will regret it later in life!

I have a few years on you - mid 30s. My wife and I are both foreigners. We have lived in same suburb in New Taipei for 8 years. My wife is stay at home mom of 2.5 yr old. Another child on the way. I earn offshore income. We are part of the community here.Can’t imagine where else we could be.

We could not SAVE nearly the same money in the west. To be clear, I don’t pay tax on my income, but we don’t live in Tian Mu type areas. We rent a 3.5 bedroom across from a major park for less than $40,000 a month. We don’t have a car. There is simply no need at all for the lifestyle we have. We holiday all over Asia. We benefit from amazing NHI. Prices have been unbelievable stable in our time here (I don’t pay attention to house prices - who would buy here!)

Excuse the spewing of ideas above. I just wanted to give you some ideas from a “non teacher” perspective. Our challenge is creating an alternative source of income in addition to mine (my wife doesn’t work) Sounds like your wife is keen on working with family in Taiwan. This will put your family well ahead.

Get rental income from property in Australia. Perhaps have one residence available for your family/parents when you want to visit Australia. Your parents will be just fine here! It really comes down to their personalities and how quickly they want to adjust. Great healthcare here, or hop on a plane to Singapore. We supplement our NHI with comprehensive expat health cover with Cigna - our children don’t get healthcare with NHI for the first 6 months of their lives…another story.

Housing prices in Australia is nauseating. Housing in NZ is worse because the build quality is third world quality! US is the only option for us, but health care is a serious concern. My work requires me to be in Asia, so not an option in the near future.

Trust you will make the best choice for your family. All the best!


How do you avoid income tax?


Labuan international company.

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Thanks for the detailed response ! It’s what I was interested to hear considering that most responses would usually be from someone with a teacher background (not that it’s not welcome).
My wife’s brother has offered to make her a partner in his business which would be a massive change for her ( she works in childcare in oz)

With regards to my parents, I was thinking of them visa-hopping to HK or otherwise we might have re-start our business over here in order to get them visas (which I would imagine would be too much of a hassle).

If you don’t mind me asking, how does the tax situation work over here for running a business?


Wow, I didn’t know you could avoid income tax with such a set up. Is there a site that has more information about this?

I’ll search around here and the Google a bit, but if you know where to start I’d appreciate it!


You can’t legally avoid tax if you live and work in Taiwan more than 183 days a year.


Let Auntie Peng be the Devil’s advocate:

You cannot legally bring your parents over to live with you. Most they can be here is 3 months, get out, come back and repeat until caught.

Please note you will be dependent on her family for EVERYTHING and that if your marriage turns sour -ie, she gets tired of being an adult and just decides to hand over the keys of her life to her family- you will be kicked out of the country -most likely, as your work and resident visa depends on her, and she depends on her family. Family will anyway dictate where you live, how you spend your time, how your son wil be educated.

Your choice. Now tell me what is it in for you? What benefits you and your family get from the move? Please consider educational opportunities and career advancement. Your career will be dead working for her family. If you do not work for her family, you will be an unfilial son. Think this over carefully.


I have never looked into bringing parents to Taiwan as dependents so can’t comment - looks like a dead end.

What I can suggest is opening Labuan Company with USD65K+ will give you 2 year renewable business visa for applicant/spouse + dependents (under 21) + parents of main applicant with permit to reside in Malaysia.

Have your folks look into Malaysia. Flight to KL from TPE is 4.5 hours vs. 9 hours to BNE. Cost is USD200 return vs USD700 return. Apartments are affordable and much nicer than Taiwan. Yield on KL real estate is better. I know Taiwanese who buy in KL, and rent in Taipei.

KL is great. Food is excellent. English is spoken everywhere. Have Common Law system. Folks can live comfortably and frugally. South East Asia is at your door step. My wife doesn’t like KL, so we can’t do it unfortunately. Taiwan is closer to China, so Taiwan is more practical for my work.

My main point is there are alternatives if one looks around.

I am a “dependent” in Taiwan, and I am not legally permitted to work. There was a time when I would consider opening a company in Taiwan, but policies make it so hard (common theme on this bulletin board) and it’s more beneficial to do so elsewhere. I found a solution that works for my situation.

You could consider registering your business in Hong Kong for tax purposes. I am not clear about the requirements for supporting residency in HK.

You are in an exceptional situation since your family business allows you to work remotely. Use this to your advantage. (full disclosure - I don’t like Brisbane…at all) As I wrote, look for alternatives.

Keep us up to date with your decision. Good Luck.


Taiwan has a double taxation agreement with Malaysia though. Wouldn’t that mean that he’s just subject to Malaysian income tax?


If your family has some good amount of savings, go for Taipei. Don’t have any doubts. The traffic in Taiwan is terrible. If you live in Hsinchu, you probably will need a car or a scooter. But, the parking lots are terrible. In Taipei, they have MRT and buses. It is much more convenient. There are more jobs opportunities in Taipei. It is not necessary to be teaching jobs. There are more entertainments. If you need to go to Australian Embassy for info, it is all located in Taipei. But, you should remember. If your entire family is gonna move, you all need an income of 100,000 NT a month to support everyone. I know you will get a job and your wife will do as well. But, if you are doing better in Australia. Then, I don’t think your family should leave there. I wouldn’t leave. If your wife misses her family, then why don’t you and your wife just move to Taiwan for 1 or 2 years? I know you are very attached to your parents. But, think about your parents’ future. Are you sure they are gonna to adapt in Taiwan?


As a parent, I’d say stay where you are. Taiwan is horrible for kids. There are precious few recreational spaces - especially for older kids and the educational system is seriously f<>ked up. The pressure to learn Chinese is tremendous. Hours and hours of homework to learn a characters. I love Taiwan, earn money in Canada online and consulting, but having been here for four years of my eldest daughters’ schooling, enough is enough. Heading back for the sake of both kids. Still plan to keep a finger in the pie, have a company here as well, keeping the health insurance, and may keep a small apartment. In other words, Taiwan is a great place to visit, and a terrible place to live if you’re a kid.