Living in Taiwan

How to access the essential information you need when living in Taiwan as a British national.


This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Taiwan, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what BTCO can and cannot do for British nationals. This information supplements the travel advice for Taiwan.


Taiwan has excellent health and dental facilities to handle routine, emergency and outpatient treatment. Most medical staff speak English. All healthcare facilities operate on a ‘pay by use’ basis so you must take money with you. You might also be required to produce your passport or Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).


There are mandatory deductions for tax, health insurance and labour insurance if you are working in Taiwan. If you do not work, you pay healthcare costs yourself.

Please visit National Health Insurance Administration for more information.

Entry and residence requirements

British Citizen passport holders with a passport of at least six (6) months validity can enter Taiwan without a visa for a stay of three (3) months.

British National Overseas Passport Holders need to hold a ‘Compatriot Pass’ with their passport.

To work or study, or become resident for family reasons, please check with the Taipei Representative Office (TRO) in the UK before you travel.

For information on all other residence requirements for Taiwan, please see the Taiwan Immigration authorities’ website.

Driving licences and vehicles

International driving permit (IDP)

If you wish to drive in Taiwan, you should apply for an IDP in the UK before you travel. UK motor organisations such as the AA or Royal Automobile Club can issue the IDP.

Once in Taiwan, you should bring your IDP, passport, and one passport photograph to the nearest Vehicle Registration Department to apply for an international drivers licence.

Taiwanese driver’s licence

You can drive 50cc scooters with an IDPs without taking a driving test. To ride bigger motorcycles from 80cc –150cc or over 150cc engine size, you have to pass the Motorcycle Driver’s Licence test which includes a written and practical element.

If you intend to be a long term resident in Taiwan, you should consider taking the Taiwanese Driver’s Licence Examination, available in English.

You can find more information from the Motor Vehicles Office website.

Car insurance

All automobiles should be insured for Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance. Insurance Company details will be given to you once you have purchased your vehicle.

Drunk driving

Taiwan has some of the strictest drink driving laws in the world. Drunk driving will result in a prison sentence and heavy fines. In Taichung City and County passengers may also face prison sentences and fines for allowing a drunk driver to drive.

You can find more information from the Ministry of Justice and the Taipei Prison.

Social ethics and traditions

Taiwan has extremely strict drug laws. Drugs of a lower classification in the UK are considered Class 1 drugs in Taiwan. Whether for personal use or sale to others, possession of drugs results in a lengthy prison sentence, and possibly the death penalty.

You can find more information from the Ministry of Justice and the Taipei Prison.


This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the BTCO by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the BTCO will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 30 October 2013
Last updated 9 July 2014 + show all updates
  1. minor change
  2. to correct the typo
  3. correct typo
  4. to update the failure link
  5. Change the format based on the guidance
  6. First published.