Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: United Arab Emirates vs. Taiwan

A comparison of remote work visas for United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: United Arab Emirates vs. Taiwan

Digital Nomad Visa Requirements of United Arab Emirates and Taiwan

Are you a digital nomad looking to explore new territories while working remotely? United Arab Emirates and Taiwan have recently launched digital nomad visa programs that are worth considering. These programs have been designed to welcome remote workers and digital nomads to contribute to local economies and experience new cultures while working in a foreign country. Here are the details of each program:

United Arab Emirates

Virtual Working Programme

The United Arab Emirates launched the Virtual Working Programme in response to the pandemic-induced shift to remote work. The program allows remote workers and digital nomads to work from the UAE, on a visa that is valid for one year and is renewable upon re-application. Holders of Virtual Program documents and their dependents are not authorized to perform work for a local employer or provide any services to any person or entity carrying out business in Dubai.


  • Hold a passport valid for at least 6 months
  • Must have health insurance with UAE coverage validity
  • Proof of employment from the current employer with a one-year contract validity
  • Must have a minimum salary of US$5,000 per month along with last month's pay slip and 3 preceding months bank statement
  • Business owners must provide proof of ownership of their business and should have an average monthly income of US$5,000 along with 3 preceding months' bank statement


The total cost of the program is US$611, including application fees, processing fees, pre-application medical exam, and Emirates ID.


Gold Card

The Gold Card is Taiwan's digital nomad visa program aimed at attracting top international talent to contribute to Taiwan's economy. It is a multiple-entry permit that allows stays of up to 3 years and can be renewed for another 3 years upon expiration, making it a far more flexible program than the UAE's.


Standard requirements for the Gold Card vary based on the field of profession. However, most applicants must have a monthly salary of at least TWD160,000. Educational, cultural and arts, and sports fields are not eligible for the minimum income requirement.

If the foreign individual qualified for immigration incentive regulation released on February 18, 2018 (Qualified for 1st time ARC with special work permit), and if the foreign individual stayed in Taiwan over 183 days within a calendar year during his qualified special work permit period, then the foreign individual may enjoy 50% tax exempt on the excess of annual wage in the amount of NTD 3 million for a maximum of three years during his permit valid period. Visa holders employed in Taiwan can join the National Health Insurance system along with their dependents.


The cost of the program ranges between US$122 and US$275 depending on the applicant's nationality.


Both the UAE and Taiwan offer unique digital nomad visa programs with their own sets of benefits and requirements, making them worthy options for remote workers. While the UAE's Virtual Working Programme is a one-year visa that can be renewed, the Gold Card program in Taiwan offers more flexibility in terms of visa duration and fields of profession. Depending on your personal preference and work requirements, both these countries can offer exciting opportunities to work and explore new cultures and landscapes, while contributing to the local economy.