Sun, Aug 12, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Automated immigration to be opened to foreigners

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s automated immigration clearance system, known as e-Gate, will be opened soon to foreign nationals residing in the country, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said yesterday.

The system allows for automated immigration checks that can be completed within 11 seconds, Immigration Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said in a statement.

The procedure involves swiping one’s passport, looking into a monitor and obtaining clearance, he said.

“It is as fast and convenient as using the Mass Rapid Transit system,” Hsieh said.

He said the agency was working to expand the use of the system to allow foreign residents, including Chinese spouses, to apply for approval to enter or exit Taiwan through the e-Gates at the country’s major airports.

About 200,000 foreign residents are expected to qualify, he said.

Since the e-Gate system was introduced on Jan. 1 this year, it had logged 2 million entries and exits by Taiwanese as of July 31, NIA statistics showed.

Hsieh said the system worked by scanning passengers’ faces and cross-referencing the image with a file photograph and fingerprint records if necessary.

E-Gates are installed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), Kaohsiung Airport and Shuitou Harbor on Kinmen Island.

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