More than 6,600 foreign nationals residing in Taiwan have registered to use airport e-Gates since the automated immigration clearance system was opened for foreign residents in September last year, immigration officials said.
In addition, more than 17,800 entries and exits had been made through the e-Gates by Taiwan’s foreign residents as of Sunday, National Immigration Agency’s Border Affairs Corps official Lin Hung-chieh (林弘傑) said.
More than 3.54 million entries and exits through the e-Gates have been recorded since the system was opened to Taiwanese in March 2011, he said.
There are currently 30 e-Gates at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport, Kaohsiung Airport and Shuitou Harbor on Kinmen Island.
Lin said another 15 are expected to be installed and made operational at these locations in April this year.
Equipped with infrared sensors, facial recognition cameras and passport readers, the system can complete immigration checks in 12 seconds.
The gates have been set up to enhance the nation’s border security and speed up the immigration clearance process.
Foreign residents, including Chinese spouses and travelers from Hong Kong and Macau, are eligible to register their entry or exit through these e-Gates at three of the country’s airports and one port.
More than 200,000 foreign residents are expected to qualify for e-Gate usage.
To encourage the use of e-Gates, Lin said his agency was preparing to launch a computer system in the middle of this year that will alert immigration officials to frequent flyers, so officials can remind them to apply for speedy clearance.
To apply, foreign residents need to present their passports and valid Alien Permanent Resident Certificates or Alien Resident Certificates, and be fingerprinted and photographed, Lin said.
Passengers must be at least 14 years old and 1.4m in height to qualify.