Sat, Jun 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Auto immigration system proves a hit with foreigners

Staff writer, with CNA

More than 9,400 foreigners living in Taiwan have registered to use the automated immigration clearance system at airports after the system was opened to foreign residents in September last year, an immigration official said.

As of Monday, foreign residents had made 40,459 entries and exits through e-Gates, said Lin Hung-chieh (林弘傑), an official from the National Immigration Agency’s Border Affairs Corps.

More than 5.08 million entries and exits by Taiwanese and foreign nationals through e-Gates have been recorded since the system was launched in March 2011, he added.

The number of Taiwanese who have registered to use the automated system stood at 875,844 as of Monday, he said.

Lin said the agency was considering opening e-Gates to foreign nationals not residing in Taiwan, including those from Hong Kong and Macau, who visit Taiwan three times or more each year.

Such frequent flyers have since May 10 been allowed to use a fast-track counter to speed up their immigration clearance, but are not yet permitted to use the e-Gates.

There are currently 45 e-Gates at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), Kaohsiung International Airport, Taichung Airport and Shuitou Harbor on Kinmen Island.

Equipped with infrared sensors, facial recognition cameras and passport readers, the system can complete immigration checks in 12 seconds. The system was 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, who maintain residency in Taiwan, are eligible to register their entry or exit to and from Taiwan through the e-Gates. When applying, foreign residents need to present their passports and valid Alien Permanent Resident Certificates or Alien Resident Certificates, and must be fingerprinted and photographed. Passengers must be at least 14 years old and 1.4m in height to register.

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