Wed, Dec 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Interest in US’ Global Entry soars

JET SET:Since the US granted Taiwanese visa-free entry, travel to the region has increased 60%, while the US’ has become Taiwan’s fifth-largest source of tourists

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

To meet soaring demand for the US’ Global Entry program following its expansion to include Taiwanese passport holders last month, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday announced that a team of US customs officers are to come to Taipei next month to conduct interviews with aspiring applicants.

“Since the Global Entry program was expanded to Taiwan passport holders on Nov. 1, demand for this program in Taiwan has skyrocketed,” the AIT said in a press release.

The AIT and US Customs and Border Protection are to jointly hold a week-long enrollment event in Taipei between Jan. 18 and Jan. 24, during which Taiwanese passports holders can interview for membership of the program, the institute said.

Last month, Taiwan became the 12th country worldwide and third in East Asia to be included in the program, which allows more than 4.7 million people worldwide to bypass traditional inspection lines at US airports for expedited entry.

To apply for membership, people need to submit an application form and pay a US$100 fee before undergoing a background check and an in-person interview.

Approved applicants are to be included in the program for five years.

Interviews are to be offered to those who have been conditionally approved for the program and who have scheduled an interview in Taiwan, the institute said.

The AIT urged people who want to participate to submit their online applications by Jan. 4 so that their conditional approval can be given before the enrollment event.

The Global Entry program’s expansion to Taiwanese travelers was reciprocated by the inclusion of US passport holders in Taiwan’s eGate program, a similar program that grants expedited entry to registered travelers.

The policy took effect on the fifth anniversary of Taiwan’s inclusion in the US’ visa-waiver program in 2012.

Travel from Taiwan to the US has increased by about 60 percent since the US granted visa-free entry to Taiwanese, while the US has become Taiwan’s fifth-largest source of tourists, AIT data showed.

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