Aiport e-gates proving popular with foreign residents

CNA, with Staff writer

Sat, Nov 03, 2012 - Page 4

About 2,000 foreign nationals residing in Taiwan have registered to use airport “e-gates” since the automated immigration clearance system was opened to foreign residents in September, immigration officials said.

Foreign residents have made about 6,700 entries and exits through the e-gates as of Thursday, said Lin Hung-chieh, an official from the National Immigration Agency’s Border Affairs Corps.

More than 2.81 million Taiwanese nationals have passed through the e-gates over the same period, he said.

The e-gates, installed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport, Kaohsiung Airport and Shuitou Harbor on Kinmen Island on Jan. 1, were opened to foreign residents on Sept. 3.

Equipped with infrared sensors, facial recognition cameras and passport readers, the system can clear immigration checks in 12 seconds. It was set up to enhance border security and speed up immigration clearance.

Foreign residents — including Chinese spouses and people from Hong Kong and Macau — can register and apply for e-gate clearance by presenting their passports, as well as their Alien Permanent Resident Certificates or Alien Resident Certificates, and be fingerprinted and photographed, Lin said.

When using the system, they only need to swipe their resident certificates, not their passports, the agency said.

More than 200,000 foreign residents are expected to qualify for e-gate usage.

Passengers must be at least 14 years old and 140cm tall to register to use the system.