TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese and U.S. officials announced on Thursday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport the availability of the country’s e-Gate system for U.S. nationals at airports in November, as part of a reciprocal agreement that will also allow Taiwanese citizens to take advantage of the US Global Entry Program, thus enabling Taiwanese and American travelers to expedite entry upon arrival in both countries.
”This is a solid foundation for better cooperation and engagement between the people of the United States and Taiwan in all aspects,“ said Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮), Taiwan’s Minister of the Interior.
Yeh said the effort laid the foundation for the e-Gate system to be available for a broader international community in the future, and that in return, he hoped Taiwanese travelers would also enjoy the same treatment when going abroad.
“We are excited about the launch of Global Entry for travelers form Taiwan," said Todd A. Hoffman, executive director of U.S. Customs Border Protection, adding “We’re confident that together, CBP and our partners at the National Immigration Agency (NIA) can enhance security and facilitate travel between Taiwan and the United States.”
The bilateral agreement that paved the way for such reciprocity was signed by representatives of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. (TECRO) in April 2016 in an attempt to grant an expedited entry to pre-approved, low-risk travelers with Taiwanese or US passports who travel frequently between both countries.
Director of the AIT Kin Moy said this year also marked the fifth anniversary of Taiwanese people being included in the US Visa waiver program, and that Taiwanese travelers had proved to be “the most trusted travelers in the United States.”
The reciprocity “is a milestone for US-Taiwan relations,” said Moy, adding “The U.S. is glad to have Taiwan as a trusted partner.”
Both Taiwanese and American nationals will go through a vetting process conducted by the authorities of each country in order to take advantage of the systems.
For Taiwanese citizens who want to join the Global Entry Program, they have to apply online and undergo a review as well as interview conducted by the U.S authorities. The membership requires a fee of US$100 with a duration of five years.
Members of the Global Entry Program can use a special lane for speedy immigration clearance at US major airports upon arrival and departure, according to the CBP.
Likewise, US nationals who want to use Taiwan’s e-Gate system should apply online and go through an interview and review conducted by the NIA authorities in order to be granted access to the e-Gate system.