TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Citizens of Taiwan and Italy will be allowed to use the e-Gates at airports in each other’s country, with Taiwan only the eighth country from outside the European Union allowed to do so in Italy, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) announced Thursday (Sept. 26).
As Taiwan’s campaigns against people and drugs smuggling had gained international recognition, years of efforts by the NIA had finally borne fruit, Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said at a ceremony also attended by Italian representative in Taiwan Davide Giglio.
Italians holding a passport valid for at least another six months with no criminal record in Taiwan could use the e-Gates at Taiwanese airports to enter or leave the country free of charge, the Central News Agency reported.
Taiwanese nationals traveling to Italy did not have to register beforehand, but only needed to scan the photo page of their passport and their fingerprints at the airport. So far, the only other non-EU nationals allowed to use the system are citizens of the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.
The rising number of Taiwanese travelers visiting Italy and the increasing frequency of flights between the two countries made the expansion of the e-Gate system a logical next step, Giglio said.
In Taiwan, 210,000 citizens of the U.S., Australia and South Korea had applied to use e-Gates, according to the CNA report.