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Taiwan's upgraded e-Gate system expedites travel

Advanced registration eliminated ahead of peak travel period

Upgraded e-Gate system makes travel easier. (CNA photo)

Upgraded e-Gate system makes travel easier. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —Outbound travelers over Lunar New Year will experience a little more convenience with upgrades to e-Gate and extra airport staffing.

The Ministry of the Interior said that to facilitate international travel, e-Gate, an automatic border control system, has been upgraded to a two-in-one "registration” and “customs clearance" service, per UDN.

In the past, e-Gate required one to register at a counter staffed by immigration personnel before usage. Despite the system upgrade and extra staffing, travelers are still encouraged to arrive at the airport a minimum of 2.5 hours in advance for check-in to avoid delay or travel disruption.

Not everyone is qualified to use e-Gate. The service is available to Taiwanese citizens over the age of 12 and at least 140 centimeters in height. Also, foreigners holding alien residency certificates (ARC) or alien permanent residency certificates (APRC) are eligible.

The e-Gate system is also available to travelers from countries who have signed reciprocal automatic border control system agreements. At the moment, this includes 5 countries: the U.S., South Korea, Australia, Italy, and Germany.

At the moment, U.S. citizens are entitled to e-Gates services only if they have enrolled in a similar program in their home country, such as CBP Trusted Traveler Program (Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI).

e-Gate uses facial imaging and fingerprint information to process and execute border control procedures. Furthermore, e-Gate passes are valid for a lifetime with no expiry date.

To further accommodate holiday travel, additional security personnel, trainee volunteers, and auxiliary manpower will be deployed to Taiwan airports. Special help desks for passengers with reduced mobility will also be well-staffed.

The Ministry of the Interior reminds passengers to pay attention to the validity of their passports and visas to their destination countries before leaving the country,

Starting from Lunar New Year's Day this year (Jan. 22), those born in 2004 and those that have reached service age but have yet to fulfill their military service obligations need to apply online for short-term leave approval at least three days in advance through a website operated by the National Conscription Agency.