Taiwan introduces e-gates to speed-up immigration checkpoints

Fri, 2011-12-16 06:44 PM
Beginning 2012, Taiwan's immigration department will officially launch E-gates at three airports and one seaport to help expedite passenger clearance at immigration control. This will reduce processing times to approximately 12 seconds per individual.

The system, due to be implemented 1 January 2012, will allow local and foreign passengers who register their biometric data in advance to avoid long lines by using the automated immigration gates at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei Songshan Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport, and Kinmen Seaport.

During the system's trial run earlier this year, 130,000 people registered; The number of registrants is expected to exceed 1 million by the end of next year.

According to Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA) officials, those interested in using the system can register at automated counters at the airports with a valid passport. The process, which the NIA says takes less than three minutes, requires applicants to have their fingerprints scanned, photograph taken, and have their signature scanned.

The e-gates, equipped with infrared ray sensors, facial recognition cameras and passport readers, will verify the biometric data of passengers who pass through.

The e-gates will also operate in conjunction with the NIA's Advance Passenger Information System, launched in September that allows immigration officers to screen passenger information ahead of time. With this system, the agency receives information from participating airlines after passengers check in, allowing it to check its watch lists and identify criminal suspects trying to leave the country.

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