Travelling has never been so convenient
- Source：Foreign Affairs Section
According to Dr.Yeh, the MOI began establishing the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) after the Official Launch of e-Gate for the United States and Global Entry for Taiwan on November 1, 2017. The Trusted Traveler Program includes an ad hoc task force for fostering cooperation on automatic immigration clearance with other countries. The Taiwan-South Korea Automatic Immigration Clearance Program will be the first success story of the TTP, demonstrating that our border security and e-Gate system are up to international standards.
Dr. Yeh said that during the trial operation in 2011, Taiwan’s e-Gate saw a usage rate of 3% by Taiwanese citizens. After the trial, 66 e-Gates were installed in Taiwan’s international airports and seaports, and the usage rate by Taiwanese citizens rose to 51%. More people using the e-Gate in Taiwan has multiple benefits: it can lessen the burden on immigration officers, encourage more countries to sign reciprocal agreements with us, and boost international tourism.
The MOI said that in 2017 over 1.05 million South Korean tourists visited Taiwan, ranking South Korea after China, Japan, and Hong Kong in the number of visitors to Taiwan. On the other hand, about 890 thousand Taiwanese visitors traveled to South Korea last year, proving that exchanges between the people of Taiwan and South Korea are becoming more frequent than ever. After the launch of the Taiwan-South Korea Automatic Immigration Clearance Program, the people of Taiwan and South Korea can enjoy improved convenience when visiting each other’s country, which is expected to increase peoples’ willingness to travel and boost the development of both countries’ tourism.
The MOI points out that onwards from today, any Taiwanese citizen over the age of 17 and holding a valid biometric passport (ePassport) is eligible to register for the Smart Entry System and use it to clear immigration when visiting South Korea. Citizens on their first visit will still have to clear immigration through manual inspection as most of the SES registration points are beyond the Airport Control Zone. The MOI advices citizens to register for the SES after clearing immigration or before departing for Taiwan, so they may use the SES during departure and for future visits.
South Korean citizens can register for automated immigration clearance at the 27 registration points (14 within Airport Control Zones) situated at Taipei Songshan Airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taichung International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport. They can use Taiwan’s e-Gate system immediately after registration.
To promote e-Gate registration, the NIA will send immigration officers to be staffed at Incheon International Airport from today to July 3rd 2018 who will inform and assist South Korean visitors with e-Gate overseas registration, so they may acquire e-Gate membership before departure. The e-Gate system helps visitors save precious time: manual immigration clearance usually takes 10 to 25 minutes including waiting, while the e-Gate takes 10 seconds for inspection with waiting times up to only 3 minutes during peak periods.
The event today was simple yet grand, with around 100 representatives from embassies and consulates of various countries, the Legislative Yuan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, airline companies, and airport departments attending. The launching ceremony included a choir performance of “Embrace the World with You” by the Jiaxing Elementary School chorus who recently won the gold medal at the 31st International Franz Schubert Choir Competition. Their naturally wonderful voices charmed the audience and received thunderous applause.
During the ceremony, Dr. Yeh presented members of NIA Border Affairs Corps with a special mug designed by himself. The group of children pictured on the mug symbolizes the spirit of ethnic fusion and our respect for multiculturalism. Yeh also presented awards to the Border Affairs Corps as it was rated No.1 in the 2018 Best Airport Immigration, the Oscars in the aviation industry, by Skytrax, a British independent, non-profit research organization. In addition, Border Affairs Corps officer Mr. Lu was voted as the Best Flight Safety Service Ambassador for his good service and high popularity in an online competition held by Taoyuan International Airport Corporation.
According to the MOI, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications will provide financial support to the NIA for building a third generation e-Gate system. Taiwan will continue to build stronger cooperation and boost substantive exchanges with other countries, which will enable Taiwanese people to travel abroad with convenience and dignity.