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Taiwan set to join U.S. Global Entry program

2017/10/24 22:21:22

CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Taiwanese passport holders will soon be able to enjoy speedy entry into the United States through the U.S. Global Entry program, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said Tuesday.

Eligible Taiwanese who have obtained U.S. approval beforehand will be able to use the Global Entry program, meaning they can enter major U.S. airports without waiting in long lines for immigration checks, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The offer of Global Entry is being reciprocated by Taiwan, which will allow pre-approved U.S. visitors to Taiwan the opportunity to use Taiwan's E-Gate program, likewise enabling them to avoid long lines at Taiwan immigration.

A ceremony to announce the launch of the bilateral agreement will be held at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Thursday, according to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

The event will include the presence of AIT Director Kin Moy (梅健華), and Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA) Director-General Jeff J. Yang (楊家駿), AIT said.

In April last year, representatives of the U.S. and Taiwan signed a joint statement regarding Taiwan's participation in the Global Entry program, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the U.S.

Citizens from the participating countries may clear U.S. immigration by using the automated kiosks at 47 U.S. airports and 13 other pre-clearance locations, according to MOFA.

Under the Global Entry program, Taiwanese passport holders will be eligible to apply for the automated immigration clearance system through the Global Online Enrollment System, for a fee of US$100.

Based on the principle of reciprocity, U.S. passengers applying for e-Gate service will also have to pay NT$3,000.

Taiwan's e-Gate system, which was implemented at airports and harbors in January 2012, uses facial image and fingerprint verification technology to identify travelers leaving and entering the country.

(By Elaine Hou and Ko Lin)