Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) Taiwan and Italy formally announced mutual access on automated immigration clearance Thursday, making Taiwan the eighth non-European Union country granted the privilege by Italy.
Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), Taiwan's Interior Minister, and Davide Giglio, head of the Italian Economic, Trade and Cultural Promotion Office in Taipei, made the announcement at a ceremony held alongside a border management seminar in which more than 200 international guests participated.
The measure, which allows Taiwanese and Italian travelers to clear immigration using the e-Gate system in each other's airports, was actually implemented in June, but was only formally announced Thursday.
Taiwan is the eighth non-EU country to enjoy the privilege, joining the United States, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Israel, Hsu said.
Taiwanese passport holders can enter Italy without needing to apply beforehand for a visa by simply scanning their passport and going through facial and fingerprint recognition at immigration, he said.
Italian holders of biometric passports with six months' validity and no criminal record can likewise apply for e-Gate service at major airports and seaports in Taiwan, Hsu said.
According to the Ministry of Interior, Taiwan has allowed travelers from the U.S., South Korea and Australia to enter Taiwan using the e-Gate system for the past two years. As of the end of August, more than 210,000 travelers from these countries have registered to use the service.