The e-Gate system, which can be used by citizens 14 years and over with valid passports and registered biometric data, was officially put into operation at international airports in Taoyuan County, Taipei and Kaohsiung and at the Kinmen Seaport after trial runs.
At a launch ceremony on Sunday, National Immigration Agency (NIA) Director-General Hsieh Li-kung said the system allows for faster immigration services and improved border security.
“It not only expedites immigration clearance, but it is also a safer system. In the past, it was more difficult to verify the biometric data of individuals. But border security is better safeguarded now with the use of biometric imaging and fingerprinting,” said Hsieh.
The e-Gate system, equipped with infrared ray sensors, facial recognition cameras and passport readers, can clear arriving travelers in 12 seconds by scanning the passenger’s passport and face or fingerprint. More than 170,000 citizens have registered biometric data, such as their facial features and fingerprints, at immigration counters at Taiwan’s gateways during the program’s trial run this year, according to NIA statistics. The agency plans to expand the system to include permanent residence holders and foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens in March.
Passengers must be at least 140 centimeters in height and must not be under a travel ban in order to register to use the system. Once the registration is accepted, it will remain valid permanently.