Taiwan opens fast-track passport e-Gates to Australian travellers

By Chris Chamberlin, December 10 2018
Taiwan opens fast-track passport e-Gates to Australian travellers

Aussie travellers jetting to Taiwan or stopping over in Taipei on journeys with China Airlines and EVA Air can now expedite their crossing at Taiwanese passport control by registering for access to the country’s automated e-Gates.

As Taiwan has no priority line or ‘express path’ system for business class passengers or top-tier frequent flyers, making use of the e-Gates can be a big timesaver during the airport’s peak periods, where waits of up to one hour for manual passport processing aren’t uncommon.

To use the e-Gates, Australian travellers will need a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of registration, and to visit the dedicated e-Gate Enrolment Counters at the airport, found next to the e-Gate lanes at passport control (before crossing the border).

Here, your photo will be taken and your index fingerprints scanned, and you’ll then have access to the e-Gates immediately and for the next five years on both arrival and departure at a range of Taiwanese airports.

That roster includes Taoyuan Airport – the main international airport for Taipei which serves all flights to and from Australia – along with Taipei's Songshan Airport, primarily catering to shorter flights across Asia, plus Taichung International Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport and Kinmen Shueitou Airport.

Using the e-Gates to enter and exit Taiwan

As you won't be manually processed by an immigration official at the border, you'll need to complete and submit a digital copy of the Taiwanese passenger card prior to your arrival, rather than completing a written form on your flight or at the airport.

This needs to be done every time you travel via Taiwan's National Immigration Agency website, so if you're a regular visitor to the country, be sure to bookmark that link.

You don't need to print your completed digital form, as the contents are submitted electronically and attached to your passport in advance of your intended border crossing.

Assuming you've completed that form online and are registered for the e-Gates, when you arrive in Taiwan, you'll begin by scanning your Australian passport's photo page at the e-Gate barrier.

There, you'll also have your photograph taken and a fingerprint scanned for verification, and assuming you're good to go, you'll be through to baggage claim in about 10 seconds – and the same procedure applies when departing Taiwan, although there's no departure card you need to complete.

Registering for the e-Gate program also means you’ll no longer receive entry and exit stamps in your passport when coming and going from Taiwan: a win for frequent travellers who are short on blank space within their passport, as Taiwan otherwise stamps for every crossing.

Read: Making your passport last longer when running out of pages

Previously, the only fast-track option for Taiwan available to Australian passport holders was the Speedy Immigration line, requiring pre-registration after visiting Taiwan a minimum of three times in the last 12 months: for which a printed access certificate also had to be carried, and border crossings were still processed manually.

The e-Gate system, on the other hand, does not require a minimum number of previous visits for registration, being part of a reciprocal deal with Australia that saw Taiwanese passport holders gain access to Australia’s inbound SmartGates.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

MKS111

MKS111

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2011

Total posts 85

It's disgraceful that this facility is still not available in Singapore. It's not as if the staff of an Embassy to a country whose GDP is less than NSW can have so much to do with their time that they cannot lobby for reciprocal access for e-passports. I'm aware it's available to regular travelers *if* separately registered but that's simply not good enough when Australia offers it to Singaporeans by default

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2939

If it's of any solace, Singapore recently changed the qualification rules for Australian passport holders to require only two visits in two years to register for the eIACS channel, which means travellers making one trip a year (even a holiday) can qualify after their second visit, with registration valid for a further five years. Certainly not as ideal as immediate access, but Singapore's system relies on fingerprints rather than photos, so they have to be collected via registration before the channel can be used, and they probably figured that it wasn't worth the hassle of enroling travellers who visit Singapore less than once per year.

(Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see it opened up to all Aussies, but changing the rules this year was a great start.)

eddies

eddies

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Aug 2014

Total posts 21

Taoyuan is always slow through customs both ways, so this is great news. They refurbed the terminal some years back, but didn’t sufficiently increase desks. They poorly manage resident vs alien desks, with resident volumes sailing through fast & not switching agent desks to processing visitor according to throughput volumes.

I have been visiting Taipei for 20 years, 3-4 times p.a. 2 years ago got APEC card, which is a dream compared to standing in the regular queues.

dkl0505

dkl0505

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 May 2017

Total posts 1

Thanks for the info!

Newbie question: I'm travelling to Korea in 3 mths time on China Airlines (first time flying with them) with a 3 hr stopover in TPE before flying onwards to Pusan.

Will I need to exit immigration for my 2nd flight, in which case the egate would be appropriate for me?

Thanks in advance!

Li

Li

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2018

Total posts 1

If the whole journey is booked under one ticket then you won't need to. Just get both boarding passes at checkin and get your baggage checked to your final destination. Upon landing in TPE you would just follow the signs for international transfer and head to the gate for your second flight.

Greg 64

Greg 64

09 Sep 2019

Total posts 1

Hi I find this service at Taiwan Airport the best bits easy to use and saves a lot of time after a flight i have use this service twice before and will again in Dec/Jan this year I say to fellow travelers sing up it quick and a great service

Big Thanks


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