On Monday, the United States and Taiwan came to an agreement over a new program that aims to expedite travel between the two nations. Joseph Donovan, the managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan and Shen Lyu-shun, the representative for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, signed the co-operation agreement at the AIT’s Washington offices in a short ceremony.
The International Expedited Traveler Initiative will, when implemented, be capable of allowing low-risk, pre-approved travelers to fast track through immigration and customs in the two countries. In Taiwan, it will be referred to as the E-gate program while the United States will know it as the Global Entry program. A statement released by the American Institute in Taiwan says that there has been a strong foundation of ties between people in the United States and Taiwan for more than 30 years now.
Taiwan began to participate in the Visa Waiver Program in 2012 and since then there has been travel between Taiwan and the United States has more than doubled, with the US now being the fifth most popular tourist destination for Taiwanese tourists.
AIT has released a fact sheet that explains the streamlining of the screening process at American airports that will be available to trusted travelers from countries including the United Kingdom and Canada because of Global Entry, thus allowing customs officials to concentrate their attention on more uncertain subjects, while the E-Gate program in Taiwan will offer streamlined immigration clearance. The new program is likely to begin operation before the close of 2016.