Taiwan ROC has introduced a Frequent Visitor scheme where those who visited the country at least 3x in the past 12 months can register and use a designated ‘Express Immigration Lane’ for future visits.
This program will not extend to the electronic gates but rather supply frequent visitors with special counter to line up at after a successful online registration for the program.
There seems to be a high pitched effort in getting the immigration lines more orderly and under control as they can be rather chaotic at times. Just last week I wrote about Taiwan and the U.S. now accepting their mutual trusted traveler programs eGates and Global Entry (see my article here) allowing each others citizens to register for it.
Now the Frequent Visitor Program called NIA Speedy is live and allows foreign visitors who arrived in Taiwan and cleared immigration at least 3 times during the previous 12 months to enroll.
You can access the enrollment website here.
The website lines out the requirements and instructions for participation:
1. Foreign frequent visitors, employees of mainland Chinese non-profit institutions and airline companies, or reporters stationed in Taiwan who visited R.O.C. at least 3 times in the past 12 months can apply to National Immigration Agency via the internet for approval to use speedy inspection counter to clear immigration.
2. Approved holders are eligible to use Speedy Immigration Counter designated by National Immigration Agency (NIA) at international airports and seaports. NIA may ask approved holders to proceed to other counters for the purpose of clearing passport inspection.
3. Please print this certificate and submit it along with your valid passport and Arrival Card for immigration inspection. Hong Kong and Macau, mainland chinese residents and visitors NOT coming from visa exemption countries are required to apply Entry and Exit Permit or visa before entry.
4. This certificate does not confer holder any right of entry to or exit from R.O.C.(Taiwan).Holder’s entry to or exit from R.O.C.(Taiwan) is governed by the Immigration Act and related regulations.
5. This certificate shall be used only by the holder himself, and valids for one year.
6. Please reapply when a new passport is issued.
It sounds like a bit of a mess to be honest. Having to carry a printed certificate with you all the time in order to use the special immigration lane? Sure, you can just fold it and place it in your travel wallet or laptop bag but this seems to be a rather impractical solution. Why not just attach a sticker to the passport like Hong Kong does it or issue a card like Japan?
The enrollment process is very simple, you first just enter your personal details:
Then you continue with details about your passport and travel history, outlining the previous 3 visits to Taiwan to verify eligibility:After confirming everything you’ll then be able to print an electronically issued certificate and use it to proceed to the Speedy Immigration counter upon your next arrival in Taiwan.
The speedy inspection counter is the counter next to the official counter or the official counter in each Airport.
I’m assuming that refers to the counter for Diplomatic arrivals so keep an eye open for that. I’d almost expect them to merge this together with APEC Travel Card passengers. We shall see.
I really like to visit Taiwan but their immigration and airport facilities aren’t managed very well to say the least. It’s pretty chaotic and even this website has plenty of confusing information, in the very least the description isn’t very good at all.
This program is a welcome alternative to the Trusted Traveler eGate program I wrote about because it is actually free compared to the NT$ 3000 fee for the electronic gates. The three visits within 12 months are mandatory though and you’ll get an error message if the dates don’t match on the application.