Fast lane

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By YU RAN in Shang­hai yuran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Some ex­pats will be al­lowed to use self-ser­vice im­mi­gra­tion lanes to en­ter China at a Shang­hai air­port.

It’s get­ting eas­ier for for­eign res­i­dents to en­ter China at Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port. As of Fri­day, some ex­pats will be al­lowed to use self-ser­vice im­mi­gra­tion lanes that cut long waits down to just sec­onds.

But there are cer­tain con­di­tions.

Only for­eign­ers with valid res­i­dence per­mits of more than six months are el­i­gi­ble. And they must be hold­ers of e-pass­ports, bio­met­ric pass­ports that store on elec­tronic chips data con­cern­ing their fa­cial fea­tures and fin­ger­prints.

In ad­di­tion, el­i­gi­ble for­eign­ers will have to put their fin­ger­prints on record.

But once they meet all th­ese con­di­tions, for­eign res­i­dents of China can use the self-ser­vice lanes to scan their pass­ports as well as scan their fin­ger­prints and faces — to com­pare with the data on the pass­port — and then get through the im­mi­gra­tion in­spec­tion within sec­onds.

The pro­gram is an ex­ten­sion of one that pre­vi­ously ap­plied only to Chi­nese cit­i­zens and for­eign­ers who have per­ma­nent res­i­dency visas in China.

“The greater range of the con­ve­nience pol­icy will ben­e­fit more pas­sen­gers ... who per­ma­nently work and live in Shang­hai with faster en­try through im­mi­gra­tion con­trol,” said Zhang Baoke, deputy di­rec­tor of the Shang­hai Air­port Im­mi­gra­tion In­spec­tion Sta­tion.

Naeim Mah­davi, a Cana­dian teacher who works at the High School Af­fil­i­ated with Shang­hai Jiao Tong Uni­ver­sity, had his fin­ger­prints recorded in the sys­tem so he can use the fast lanes in the fu­ture. He said he passes through im­mi­gra­tion at least four or five times a year.

“Some­times I ar­rive with my Chi­nese friends. They line up for just five min­utes to go through but it takes me much longer. Now I can just come straight through, and they

The greater range of the con­ve­nience pol­icy will ben­e­fit more pas­sen­gers ... who per­ma­nently work and live in Shang­hai.”

Zhang Baoke, the deputy di­rec­tor of the Shang­hai Air­port Im­mi­gra­tion In­spec­tion Sta­tion

don’t have to waste time wait­ing for me,” he said.

In2016, the Shang­hai Gen­eral Sta­tion of Im­mi­gra­tion In­spec­tion launched 12 new self-ser­vice lanes in Ter­mi­nal 1 at Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port, along with 15 self-ser­vice lanes pre­vi­ously in­tro­duced in Ter­mi­nal 2, to deal with the in­bound crowds of pas­sen­gers.

In the first half of this year, more than 1 mil­lion trav­el­ers passed through the self-ser­vice lanes, 60 per­cent more than in the same pe­riod last year.

The daily av­er­age num­ber of peo­ple us­ing the self-ser­vice lanes jumped from 3,000 to 7,000 in that time.

“We’re still col­lect­ing data to get ready for the in­tro­duc­tion of self-ser­vice lanes for both en­try and exit pas­sen­gers,” Zhang said.

In the past half, the in­bound and out­bound pas­sen­ger traf­fic in Shang­hai reached 28.5 mil­lion, a 15 per­cent year-onyear in­crease, an­dit is ex­pected to ex­ceed a record high of 40 mil­lion this year.

Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port also has seen inand out­bound pas­sen­ger traf­fic surge. Be­tween July 1 and Au­gust 18, im­mi­gra­tion con­trol at the air­port has han­dled 5.1 mil­lion pas­sen­gers, with a daily av­er­age of 105,000.

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