While the excitement of travel may make long waits tolerable,
reducing passengers’ waiting time is sure to alleviate travel fatigue.
Incheon Airport has various smart facilities, such as Self Check-In and Self Bag Drop services, to dramatically reduce boarding time and save passengers’ valuable time.
Today, we will tell you a way to get immigration clearance as quickly as Hi-pass on highways.
Clearance in just 12 seconds?
Usually, immigration clearance requires a face-to-face screening with the immigration officer. The officer checks your face and passport before you get cleared. This is called manned immigration.
There are four steps involved: first, wait in line in front of the immigration desk; second, take off your hat/sunglasses (no phone calls allowed while waiting); third, hand your passport over to the immigration officer; and fourth, receive your passport upon check and walk out through the gate.
However, automated immigration can replace face-to-face screenings! Automated immigration is an automated screening system which allows passengers to easily and conveniently complete the immigration process. It is also referred to as Smart Entry Service (SES), and it allows you to get immigration clearance without having to check with the officer face-to-face. Passengers can use this service by registering their passport and biometrics, including fingerprints and facial data.
What’s impressive is that you can complete immigration clearance in just 12 seconds! It has already been used by a hundred million passengers, and more than 50% of Koreans departing from and arriving to Korea have used it. Convenient? The numbers speak for themselves.
Who can use SES?
Let’s see who are eligible to use SES. Firstly, any Korean national aged 7 or older are eligible to use it.
Korean nationals aged 19 or older can use SES immediately without registering in advance. However, Korean nationals between the ages of 7 to 18 must register their passport and biometrics in advance, submit a family proof document and be accompanied by their parents.
If you are too young and must register, please visit the Registration Center. As for the location, you can find it in Terminal 1 across Check-in Counter H on the third floor near Departure Area 4. If you need further information, you can call +82-32-740-7400 for guidance. If you’re in Terminal 2, you can register at the Immigration Service Center at One-Stop Public Service (Ministry of Justice) on the second floor, or call +82-32-740-7367.
“Can my foreigner friend use it as well?”
Yes, of course. Foreigners can use SES, too. Registered foreigners (residence in Korea) aged 17 or older can use it without prior registration. Foreigner tourists aged 17 or older can also use it without prior registration if they have already provided their biometrics (facial and fingerprint data) when entering Korea.
① Place the page of your passport containing your personal information on the scanner.
② Enter when doors open.
③ Scan your registered fingerprint.
④ Look at the camera for facial recognition.
⑤ Walk out when the doors open.
You can use SES abroad!
SES can be used in five other countries: US, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and Germany. If you use this service, you do not need to wait in line to get immigration clearance in the aforementioned countries. You can get immigration clearance easily and quickly through SES!
If you want to use SES in other countries, you should register beforehand. For the US, Korean nationals aged 17 or older with multiple passports must be registered in SES in advance. You can register following these steps: ① Fill out an application form; ② Get a background check for criminal/investigation records; ③ Get background check confirmed by the Republic of Korea; ④ Pay the Global Entry (GE) fees; ⑤ Get background check confirmed by the United States; ⑥ Schedule an interview for GE registration; and ⑦ Conduct interview for GE registration. If you’ve successfully signed up for SES-GE, you will no longer need to wait in line for immigration clearance at US airports!
So, we’ve taken a look at Incheon Airport’s automated immigration clearance system. Incheon Airport is surely taking the lead as a smart airport through automation and cutting-edge technology. If you haven’t tried SES yet, be sure to try next time you go to Incheon Airport for your next travel!