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Attention brought to passport application

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official recently reminded New Taipei citizens that only first-time applicants can file for R.O.C. passports at the city's household registration offices.

Those who need to renew their passports or apply for a new passport after losing their old ones still have to visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) or MOFA's offices around the country, BOCA Director-General Kung Chung-chen (龔中誠) told The China Post.

Kung's comment came after New Taipei City recently announced a new policy to allow first-time passport applicants to do so at the city's household registration offices starting on April 1.

However, many citizens were unaware that the latest policy only applies to those who apply for passport for the first time, Kung noted.

He also reminded citizens to prepare related documents, including their R.O.C. ID card and passport application form as well as two 2-inch colored photos before filing for the application at the registration offices around the city.

According to BOCA, around 200 New Taipei citizens per day have taken advantage of the latest policy since its launch earlier this month.

New Taipei City previously said the latest policy is meant to save time and additional application fees for applicants.

The new service will serve as a single window for applicants. The household registration offices will send the applications to MOFA and will notify the applicants when their passports have arrived.

Meanwhile, Kung said a newly launched service to allow nationals to make online reservations before visiting BOCA to file passport applications is running smoothly.

“The trial run will continue for a few months, and if everything goes well the bureau will expand the range of the services to BOCA's other offices around the country this July,” he noted.

Previously, applicants had to visit one of BOCA's offices around the country if they wished to apply for a passport renewal or a new passport.

With the new service that took place since last December, applicants who made reservation online first now know the exact time when they can visit the BOCA office to file their applications.

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