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MOFA intends expansion of online passport service

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to expand an online service allowing Taiwanese citizens to make an appointment to apply for a passport later this year, according to ministry officials.

The online service is aimed at providing more convenience for applicants and reducing the time they spend waiting in line, said officials with the ministry's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

The service, launched at the bureau's headquarters in Taipei last December, enables users to fill in their information on the bureau's website and make an appointment to visit the Taipei office to complete the process of obtaining a new passport or renewing an expired passport, the bureau said.

Once the service is extended to other parts of Taiwan in August, users will be able to make appointments at the bureau's offices in Taichung, Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Hualien, Michael Yiin, deputy director-general of bureau, told CNA recently.

The bureau said it should take no more than 20 minutes to finish the application procedure.

Before the service was launched, applicants needed to visit the bureau's headquarters or other offices, fill in application forms there, and then wait in sometimes long lines, a bureau official said.

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