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June 24, 2017

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New passport application policy officially begins as of this month

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A new passport application policy has officially been launched this month, allowing first-time passport applicants to be able to confirm their identity at any one of the nation's household registration offices.

The latest policy was officially launched on July 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) Director-General Kung Chung-chen (龔中誠) said at a news briefing yesterday.

Previously, first time R.O.C. passport applicants have had to confirm their identity only at the household registration offices located at the applicants' registered permanent residences.

They can also apply for passports in person at the BOCA's headquarters in Taipei and three branches around the nation in Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien and Chiayi, he added.

The old system proved inconvenient for those who work in cities or counties away from their registered permanent residences because they had to travel all the way back to their hometowns from their workplace just to file their passport applications, Tung noted.

To save both time and money for nationals, Kung said the BOCA has been talking with the Ministry of the Interior about amending the application process for years.

The newly amended policy means that passport applicants can now apply for a passport at any one of the 369 household registration offices nationwide.

This will also help to relieve the long waiting lines typically seen at BOCA's four offices around the country every day, he noted.

Chuanghua County's New Passport Policy

Meanwhile, Tung yesterday announced that southern Changhua County has launched a new policy to allow first-time passport applicants to submit their applications at the county's household registration offices starting on July 1.

Changhua County citizens need 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 county, he noted.

However, Tung pointed out 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 one still have to visit the BOCA headquarters or branches to do so, he noted.

The latest policy is also meant to save time and additional application fees for applicants.

Northern New Taipei City launched a similar policy this April.

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