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MOFA plans to expand online passport service

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said it will soon expand an online reservation service to passport-applicants at the ministry's four branch offices nationwide.

MOFA's Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) launched a trial run in December 2013 to allow nationals to make online reservations before visiting the BOCA to file for passport applications at BOCA's headquarters in Taipei.

Nine months after the launch of the new project's trial run, BOCA said a total of 20,000 nationals have made use of the service.

Proven successful, BOCA said yesterday that it will expand such services to its four branches around the nation in Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien and Chiayi, starting tomorrow.

The latest service allows applicants to log onto BOCA's website to fill out all necessary information in applying for a passport.

After making an online reservation and choosing the time period during which one wishes to apply in person for the service, the applicant can then visit BOCA's headquarters in Taipei or any of the four branches with their ID card and required documents.

The applicant can then bring the printed form to a counter at a designated time to apply for his or her passport, BOCA said.

With the new service, applicants now know the exact time when they have to visit the BOCA office to file their passport applications.

Now it only takes about 10 minutes to finish the passport application process.

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

The process was time-consuming and very often one had to stand in a long line without knowing when the application procedure might be finished.

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