Taiwan will launch online passport application services soon

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to launch an online service that allows passport applicants to fill in their personal information and make an appointment to apply for a new passport, an official said Tuesday.

The online service, which will be launched Dec. 24, is aimed at providing more convenient services, said Kung Chung-chen, director-general of the ministry's Bureau of Consular Affairs, at a regular news briefing.

The new service will allow applicants to fill in their information on the website and make a reservation online for a specific time to visit the bureau's headquarters in Taipei to finish the procedures in person to obtain a new passport or renew expiring passports, the bureau official said.

Applicants can choose a preferred time period in which they plan to visit the bureau, the bureau official said, adding that it should not take more than 20 minutes to finish the application procedure.

Currently, applicants need to visit the bureau's offices around the country and fill their application forms there. Sometimes they need to stand in a long line and spent a lot of time there to finish the procedure, the official said.

In the first stage of the new initiative, the bureau will open a new counter to deal with online application reservations, Kung said, adding that the counter will be up and running Dec. 27.

"The bureau plans to expand the service to its offices in central and southern Taiwan in the middle of next year," he added. 

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