Taiwan upgrades website to expedite passport applications
Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Taiwan is adding some new features to its passport application website to allow the upload of digital photos, starting next month, in an effort to save time, the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) said Thursday.
The new photo upload feature, to be added on June 1, will detail the specifications of the passport photos, which can be uploaded by the applicants before they take their applications to a BOCA office, the bureau's deputy head Hsueh Shu-mei (薛秀媚)said at press briefing in Taipei.
"This will help prevent rejection of the applicant's paperwork due to problems with the photo specifications," Hsueh said.
If the uploaded passport photo is accepted on the website, there will be no need for the applicant to bring two physical photos to the BOCA office when they submit the application, which will save time and printing costs, Hsueh said.
Currently, all passport applications must be submitted in person at BOCA offices, either by the applicant or someone designated to act on their behalf, but the form can be completed online and printed.
The supporting documents include two photos and a national identification card, or a household certificate for applicants under the age of 14.
While the new feature will allow the upload of digital photos, applicants will still have to submit the application form and ID card at a physical BOCA office, Hsueh said.
People can use the website to download or fill out the application form and make appointments for submission of the application, which will save time, instead of completing the form onsite and queuing up to submit it, she said.
BOCA's goal is to expedite the passport application process, in anticipation of a spike in overseas travel, if Taiwan's border controls are eased in the second half of the year, as expected, according to Hsueh.
During a legislative hearing on May 9, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the country's border regulations may be eased with effect from July, when the number of domestic COVID-19 infections is expected to be on the decline.
Currently, all travelers arriving in Taiwan, with few exceptions, are required to quarantine for seven days, after which they must observe self-health management for another seven days, according to Taiwan Centers for Disease Control.
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