• Directory of Taiwan

Taiwanese denied entry by Singapore for passport 'changes'

Taiwanese denied entry by Singapore for passport 'changes'

Three Taiwanese nationals have been denied entry in Singapore because they placed stickers advocating Taiwan's independence on their passports that made it hard to verify the passports' authenticity, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received notification that three Taiwanese were rejected entry by Singaporean immigration officers late last month after arriving at Changi Airport, said Chen Shang-yu, director of the Passport Administration Division of the ministry's Bureau of Consular Affairs at a news briefing.

The reason given, Chen said, was the "Taiwan Passport Sticker" on their passports.

The Taiwanese nationals called Taiwan's representative office in Singapore for help, but Singaporean immigration officers can decide independently whether to allow entry and there was little Taiwanese officials based in Singapore could do to help, Chen said.

Even though two of the Taiwanese nationals expressed the willingness to remove the stickers, Singaporean immigration officers still denied their entry, Chen added.

The ministry said it has sent the formal format, content and design of the existing Taiwanese passport to authorities of other countries to help them verify the authenticity of the passport.

Making unauthorized changes, adding additional stamps or any other items to one's passport can make it difficult for immigration officers of other countries to verify the document's authenticity and increase the holder's risk of being denied entry, the ministry said.

Chen stressed that a passport is an official document that shows one's identity when traveling abroad, and he urged Taiwanese nationals to abide by regulations on the use of passports, which forbid any unauthorized changes. (By Tang Pei-chun and Elaine Hou)