TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The new edition of the Taiwanese passport — with a design emphasizing the word “Taiwan” on the cover — will launch on Jan. 11, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Those who submit their passport applications to the Consular Bureau headquarters in Taipei or one of MOFA’s three regional offices by noon on Jan. 11 are eligible to receive one of the first 100 numbered passports, said the ministry via a press statement on Monday (Nov. 30). Winners will be selected through computer drawings that afternoon.
In addition, whoever files their application in person on Jan. 11 will receive a small gift from the ministry. Every passport holder can apply for the new version even if their current one is not nearing expiration.
Taiwanese can still use their current passports until they expire. The ministry has notified the relevant international parties about the new passport cover, including foreign governments, custom services at ports and airports, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and airline companies.
The Cabinet unveiled the new design for the passport cover in September, with the country’s formal name, “Republic of China,” shrunk down to fit into a concentric circle that encloses the national emblem. "Taiwan" was enlarged and put at the center under the emblem.
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said at the time that the new design would prevent the Taiwanese passport from being confused with China's. As countries imposed travel restrictions on China in early February in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus, a number of tourist groups and individual travelers from Taiwan were reportedly denied entry even though the restrictions did not target Taiwan, Wu said.