TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese citizens on Monday (Jan. 11) could begin applying for the newly designed passport, which features "Taiwan" prominently on the cover, and those who come on the first day can choose from two promotional gifts.
On July 22 of last year, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan passed a resolution to emphasize "Taiwan" over "China" on both the name of the nation's flagship carrier and its passport. On Sept. 3, the Cabinet revealed that the new passport cover significantly reduced the font size of "Republic of China" (中華民國) and integrated it in the national emblem while greatly enlarging the word "Taiwan" and placing it directly above the word "passport."
In order to attract people to change their passports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated that as long as they go there on the first day that applications are accepted, they will be given a choice of two limited-edition gifts: a spring couplet and a luggage tag that reads "peace and safety" in Mandarin.
Limited-edition gifts. (CNA photo)
On Monday, a man surnamed Chen (陳), who started waiting outside the Consular Affairs Bureau starting at 3 a.m. in the morning, was the first to arrive. He entered the Bureau of Consular Affairs at about 6:30 and became the first person to complete an application, reported Newtalk.
Applicants who arrived before 12 p.m. that day will have a chance to receive the first 100 numbered passports. The winners are set to be announced after a drawing is held in the afternoon.
Taiwanese nationals need not change their passports immediately as they can continue to use the old ones until they reach their expiration date. In addition, the fee to apply for the new passports will remain unchanged from the past at NT$1,300 (US$46) for adults and NT$900 for children under the age of 14. The application conditions and procedures remain the same as well.
Foreign minister Joseph Wu holding sample of new passport. (CNA photo)
Passport with limited-edition gifts. (CNA photo)