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Taiwan increases passport production capacity as demand remains high

Consular bureau adds online application quota, service counter to facilitate process

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The Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to be flooded by passport applicants. (Chiayi City Government photo)

The Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to be flooded by passport applicants. (Chiayi City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As demand for passports continues to soar, the Bureau of Consular Affairs announced that in addition to launching a second production location, it will increase the online application quota to 2,200 a day.

During the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) routine press conference, the bureau’s Deputy Director General Chen Shang-yu (陳尚友) said the number of passport applications is high and continues to grow since Taiwan reopened its borders in October. He cited the bureau’s data as saying in March this year, the bureau received around 366,000 applications, far exceeding the number for the entire year of 2021.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen said, the bureau received only around 1.75 million applications a year, averaging under 200,000 a month. This means the current demand is more than double the norm.

In response to the high demand, MOFA has instructed the bureau to adopt measures to improve the process and set up an additional passport production location. The latter began operating on Wednesday (March 12), which, according to an earlier report, should add 4,000 passports per day to the production capacity.

Chen said the second production location will focus on passports for groups organized by travel agencies.

Additionally, to help applicants save time, starting Monday (April 17), the bureau will increase the daily online application quota from 2,000 to 2,200. Appointments for turning in application documents can be made starting Thursday (April 13), and the bureau will set up an extra online application service counter to accept them.