The Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) yesterday said that scribbling or deleting any official markings from Republic of China (ROC) passports would be considered tampering with official documents and passport holders who did so would be requested to apply for new ones.
ROC passports are official documents and any non-official markings that are added to them are strictly prohibited, BOCA Director-General Lo Yu-chung (羅由中) said.
Adding any extra markings or deleting official seals inside the passport could invalidate the travel document, he said.
Citing an example, Lo said there was a case in which an ROC passport holder was unable to get a visa from a foreign embassy because his passport contained a sticker inside the pages. The immigration official refused to issue the visa even after the sticker was peeled off because it left a mark on the page. The man had to apply for a new passport, Lo said.
In recent years, some Taiwanese travelers have developed the habit of collecting stamps from different tourist destinations in their passports as souvenirs. Others use their passports to collect autographs from celebrities. This would invalidate the passport, Lo said.
He said people who have defaced their passports might still be using them to travel, but he warned that this was not the norm, adding that the only reason they could still use them to travel was because customs officials had not yet discovered the defaced pages.
If a customs agent in Taiwan or a foreign country discovers that a passport has been tampered with, the passport will most likely be rejected and Ministry of Foreign Affairs personnel will not be able to help, Lo said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by