Sat, Feb 26, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Passport applicants could win plane tickets, MOFA says

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese who apply for passports in person between Tuesday and the end of June will have their names entered in a lucky draw for a chance to win round-trip plane tickets to Singapore or Tokyo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Between next month and June, 100 passport applicants per month will win either NT$1,000 in convenience store certificates or air tickets, Bureau of Consular Affairs Director-General Thomas Chen (陳經銓) said.

The move is part of the ministry’s efforts to encourage people to apply in person for passports at the bureau in Taipei and three other offices or to confirm their identity at 124 household registration offices nationwide.

At present, about 65 percent of passport applicants simply give their paperwork and photographs to their travel agents, who complete the application process for them, a system that is ripe for exploitation.

While it is convenient for people to have their passport applications handled by travel agents, it is difficult for the government to ensure that photographs submitted are actually those of the applicants, Chen said.

From July 1, anyone applying for a passport for the first time will be required to apply in person, he said, adding that the 369 household registration offices nationwide will handle the applications.

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