Passport applications have nearly doubled since the release of a new design in January, with more than 90,000 applications received since then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The ministry on Jan. 11 released a new passport design that removed the English-language words “Republic of China” from the cover — but retained the Chinese-language equivalent — and featured the word “Taiwan” more prominently.
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19 last year, which restricted international travel, the number of passport applications dropped to about 800 per day, but that number has grown to an average of 1,354 per day since the ministry began issuing the new passport, it said.
Photo: Wang Chun-chi, Taipei Times
The increase was evidence of public support for the new design, and showed that people are already making preparations for when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, it said.
“As you can guess, there is going to be an explosion of demand for overseas travel when the pandemic is over,” Bureau of Consular Affairs Deputy Director Chou Chung-hsing (周中興) said.
“My advice is for people to take advantage of the current lull to get their passports early and avoid the crowds later on,” he added.
The bureau has received 93,420 applications for the new passports, he said, adding that there had been an average of only 794 applications per day between March and December last year.
Prior to the pandemic, the bureau saw an average of more than 7,000 applications per day, he said.
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