Check passport before travel: BOCA
The Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) yesterday reminded Taiwanese travelers who wish to travel abroad during the ongoing summer vacation to check their passport’s validity.
Travelers must have at least six months’ validity remaining on their passport, or they may be denied entry by foreign countries during their overseas visits, BOCA chief secretary Elaine Chen (
) said during a regular news briefing.
Each country has their own rules but in general authorities in other countries could deny entry of a foreign national if his or her passport has less than six month validity before the expiration date, Chen said.
Chen made the reminder in response to complaints made by many Taiwanese travelers about the rule since Japan Customs does not have such regulations and only stipulates that passports must be valid for the intended period stay in Japan.
Posting complaints online, some Taiwanese travelers said local airliners have been denying tourists whose passport had less than six month’s validity to board planes to Japan.
These airlines often claim that they do so because BOCA has stipulated that one has to have a passport with more than six month’s validity to travel to Japan.
BOCA has no authority in asking local airliners to stop Taiwanese visitors from visiting Japan just because their passport will expire soon, Chen said.
“We are simply making a reminder to nationals that they could be rejected entry by foreign border control officials if their passport validity is less than six months,” she said.
Japan’s regulation on passport validity is indeed not as strict as in many other countries, Chen noted.
But she also said that a customs official has the right to reject en-
of try of a foreign visitor if he or she finds the visitor’s passport is about to expire for fear that the visitor could end up overstaying in the country.
It would be safer for a traveler to have a passport with longer validity remaining before visiting any other countries, she said.
One can file for passport renewals at BOCA headquarters in Taipei or BOCA’s branch offices nationwide if they find their passports are expiring soon, she added.
R.O.C. passport holders enjoy visa-free entry for a stay up to 90 days to Japan, one of the top travel destination for Taiwanese.
According to a statistics released by the Interchange Association Japan ( ), Japan’s de facto embassy in Taiwan, Taiwanese accounted for the largest group of foreign visitors to Japan in 2014.
A total of 2.82 million Taiwanese nationals visited Japan in 2014, marking the third consecutive year that the number has set a historic high.