Need a passport? Step one: Send a message on Line

The China Post
Date: January 20, 2017
By Joseph Yeh

Booking an appointment to apply for a passport is now as easy as sending a text.

The Line account of the Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Consular Affairs offers a 14-language translation service to help users communicate with locals during their overseas travel. (Joseph Yeh, The China Post)

The Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) is adding new features to its official account on the popular messaging app Line, which already offers emergency contact information to Taiwanese travelers.

Starting today, you can also hit up BOCA’s Line account for instant translation services and to reserve an in-person appointment to apply for a passport.

BOCA Director-General Agnes Chen (陳華玉) said that to offer a more comprehensive, one-stop service to passport holders, her bureau had worked with a private company to add extra features that officially go online today.

Line users can now message the BOCA account to reserve a time slot for applying for a passport, which would save them considerable time waiting at BOCA’s office.

Another new feature offers instant an translation service from Chinese into 14 languages so that users can communicate with locals during their overseas travel, especially in the event of an emergency, she said.

More than 750,000 users have added BOCA as a friend on Line since the bureau established its account on the free messaging service in May 2015.    [FULL  STORY]

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