On Wednesday, Taiwan’s top legislative body, the Legislative Yuan, approved an amendment to the law to allow stickers to be placed on passport covers.
There has been controversy in recent months about a pro-independence campaign encouraging citizens of Taiwan to affix stickers to the covers of their passports, replacing the wording “Republic of China” with “Republic of Taiwan”. This has resulted in two Taiwanese travellers being denied entry into Hong Kong, on the grounds that their passports had been altered without permission. Several Taiwanese citizens were also denied entry into Macau and Singapore for similar reasons.
The Taiwanese ministry previously announced last November that it would be amending the Enforcement Rules of the Passport Act, banning alterations to the passport. However, the section about altering passport covers will now be removed.
Taiwanese Legislator Freddy Lim Chang-zuo, who supported the amendment, said in a Legislative Yuan meeting after the amendment was passed: “You may receive trouble [abroad], but our own ministry of foreign affairs will no longer make things difficult for its own citizens.”
Kung Chung-chen, Director General of the Bureau of Consular Affairs said that Taiwanese passport holders may be told to refrain from putting stickers on their passport covers, but they will no longer require those who have such stickers on their travel documents to leave a record of their personal details with border officials.