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Passport application now easier
( 2003-08-21 07:03) (China Daily)

International travel will soon become more convenient for Beijing residents -- at least in terms of getting a passport.

Beijing residents apply for passport in a Public Security Bureau in Chaoyang District, Beijing. The application procedure will soon be simplified.[newsphoto.com.cn]

As of next month, the passport process at the municipal public security administration will become more hassle free.

After presenting their identification and residency cards and filling in a form, Beijing residents can receive a passport in only 10 days, according to sources with the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

In the past, people had to provide approvals from their employers in addition to their two cards. It also used to usually take 14 working days.

The existing requirements had caused problems for many people who did not want their employers knowing they were heading abroad or because they were afraid their employers would reject their request.

"In this (new) case, people have their privacy better protected than previously,'' said Li Jing, 24, who hopes to travel abroad frequently in the future.

The Beijing Public Security Bureau, which handles passport applications, has added more offices in Haidian and Chaoyang districts to better process applications.The existing office in Dongcheng District will increase its capacity to handle applications.

Also, the form that people are required to fill in can be downloaded from the bureau's website or picked up at one of the three offices.

A banner promotion for Beijing residents to apply for passport. [newsphoto.com.cn]

"The simplified process is going to save people time,'' said Su Qiang, an official with the bureau's Exit and Entrance Administration Department.

The bureau will even allow people to pick up their passports by using a courier, which means they can get it in eight working days, Sun said.

"However, there are still some people who cannot benefit from the new policy, considering national security and other interests,'' he said.

The department is now creating a database of people who will be restricted from using the new system.

China plans to extend this process to middle and large-sized cities before 2005.

The cities of Zhongshan, Shunde and Zhuhai in South China's Guangdong Province and Shanghai have already introduced the simplified system.

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