The Immigration Department wants to double the number of officers issuing SAR passports to cope with 160,000 applications for the travel document. The extra staff are needed to lift the current daily output of 2,000 passports to the 4,000 target set by senior officials. 'There's a large number of applications to process and we are trying to secure resources so we can reach the target of 4,000 a day,' Immigration Department spokesman Sunny Ho Yiu-sun said. Thousands of people queued to apply for the travel document in the weeks before the handover. The department's strategy involved deploying staff from other sections to the passport unit, Mr Ho said. Around 250 staff were employed processing SAR passports and the number would have to be doubled to reach the target should demand continue, he said. Processing has been hampered by a flood of applications - more than 10 per cent - with the applicants' photographs submitted with the wrong colour background. Problems were also caused by photographs which were pinned or stapled to applications, Mr Ho said. Meanwhile, the British Consulate has tried to allay concerns about the international acceptability of British National (Overseas) passports. Travellers have reported problems at immigration counters, especially in Europe, where officials doubt whether the travel document is still valid with Hong Kong no longer under British rule. 'There is no reason for third countries or BNO passport holders to have any doubts about the passports,' spokesman Bill Dickson said. He said document-holders had a good travel record - of 37 million trips overseas only 104 travellers had been sent back to Hong Kong.