Immigration extends operation hours at passport-issuing offices after outcry

Immigration extends operation hours at passport-issuing offices after outcry

It will deal with notification delays, issues with uploading photos, thumbprints, says DG

KUALA LUMPUR – The Immigration Department has extended operation hours at offices that issue passports across the country, following mounting public complaints on applying and renewing their passports.

According to Immigration Director-General Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the extension is expected to address issues related to notification delays after passport applications and issues with uploading photos and thumbprints.

“The extension will also address the issue of people not receiving numbers while they wait in line,” he said in a statement. Passport-issuing offices in Putrajaya, Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan, and Melaka are set to operate until 10pm while those in Penang, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, and Perlis will be open until 6pm.

Khairul added that the online appointment system for passport-issuing offices nationwide will be abolished effective today, with appointments obtained from the system no longer valid.

“All passport renewal arrangements nationwide must be made through the online system, except for new passport applications for senior citizens, disabled individuals, children under the age of 13, pilgrims, and students.”

Damaged or missing passport reports are also excluded from the online renewal system.

“Applicants with fingerprint problems can still continue their applications up to the payment section and then come to their selected office for fingerprint retrieval.

“Applicants are also allowed to make passport collections from other than the selected collector’s office, as long as it has not been printed.”

Besides that, all passport offices in Peninsular Malaysia will operate on Saturday from 8am to noon effective May 14, while those who will be performing their pilgrimages can bring their offer letter from Tabung Haji to special counters at any passport issuer office.

Khairul said that from April 1 to May 6, a total of 165,449 passports have been issued by the department, an increase from the 111,932 passports approved in March, with Putrajaya, Johor, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang being main contributors of the expanded figure.

He added that all Urban Transformation Centres in Peninsular Malaysia are set to operate until 10pm once approval has been obtained from the Finance Ministry.

Checks on Twitter saw many netizens complaining of inefficient service by the department, with some detailing their experience of waiting for extended hours for their new passport.

User @Axfyna claimed that she had stood in line at the Pudu UTC from 7am to 3pm, only to be turned away by an officer who told her that the office was no longer operating and to come back the next day to collect her passport.

“I was fasting and running low on sleep, I felt like my bones were going to break after queuing up for nearly eight hours.”

Similarly, user @aidilriza was shocked to find that only one counter is open for those collecting passports.

“The poor uncle behind me did not get a number but I have been here for two days and I urgently need my passport. However, I was unable to renew my passport since there is a thumbprint issue,” they said.

– DG

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