PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department will keep its counters open for passport applications throughout office hours.
Operation hours for passport applications at its offices nationwide are from 7.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays and from 8am to 1pm on weekends.
For passport counters at Urban Transformation Centres (UTC), operation hours start from 8am to 10pm daily, including Saturdays and Sun-days.
Immigration deputy director-general (Control) Datuk Sakib Kusmi, referring to complaints that applications submitted after lunch hour at certain offices were rejected just after the Hari Raya holidays, assured that applications were now accepted throughout operation hours and even during peak hours.
“Those who apply for passports during the afternoon are advised to claim their passports the next day or any other time.
“However, in most cases, we are able to process passport applications on the same day,” he told mStar Online yesterday.
Sakib also advised the public to plan when they wanted to apply for passports.
“Do not wait till the last minute to apply for a passport. Help us to help you so our service can be carried out more efficiently,” he said, adding that the department issued 1.4 million passports from January till August.
The average time taken to process a passport application is about an hour after payment is made.
Sakib also announced that the online passport renewal service had been temporarily stopped to facilitate improvements.
He said there were fears that the process could be abused by unscrupulous parties.
“Besides, there were cases of photographs uploaded which did not meet with the specifications of the department.
“Now, photographs for passports are taken at the immigration counter itself,’’ he added.