System revamp to cut queues for passports

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 19 Dec 2013

Crowds at the passport counter Immigration department in Putrajaya

PETALING JAYA: The days of lining up for a number and queueing up to renew your passport may soon be over. Everything can be done online under an extensive revamp of the Im­­migration Department’s My Im­­migration System.

The revamp, to be implemented by next year, promises to cut the crowds at Immigration counters, making the holiday rush for passports a thing of the past.

Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said the online passport renewal would allow citizens to collect the travel document at any of the department’s branches nationwide after it had been processed online and paid for via credit card.

They can even collect it at the KL International Airport before proceeding to check in for their flight.

Alias said the new features would significantly reduce the time spent on renewals.

Moving more transactions online to free up congested counters is in line with the department’s “Silent Office” concept.

On picking up passports at KLIA, Alias said the department would set up a branch at the airport’s main terminal which would enable consumers to make new passports or renew their passports on the spot.

“The branch is expected to be operational within two months.

“Travelling Malaysians, who have expired or damaged passports, can use the service before their flights,” he said.

Alias said the revamp was needed as the current system could not handle the huge increase in the number of passport applications, let alone online renewals.

The department has been issuing an average of 600,000 passports yearly since 1996, but the number more than doubled last year.

“We processed 2.3 million passports last year, and it has already reached that number so far this year,” he said.

“The online system will only cater for passport renewals and not for new passports as the latter requires the applicants to have their biometric information scanned at Immi­gra­tion offices,” he added.

Alias said the revamp would also enable the public to apply for visa and work permits online.

Welcoming the proposed changes, Fomca secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said people renewing their passports now took the numbers at the Immigration offices but could not get their travel documents on the same day.

He said a proper mechanism must be put in place to monitor the implementation of the new system to prevent any glitches or drawbacks in the future.

Related story:
System upgrade necessary to meet increasing demand

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