Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution has announced that in order to ease congestion, the immigration department will open 20 of its passport issuance offices for seven days a week instead of the current six days. This decision was apparently made to tackle the issue of congestion in passport issuance offices as demand continues to skyrocket.
The new operating hours will go into effect starting from 27 January, with the select offices operating from 8AM to 7PM on weekdays and from 8AM to 12.30PM on weekends. The 20 branches in question are Menara Ikhlas in Putrajaya, Jalan Duta and Wangsa Maju in Kuala Lumpur; Shah Alam, Kelana Jaya, Kajang, Puchong, Port Klang, Kuala Selangor, and Kuala Kubu Baru in Selangor; Setia Tropika, Kulai, Muar, Kluang, and Batu Pahat in Johor; Taiping and Teluk Intan in Perak; Seberang Jaya in Penang, Ayer Keroh in Melaka, and Kulim in Kedah.
The select immigration offices will be operating on the weekends in addition to Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) which already operate seven days a week. That being said, it seems that the weekday closing time of UTC centres in states aside from Perlis, Pahang, Terengganu, and Kedah will be reduced from 9PM to 7PM starting 27 January.
Last week, Saifuddin revealed that the immigration department had seen a 25% increase in passport applications compared to pre-COVID times, with over 2.5 million international passports issued last year, up from two million in 2019. By mid-January of this year, the department had already issued 156,711 passports.
The department also opened a passport office at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) last week, which will handle emergency cases as well as regular applications. Other steps taken to ease congestion at its offices include the addition of passport printing machines at popular branches and the improvement of its online appointment system.
(Source: Saifuddin Nasution/Facebook, Immigration Department)
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