I finally dragged my lazy ass to the immigration today. I took a short notice leave since my boss is not in town. Been searching on another place to renew my passport as I was told, the Wangsa Maju branch is always packed now. Not sure if it’s because so many people went there after reading reviews on blogs.
Here’s a really good write up on the renewal of passport Malaysia by Ciki of CCfoodtravel. However, as of March 2014, there’s no need to take photographs anymore. It will be like applying for a new IC. Our photos would be taken on the spot! How nifty is that?
I read on when to avoid applying for passport and it was mentioned to avoid Mondays, Fridays, eve of Public Holidays and a day after Public Holidays and during school holidays. Since today is the eve of Wesak Day, I was apprehensive to go. But I’ve been having nightmares literally every night… dreams of not having valid passport to travel (I am traveling to Bandung this July) and also, immigration dept is closed down forever.. So, I guess I have to go today to avoid all the nonsense nightmares. Haha.
I arrived at the turning into KDN at 6.35 am and found a long stretch of cars lining up to go into the gate. I haven’t been to this place before so I drove up to check it out only to find that, there were so many cars stopping in front of me, so I shouldn’t be cutting queue and double parked my car. So, I took a U Turn from the Istana at the end of the road to go back to the line behind all the cars. I asked an immigration officer on a motorbike what time the gate would open, he politely told me 7.00 am and told me to queue up.
Since I was wee early, I just sat in the car, enjoying the air conditioning and praying really hard that nobody would come and hit my car on the back.. since I was already at the junction of the very long “car” queue! So I put on double signal to alert passing cars that I am stopping at the edge of the junction.
Thankfully, at 6.50 am, they opened the gates for us. We just followed and tailed the cars to go inside the main complex. It was a good thing that Ciki took photo of the building so I could identify the building. I parked right in front of the building. As I was parking, I could see people literally RUNNING to the main building! It felt like a movie – some disaster movie or some kind of Hunger Games going on. Haha.
So, I also ran like the rest.. more like took hurried steps into the building. I knew the immigration dept is on 1st floor so I went straight to 1st floor. I was shocked to see the beeline of people and cursed myself silently for not taking advice on the internet seriously on not to go on Monday! A girl in front of me asked a lady if the line was to apply for passport. The lady said no and told us to go downstairs. So I followed the girl downstairs. Mana tau… we bumped into two other ladies who also asked around where to go to renew passport and was told to go up to first floor again!
We followed the two other ladies to go upstairs. True enough. We should go to the other office right opposite the beeline of people! Am so glad that it was still empty! There were only a handful of people as opposed to the beeline of people who are there to renew their foreign workers visa!
So people, at the escalator from the main door, just go up first floor and turn left. You will get to the immigration door!
I waited there with others, lining up when a gentleman and a lady came to line up behind me. They asked if they should get photographs after taking number or would they need a photocopy of IC? Is there any forms required? I told them, you don’t need such things anymore. You only need:-
1. Your IC.
2. Your old passport.
3. RM300 cash (for 5 years and RM100 for 2 years).
Thanks, Ciki!! It’s good to come prepared!
So we chatted while in the line till we get our respective numbers. I got number 1006! Way to go! Number 6!
By the time we got our numbers and seated, it was already 7.41 am. I think the office opened a little late today. There weren’t many officers working as I guess they probably took the day off as well to get a long, extended weekend till tomorrow! So I prayed that this won’t hampered the flow of the service.
I got all things done by 8.03 am – Get ready your passport, your queue number, your IC and the officer would processed your application. NO NEED to fill up any forms. They used your passport and IC to verify your identity, get your both thumbprints and then, automatically, they printed out the application forms with your photo on your IC together with a new photo taken with an attached camera at the counter! One downside though… you will guarantee looking like crap! I think 9/10 of my friends complained about their new passport photographs. Haha!
Please note to wear dark colored clothes – since the background would be white. Those wearing head scarves and tudungs, should be wearing darker colored ones as well. They provided a dark colored tudungs for you if you are not prepared. They even have a mirror at their desk for you to check out your hair or for you to freshen up! Haha!
And then, the payment counter was opened and numbers were called rather swiftly to pay. After payment, they would return your IC to you and told you to come back in a hour’s time to collect your passport. So, I went to the cafeteria with my new friends and had a good chat about travels, cultures and traditions. It was quite a good thing to learn from others. How time flies. In about 40 minutes, we decided to go back to check on our passports. Indeed, I managed to collect my passport by 9.10 am!
All in all, it was indeed a good experience today at KDN Hartamas. The parking was rather full today. So I guess it’s true that many people would come on a Monday… so if you want to get your passport faster than me – perhaps you can try to go on non peak seasons like middle of the week or after school holidays! Good luck!
For more read up on terms and conditions, you can check out this website.