Dessy Sagita | February 19, 2013
The Jakarta Globe
Indonesia’s immigration department announced on Tuesday that it has launched a same-day service for passport renewal and will implement one-day service for new passport issuances in an effort to eliminate illegal services offered by officials and scalpers.
“All of this has to be put into effect this year,” Maryoto Sumadi, a spokesman for the immigration office, told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.
“With this instant service, we hope that we will eliminate all of the loopholes often cited by people who promise to provide faster service so the public won’t have to spend unnecessary funds, since the standard services will be much faster.”
He added that the immigration office had acknowledged that many people were complaining about the illegal services provided by immigration officials and scalpers for a fee.
“I can’t deny that some of our officials have committed illegal acts by offering instant services for people who are in a hurry. This practice has been used by some officials and scalpers to squeeze money out of impatient applicants,” Maryoto said.
Getting a new passport or having it renewed currently takes a week or more.
Maryoto said the first stage of the same-day passport renewal program had only been implemented at the Central Jakarta and West Jakarta immigration office to date. The two offices, however, have not yet rolled out the service for people applying for a new passport.
“During this period, the immigration offices in Central and West Jakarta will focus on providing same-day service for passport renewal. People who wish to receive a new passport can go to another immigration office,” Maryoto said.
He noted that if the same-day service in the two Jakarta offices was successful, the immigration department would soon implement the same service at all immigration offices nationwide.
“At the same time, we are preparing to provide one-day service for new passports, where you can go to the office today and pick up your passport the next day. With the new system, people will come to our office and we will verify their data and identity in less than six hours,” he said.
“They can pick up their passport the next day, and they won’t have to deal with illegal scalpers.”
Maryoto declined to say when the immigration offices in West and Central Jakarta would operate normally.
“We will let you know if the pilot project has been successful. In the meantime, please enjoy the same-day service for passport renewal at these two offices,” he said.