Why You Should NOT Walk In To Renew Your Passport!

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If you are planning to renew your international passport, please DO NOT just walk into a passport office!

You will most likely be rejected, because most applicants are NO LONGER allowed to walk in!


Warning : Most People CANNOT Walk In To Renew Passport!

Ever since Malaysia announced the reopening of the international borders, everyone has been rushing to renew their passports.

Initially, passport renewals required prior appointments, but that was abandoned after appointments stretched to August and beyond.

People were allowed to walk in, but that led to a massive surge of people queuing for hours at Immigration offices. So the government announced two major measures, from 11 May 2022 onwards :

Extended Operating Hours

The Immigration Department announced extended operating hours to cope with the demand :

  • Until 10 PM : Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, and Melaka
  • Until 10 PM : All UTC (Urban Transformation Centre) outlets in peninsular Malaysia
  • Until 6 PM : Penang, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, and Perlis
  • 8 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday : All passport offices in peninsular Malaysia (from 14 May onwards)

Walk-In Limited To Certain Groups

They also announced that only certain groups will be allowed to walk-in to renew their passports :

  • People applying for a new passport
  • Senior citizens (60 years and older)
  • Special needs individuals (must bring Social Welfare Department registration card)
  • Children who are less than 13 years old
  • People planning to perform the Haj (must bring the Tabung Haji offer letter)
  • Students (less than 21 years old) planning to study overseas
  • People who lost their passports (will require a police report)
  • People with damaged passports

Everyone else will have to renew their passports online!

Read more : How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!


Why You Should NOT Walk In To Renew Your Passport…

Since I first published this article, I spoke to other people who tried to walk in and renew passports, only to be turned away.

Based on my own experience (see below), I can attest that the Immigration officers are dead serious about turning people away.

If you are not in the list of people permitted to renew passports on-the-spot, please don’t waste your time. You will only waste your time queuing up, only to be rejected. Try to renew your passport online instead.

Recently, a video clip went viral, showing a security guard demanding that reporters leave the crowded Pudu UTC passport centre. While such aggression is uncalled for, it shows the amount of pressure and tension surrounding this issue.

Every day, hundreds of people queue up at passport centres for hours, posing a real risk as social distancing is completely impossible. Most will be turned away.

If you are renewing a child’s passport or applying for a new one, the unwritten rule is that they will allow one parent to renew his/her passport as well. But this is not a guarantee. It is at the officer’s discretion, and subject to the number of walk-in slots they have left.

Even if you qualify for on-the-spot passport renewal, you should be aware that every passport office will give out a limited number of slots per day. Once those slots are filled, everyone else will be asked to go home.

So make sure you go early in the morning. Preferably you should arrive 30-60 minutes before the passport office opens. Some told me that they queued up as early as 6:30 AM in the morning!

Preferably you should try to go on weekdays, as parents with school-going children have no choice but to go on weekends.

I would also recommend you go to smaller passport offices, especially in UTCs or those located in covered buildings. Imagine if you have to wait in the hot sun for hours!


How I Managed To Walk In To Renew My Passport!

Now, let me share with you my recent experience of walking into the Sentul Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) passport office to renew my passport.

We had earlier planned to renew our passports at the Sentul UTC, where there was no need to queue (pre-pandemic), so I was able to go in and come out with a brand new passport within an hour!

We went to the Sentul UTC early on a Saturday morning – arriving 40 minutes before they opened at 8 AM. By then, there was already a long queue of at least 50 people in front of us!

Some eventually left after reading the notice on the door, which stated that only certain groups would be allowed to walk-in to renew passports.

Expect to spend several hours, so please bring some water and food to eat and drink while you wait. Please note that you are not allowed to eat inside the passport office.

How I Managed To Walk In To Renew My Passport!

The Immigration office opened at 8 AM sharp, and people started filing in. Within minutes, we could see some people leaving, looking dejected.

As we got closer to the counter, we could see the Immigration officer rejecting some applicants, and giving others their queue numbers. It was a very stressful experience for everyone queuing up because no one knows if they would be rejected or allowed to proceed.

By the time we got to the counter, it was already 8:45 AM. The officer asked us why we were not renewing our passports online. Fortunately, my passport was water damaged, and our son was less than 13 years old.

My wife though did not have a valid reason, but it appears that they will allow one parent accompanying a child to renew his/her passport too, so she was allowed to renew hers as well.

Again, I need to stress – this is at the officer’s discretion, and subject to the number of available slots. So it pays to be polite and early.

How I Managed To Walk In To Renew My Passport!

The Immigration officer then checked our documents. If you don’t have the required documents, you will also be rejected. So please make sure you have these documents ready :

  • Original passport
  • Original MyKad. A photocopy is required if you are applying for a new passport.
  • Original birth certificate for children who are less than 18 years old
    Please note that they will not accept MyKid
    A photocopy is also required, if your child are applying for a new passport
  • Those performing the Haj must bring the Tabung Haji offer letter.
  • Special needs individuals must bring their Social Welfare Department registration card.
  • Students who are less than 21 years old must bring their overseas university / college offer letter or a similar document

As we waited for our numbers to be called, we watched many people get rejected at the counter. There were easily 300 people queuing up at this small passport office that morning – most were asked to renew their passports online.

At about 9:15 AM – just half an hour after we got our queue numbers – they announced that all of the walk-in slots had been taken up, and asked everyone still queuing up to go home.

How I Managed To Walk In To Renew My Passport!

For those who were lucky enough to get a queue ticket, the rest of the process was pretty similar to what it was pre-pandemic :

  1. When your number is called, you head to the allocated counter to submit your documents.
  2. The officer will verify your identity using your MyKad and a fingerprint scanner.
  3. The officer will then take your passport photo on the spot.
    This is FREE of charge, which is awesome! Just sure you wear dark clothes.
  4. You will be asked to check your details on the application form, sign it and authenticate it with your fingerprint.
  5. Your application will then be vetted by an officer at the back, against the Immigration Department’s blacklist.
    So please check your Immigration Control Status before you apply for your passport renewal!
  6. Once your passport renewal application has been approved, you will be asked to make payment :
    – Individuals 13-59 years old : RM 200
    – Senior citizen (60 years and above) : RM 100
    – Individuals performing the Haj : RM 100
    – Special needs individuals : Free
    Please note that they will only accept payment by credit card or debit card. Cash is NOT accepted.
  7. After payment, you should receive your passport within one hour.

All in – it took us about 4.5 hours to renew our passports at the Sentul UTC passport office. This is fast, considering the crowd we saw.

An officer I spoke to said that their small passport office was processing about 400 passports a day, while the larger passport offices were doing at least 1,000 passports a day.

About a hundred that day were reserved for walk-ins, while the rest were for online applications – they still have to drop in to submit their old passports and verify their identities before collecting their new passports.

I hope my experience helps give you an idea of the current passport renewal process, if you are allowed to renew on-the-spot at a passport office.


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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