Any Indonesian who’s had to apply for a passport or to get one renewed at an immigration office in Jakarta know the hassle of waking up really early in the morning to be able to get in line with hundreds of others wanting to do the same. That headache has been mitigated somewhat by immigration’s relatively new online booking service, which allows applicants to submit the required forms online and get a place in the queue before coming to the immigration office.
Now, the Immigration Directorate General at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has launched a booking system that uses the popular messaging application WhatsApp at 26 of the busiest immigration offices in Indonesia, including those in Jakarta and its satellite cities, as well as in Yogyakarta.
Using WhatsApp, applicants can now book their place in line by messaging “#(Name)#(Date of Birth)#(Date of Application)” to their desired immigration office. The immigration office will then reply with a booking code and a time for the applicant to come with the relevant documents on the desired date.
“With this service, there’s a certainty for the time the public can be served. They don’t have to wait in line for long; they just have to register from home and come according to the schedule that is given,” said Herman Lukman, head of the Bogor Immigration Office, as quoted by Tempo yesterday.
Applicants must come to the immigration office 30 minutes before their appointment at the very latest, or else their booking becomes void.
Though the Immigration Directorate General said that the service is available in 26 offices, there are currently only two in the Greater Jakarta Area that have provided their WhatsApp numbers, Central Jakarta (081299004406) and Bogor (08111100333).
To make things even more convenient, applicants who want to renew their passports now no longer need to bring the same documents required for those applying for a new passport (KTP ID card, family card, birth certificate, school certificate). Passport renewal applicants now need only bring their old passports and their e-KTP ID cards, provided that the passport is being renewed because of expiry, and not because of loss or damage.
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