Malaysians in Singapore asked to apply for, renew passports early due to drastic increase in applications

The Malaysian High Commission in Singapore said it has been experiencing a drastic increase in passport applications and renewals since 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians here are advised to apply for or renew their passports at least six months before their expiry as the Malaysian High Commission has been experiencing a drastic increase in passport applications and renewals since last year.

The High Commission here in a statement said the increase was following the implementation of the border control measures by Malaysia and Singapore in April last year.

"In 2020, a total of 60,387 passports were issued compared with 24,000 passports in 2019. This itself is a 151 per cent increase. Since January this year, a total of 69,993 passports have been issued by the High Commission," it said on Monday (Sept 6).

The High Commission added that the current processing time for passport applications or renewals was eight weeks, provided all the relevant supporting documents were duly submitted.

Among the initiatives taken to respond to this increase are extending counter services until 7pm from July 2020, printing of passports at the Johor Immigration Department from September 2020 and the implementation of an e-appointment and drop box system from February 2021.

Passports shall be collected as soon the recipients receive a notification from the High Commission.

The High Commission reminded Malaysians that in line with Singapore's health measures, passport application, renewal and collection at the High Commission are strictly by appointment only.

Earlier this year, there were reports and videos of Malaysians arriving as early as 6am to queue outside the High Commission hoping to renew their passports. Many expressed frustration due to the long waiting periods outside the commission.

Tens of thousands of Malaysians continued to stay in Singapore when Malaysia implemented the movement control order due to the Covid-19 pandemic on March 18 last year.

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