After two years, the photos on our Instagram feed are finally changing from home cooking photos to the sandy beaches of far-flung countries instead. There are a good number of quarantine-free countries that Malaysians are allowed to visit including the United Kingdom and France.

This also means it’s time to pick up one of the most useless items we had lying around: our passports. Also, this means we can use those cute passport covers we got on sale. Yay! If your passport has expired, then you will know that the process of renewing it is usually an absolute hassle as it involves long queues at the immigration office.

Malaysians like to complain that everything is still old-school, but our passport renewal process has finally gone online. Well, for the most part that is. Before you try navigating the website, read this:

Problems You May Encounter

Be forewarned (don’t say we didn’t tell you ah), those who have already attempted to renew their passports online faced certain difficulties that you should be aware of:

1. If you fall into the following categories, you will still need head to the office in person:2. Even after successfully making payment, some people have reported that they received an email saying that their photos were unsuitable despite numerous changes and attempts to reupload.

3. Collecting your passport will take half a day or all day depending which immigration office you go to. Some people have even recommended bringing along foldable stools (we wish we were joking).

4. You may still be called to the office in person if your fingerprints don’t match up to their database system.

5. For some reason, it may be harder to renew if you are living abroad as there have been reports of citizens overseas who ended up waiting for months for their new passports.

What To Prepare

If all those possible problems doesn’t faze you and you still die-die want to try online as you’re still wary of stepping out of the house, here’s what you should know:

1. First things first, prepare your passport photo. Its best to get it taken at a proper photo studio and acquire a soft copy of your photo as their requirements are very specific:
The background of the photo must be white without any shadows. Backgrounds of other colours will not be accepted.passport online in malaysia2. Prepare some moolah as travelling doesn’t come cheap. Payment can be made via credit card or direct debit (FPX). The prices for a passport with a 5-year validity are as follows:

Navigating the Website

For people aged 60 and over, it’s best to seek help from a younger contemporary. For those have your parents’ passwords memorised, we’re looking at you. Although there are two language options at the stop, the website seems to only function in Malay even when you click on the English option.
  1. Head on over to the Malaysian Immigration Department website.
  2. Read through the terms and conditions and click agree or ‘SETUJU’.
  3. Select your category (if you’re aged 18 and below or above)
  4. Enter the required details including your current passport number, I.C. number. Then select your collection office.
  5. If all your information is in order click ‘SETUJU’ again.
  6. Upload your photo. Fair warning though, this is the most difficult part where a lot of people experience a hurdle, so fingers crossed that yours gets through.
  7. Double check your information and tick the four boxes.
  8. Proceed to payment.
  9. Check your inbox in the next three to five working days if you’ve received your approval email. If you haven’t received it, you may want to head over to the office in person to enquire on its status.

Note: Double check the collection office as you don't want to be collecting in the wrong state or city.

There are 67 pickup points within the country. Cities overseas with pickup locations include London, United Kingdom; Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Australia; New York, United States; Jakarta, Indonesia; Hong Kong, and Singapore)

Picking Up Your Passport

You can choose which office to pick up your passport from the issuing offices listed in the system. The date and time will be given automatically by the system based on the date and time of your submission.

For applicants under the age of 18, only guardians who have been listed during the application are allowed to pick up the passport in person. The passport will only be handed over if the applicant has a guardian present.

Make sure to bring along the following:

Renewing Your Passport Physically

If you prefer going through the entire process in person, then check out the opening hours of the immigration offices in different states below. Some offices have extended their hours to cope with the demand of an increase in the number of travellers.Do note however that there are certain conditions for physical renewal, detailed here:

That's all folks! Good luck renewing your passports and enjoy your holidays!