Monday, June 07, 2010

Renewing Malaysian International Passports

Since we decided to make a trip down south to visit Dora & Diego, I had to renew my passport which had already expired in March. Joe would also need to renew his since it has less than 6 months validity.

First thing I needed were passport photos. Previously I had mine taken at a shop in Seremban which charged only RM5 for 12 pieces. It's surely the cheapest around. But that was not possible so I called several studios in Midvalley Megamall to find out how much it costs.

Extremely expensive! It ranged from RM12 for 4 pieces to RM15 for 6 pieces. One shop even quoted RM18 for 4 pieces!

Then via facebook, I found out from friends that the Immigration Department sometimes reject certain studio shots and require that you retake on the spot. A friend also mentioned that it cost RM10 for 4 pieces for those on-the-spot shots.

So I decided to take a risk. I would do a DIY job. If the Immigration Department rejected it, my total lost would be a mere 30sen (for 2 persons!) and taking new photos on-the-spot would still be cheaper than making a separate trip to a studio nearby.

For those interested to's what I did :

1. Have someone take a photo for you. Look straight in the camera (use a tripod if your cameraman has shaky hands). Hair behind ears, forehead clear. Don't smile too wide. No need to show your teeth. This is not for a toothpaste ad.

2. Crop the image and fill in the background with a light blue colour. I used PhotoFiltre. It's a FREE software you can download off the net.

3. Size the photo to the correct measurements (3.5cm x 5cm). Make sure your face is in the middle, not too big, not too small.
4. I copied and pasted so that I had 2 pics of each mine and Joe's photos on 1 piece 4R photo. Total cost = 30sen.

5. Cut the photos into individual pieces, leaving a thin white border.

We went to Pusat Bandar Damansara this morning, leaving home at 8am. I had already preprinted the forms which I downloaded from the immigration website and filled it up. But upon arrival, the officer told me that they do not use those forms anymore and passed me their green forms free of charge.

So I quickly filled up for myself and Joe, submitted all the documents and waited for our number to be called. I was actually afraid there would be a crowd since it's the school holidays. But the numbers moved quite quickly. We were out of there by 10am and collected at 12noon.

If you want to know, these are the things you need for passport application :

1. MyKad - photocopy and original
** Birth certificate - photocopy and original if you're under 12 years of age.
*** Also need parent/guardian's photocopy MyKad. (This means that if you're applying with your child, you need TWO pieces of your MyKad photocopy)

2. Passport photos 2 pieces, recently taken.

3. Application form - correctly filled in with black pen.

4. Your thumb.

5. Old passport for renewal, OR birth certificate for first time application.

I'm quite thrilled that my DIY job was a success. Needless to say, my 'finance minister' is even more happy that I saved him at least RM20. And to think Yee Yee paid USD26 for her passport photos!

So we're set.... Singapore here we come!

1 comment:

  1. Sad to say, I was one of those who got my own photos rejected at the counter and had to give immediate business to the photo service counter at their office.:-(

    Good tips on the photo cropping though. Thanks!