Destination Travel Hacking

Renewing your Malaysian passport in Singapore (tips for making a chore, well, less of a chore)

I had to renew my Malaysian passport today as I was nearing the 6 month validity period on my current passport. Thinking that it would be better to be prudent, I decided to do this when I hit 7 months left on my passport.

It was the first time I would be doing this in Singapore, and I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, I found this helpful blogpost by Rain, which really walks you through what to do when you arrive at the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore. As she does a great job of laying out the steps, I won’t repeat them here but will just add on what I found to be different or tips for a smoother experience.

  • Photo ID to be left at the guardhouse is important. There were a few other people who came at the same time as I did, but did not have a spare photo ID to leave. This naturally led to some confusion. It seems that you can leave a credit card in lieu of photo ID (based on a poster at the guardhouse) but as I did not take this option, I cannot verify this.
  • The visitor’s ID that you obtain from the guardhouse is NOT your queue number. Again, I saw/heard several confused visitors going to the counter with the visitor ID number thinking that it was their turn.
  • You can only get your queue number from counter 10 AFTER all your documents are in order. Hence, the checklist of copy of Singapore NRIC, copy of Malaysian NRIC, old passport and completed form (which you should have received from the guardhouse) will need to be presented to the staff at counter 10 in order for you to obtain a queue number.
  • If you don’t have a copy of your ID, there is a photocopy machine and a staff in the waiting area who can help you out. You will have to pay SGD 0.40 for one copy.
  • Payment is accepted in cash only. The June 2017 renewal rate is SGD 64.
  • Try not to wear white as the background for the passport photo is white and you will be required to put on a black blazer (provided) to take the photo.
  • Processing time used to be one or two working days but is now reduced to within the same working day. I went in the morning to process the renewal and got my new passport in the afternoon of the same day. If you have time to wait around, the High Commission staff actually said the new passport could be collected within 2 hours.
  • Pick up was extremely smooth – I was done with collecting my new passport within 10 minutes.
  • Now that you have your new passport, don’t forget to update your re-entry permit (for Singaporean Permanent Resident) and your HR (for those under work permit).

All in all, it was fuss-free and more importantly, stress-free. I would definitely recommend for Malaysian citizens living in Singapore to get your passport renewed here as it saves you the hassle of travelling back to Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru to process the renewal.

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23 comments

  1. a) A faster way to renew your Malaysian Passport for your preferred collection place (You can choose anywhere, not just for Malaysian citizens living and working in Singapore). You don’t need to head down to the Malaysian Embassy to queue to apply now!!!! All can be done at the comfort of your home with your computer. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE YOUR MOBILE TO APPLY AS IT’S NOT STABLE.

    b) Remember this is FOR RENEWAL ONLY (those who have existing Malaysian Passport)!

    c) Below is the website. (PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS)

    https://eservices.imi.gov.my/myimms/myPassport?lang=en

    d) Please use IE / Firefox /Google Chrome web browsers only. Safari does not seem compatible with their website.

    f) Once you open the immigration online page, scroll below and agree to their terms and condition.

    g) Make sure you have a soft copy of your PASSPORT PHOTO ready before proceeding any further – Please read all details on the website (many make mistakes by not ready it or not paying attention). As for passport photo, you can go take at any shop that shoots passport photo that you can bring back the soft copy (bring a USB Thumb drive). Once you finish uploading the photo, please proceed below instructions.

    Once you have agreed the terms and conditions, you will be a page where you need to key in 2 items :
    1) Fill in your existing passport number.
    2) Fill in your Malaysian MyKad ID number (no spacing)
    3) Choose the collection branch (Scroll down and you will see “Suruhanjaya Tinggi Malaysia Singapore”)

    4) Upload your passport photo (Photo size is W 35mm x H 50mm with not more than 100kb in size). It will not upload if your photo size is too large. Please read the specification on their photo requirement. If you do not follow, your application will be rejected and you will face delay to your application. If you manage to upload your photo, please proceed to no.5

    5) It will bring you to the application page (most of the information have been filled)
    6) Fill in your email and Singapore contact number.
    7) Make sure you have a credit card (VISA or MASTER only) ready for payment.
    8) Pay using your credit card.
    9) Make sure you wait and get a receipt below closing the website.
    10) Print out the receipt as you need to show to them when you collect your passport.

    11) You can go back to the website and check if you have paid for your application. Usually when it’s paid, you will see the date and time of collection. If you do not see, means your credit card transaction did not go through.

    12) If your credit card transaction did not go through, just go back and click on “Application Status Inquiry”. Key in your existing passport details and your MyKad number. It will bring you to the page where (if your credit card transaction did not go though), you will notice there is pay button. Click on the pay button and pay again. Sometime the immigration department reject your credit card which could be due not accepted. If that’s the case, try another credit card brand. I tried using Singapore HSBC Visa and it was rejected. Then I use Citibank and it was accepted.

    13) Once all that is done (with your printed receipt), you can collect your passport the very next day between 9.30am to 4.30pm. Please do observe Malaysia Public Holidays before proceeding down. You will need to bring your existing passport, MyKad, receipt of your transaction and Singapore PR ID / EP / SP / WP. Do not photocopy anything as you will be wasting paper and money. If you need to photocopy, you can do it there itself as they have a photocopy machine if they request for it.

    If you have any doubt, just give them a call on 6887 6272. They speak English and Bahasa Malaysia only. Calling them is a good idea before heading down. Sometimes you won’t be able to collect your passport due to their computer is down for maintenance but usually you will be able to collect one day later.

    My advice to all. Check your passport validity before travelling. Although the immigration have already made it very easy for us to apply but don’t ask for too much from them. Don’t get frustrated with them as they are workers working for the Government. Case by case, they will allow urgent passport request but again do not abuse the system. Early preparation is always less frustrating.

    Actually all instructions are written very clearly on their website. So read carefully and follow step by step instructions, you will be go wrong and get frustrated. If you do, means you have no patience!

    Feel free to ask if you have any other questions!

      1. No worries Petrina!

        Sharing is caring! Plus it’s FREE!

        All fellow Malaysians should help out one another as we only get to renew once every 5 years and we will forget what actually happen. Plus there are always new changes in technology to make the process less painful!

        Not many Malaysian citizens know about this yet as it’s relatively new. Since the system started, only less than 20,000 people applied via online (We have more than 20 million citizens!) Plus, they have iron out most of the bugs in the system. It will take you less than 15 minutes or less to apply. That’s faster than renewing for Singapore Passport!

        Again I must stress this system is only meant for RENEWAL. You will need to head down to the embassy / immigration department for special cases. So read the instructions as per their updated website.

        Rephrase on my last paragraph:-

        “Actually all instructions are written very clearly on their website. So read carefully and follow step by step instructions, you will not go wrong and get frustrated. If you do, means you have no patience!”

    1. Thanks to both for sharing all this useful info. I successfully applied online yesterday (with some hiccups) and received my new passport today. Some things to note:

      – If you can’t read Malay (like me), use Google translate to get through the online application.
      – The photo size has to be exactly between 100 – 300kb, or it will fail to upload. My original photo couldn’t upload as it was less than 100kb (no idea why the system works like this.. >_>), and it took quite a bit of mucking around in an image editing program before it fit the requirement. If your size is too large, try saving the image for ‘web and devices’ (if your program has the option) to reduce the size without affecting the measurement. If it’s too small, try making the photo background slightly off-white to boost the file size. You can also adjust the save quality to change the file size. If you’re getting your soft copy photo from a shop, see if they can get the file to the desired size to save yourself the trouble.
      – Even though I followed the instructions on the website, I still had to retake my photo in the end. ;-; The requirements seem quite strict – you have to remove your glasses and not have hair covering your eyes/forehead/ears (this isn’t on the website). The sample photo on the site isn’t entirely accurate either based on the measurements, so I’m not sure if the one I uploaded was ok. But if there are any issues, you can retake your photo for free at the High Commission. There’s a kind of whiteboard setup right at the counter with a black blazer to put on, so a reshoot will only take a minute. There’s also a photo booth at the back of the waiting area.
      – Online payment was smooth using POSB debit card (Mastercard).
      – I called them before going down. The officer who answered wasn’t friendly or patient, but did inform me that the submission hours were 8am-12pm and 2.30-4pm. She also emphasized that you *must* have a printed copy of your receipt, or they won’t entertain you. I also had to submit photocopies of my S’pore and Malaysian IDs.
      – I submitted my online application around 5.20pm yesterday, rushed to the High Commission around three minutes before 12pm today, and walked out with my new passport about half an hour later. There was no queue by that time and having all my documents prepared beforehand probably sped things up. I filled up a simple form at Counter 10 and was told to wait an hour, but was called back after about 10mins for the reshoot at another counter, and my passport was ready for collection shortly after. So all in all it was pretty quick.
      – If for whatever reason you need to hang around longer, you can use the water cooler and vending machine near the toilet.

      In summary (as of 27/11/18):
      – Submission time: 8am – 12pm, 2.30 – 4pm (don’t go at the last minute like me, though there’s probably a shorter queue near closing time)
      – Bring: S’pore IC & photocopy, M’sian ID & photocopy, passport, printed receipt, extra photo ID for guardhouse

      Hope this helps.

      1. Actually after online submission, there is no more submission at the Embassy unless there is some small error like photo is not clear or so on. I made a mistake by saying the photo must be less than 100KB. That’s my fault. I just check my own passport photo size is 112KB. Apologies for the mistake on my instructions.

        As for photo requirements, the example actually clearly shows everything – dark clothes, no glasses, whole face is shown clearly with ears. Yes it’s a male photo but for female is exactly the same requirements as well. If you have long hair, you can either tie up or tuck behind your ears. Basically no covering of any feature on your face. You know why they are strict with passport photos? Simple. Unless you want to get stop by immigration each time you enter a foreign country which I think you know it’s a hassle, right?

        Once you get all done, you just need to go down between 9am-12pm or 2.30pm-4pm (8.00am-9.00am they busy accepting submission only at the counters) to pass your official receipt, your old/current passport with photocopies of your Singapore PR ID and MyKad.

        One tip for all, after you submitted and print your official receipt, please make a call to them during office hours. There is a reason for doing that. One of my friends who did not call up (submitted online) went to collect but their system was down (so cannot issue passport). He had to come back the next day (this time he was smart to call up to make sure the system is online before he head down) and got his passport. Contact number is 6887 6272 – English and Bahasa Malaysia speaking only.

        As for entering and surfing a Malaysian Government portals will definitely encounter Bahasa Malaysia on some pages. So those who are not so fluent with Bahasa Malaysia, please make sure you have someone beside you that know. Google translation are not always accurate.

        Anyway, I think online submission is definitely much much easier and less hassle. We are living in the internet age! It’s matter of getting use to it! I would definitely say it’s one of the easiest and fastest to apply for a passport. So many years that I have submitting passport via Malaysia Embassy, I got to say this is best system they have created so far. The least of the hassle. This system is really very very simple and straight forward.

        It’s good to update yourself once in a while instead of waiting for your passport to expire and then you only start to google.

        Petrina, maybe you might want to update your blog post with all our tips and summarise it which will make it easier for the readers. Too many posts will make readers confuse!

        Danny

        1. Danny: maybe the upload limits were changed since the time you did your application. My original photo was slightly over 100kb, but when I tried to submit it a message popped up saying they only accepted a 100 – 300kb photo. It only went through after I adjusted the size again.

          To clarify, I meant that I still had to submit documents at the embassy after applying online (photocopies, passport, form etc). It may save time queuing and paying in person.

          The measurements on the sample photo are off. For example, it tells you to leave 10mm of space between the crown of your head to the top of your photo. However if you use your fingers to measure out that 10mm, it doesn’t correspond to the 25-30mm shown for the face (based on those measurements the face would be about 40mm long). This meant that when I tried to follow the measurements in my program, my head was noticeably smaller compared to the sample and there was more white space. I could follow either the measurements for the 10mm extra space, or the 25-30mm measurements for the face, but not both.

          I wore glasses for my M’sian ID photo, so I assumed it would be accepted for my passport photo as it wasn’t mentioned on the site to remove my glasses. For comparison, glasses are also allowed for a S’pore IC, but discouraged for a S’pore passport. Since there isn’t an absolute standard for different types of IDs, I think the instructions on the M’sian site could be clearer to avoid confusion. The guidelines I looked up elsewhere were clearer with this.

          https://iconline.ica.gov.sg/iconline/xhtml/info/FAQ/FAQ_Photo.xhtml
          https://www.123passportphoto.com/singapore-passport-photos.php

          Google translate was accurate enough for me to do the online application and understand my receipt (in Malay). It’s the next best option if you don’t have someone who can translate for you.

        2. *Edit: Submitting my comment again, not sure if it posted earlier.

          To clarify, I meant that I still had to submit documents at the embassy after applying online (photocopies, passport, form etc). It may save time queuing and paying in person.

          The measurements on the sample photo are off. For example, it tells you to leave 10mm of space between the crown of your head to the top of your photo. However if you use your fingers to measure out that 10mm, it doesn’t correspond to the 25-30mm shown for the face (based on those measurements the face would be about 40mm long). This meant that when I tried to follow the measurements in my program, my head was noticeably smaller compared to the sample and there was more white space. I could follow either the measurements for the 10mm extra space, or the 25-30mm measurements for the face, but not both.

          I wore glasses for my M’sian ID photo, so I assumed it would be accepted for my passport photo as it wasn’t mentioned on the site to remove my glasses. For comparison, glasses are also allowed for a S’pore IC, but discouraged for a S’pore passport. Since there isn’t an absolute standard for different types of IDs, I think the instructions on the M’sian site could be clearer to avoid confusion. The guidelines I looked up elsewhere were clearer with this.

          https://iconline.ica.gov.sg/iconline/xhtml/info/FAQ/FAQ_Photo.xhtml
          https://www.123passportphoto.com/singapore-passport-photos.php

          Google translate was accurate enough for me to do the online application and understand my receipt (in Malay). It’s the next best option if you don’t have someone who can translate for you.

  2. I just went to apply for Malaysian Passport today. Below are the details.
    1) Need Photo ID (exp. Passion Card, Singapore Driving License) in exchange for the pass to enter the building. You will be given a simple form to fill .
    2) Please prepare SIngapore PR NRIC, Malaysian NRIC and Malaysian Passport.
    3) Remember to photocopy Singapore PR NRIC and Malaysian NRIC
    4) High Comm open at 8.00 am
    5) With all the documents and the form, go straight to Counter 10. Counter staff will check all the documents and will give you the queue number.
    6) Once your queue number is call up, hand over the documents to the staff. Prepare SGD67 (Adult ).
    7) Take photo on the spot. No need to snap photo outside.
    8) After the process, the staff will let you know when to collect the passport. I m to collect the NEXT day (2.30pm to 4.00pm). Bring along the queue number and your NRIC.

    1. Hi Yvonne, I believe that the high commission does accept submissions during working hours including afternoon but only morning submissions can be picked up on the same day. If you go in the afternoon it is likely you will only be able to collect your passport on the following day, hence most people will prefer morning so that it is done in a day.

  3. Nice one Petrina – thanks
    So all in all we just need to bring our old passport?
    Any photocopies can be done there and also the photo for the passport need to be taken there.
    Only need to bring cash and it is SGD64? This is for my 5 year old daughter/malaysian

    1. Hi Arina, you will also need to bring ID in addition to the old passport – in your daughter’s case will be her MyKid NRIC and the ID that she is holding in Singapore. The checklist you will receive at the guardhouse states this and the counter staff will also counter check this before giving you a queue number. If your documents are incomplete you will not be able to proceed further. When I went in June 2017 the rate was SGD64; it may have been revised for 2018 so you’ll have to check again with the counter staff. Hope this helps.

    2. Hi Arina,
      I am going to renew my kid’s passport soon.
      May I check with you what is the 2018 rate for child’s passport?
      Do I need to fill up any application form? (i remembered i did downloaded online and fill up some forms in a few years back)
      Will I still need to bring my kid’s birth cert/ Borang W?
      Thanks in advance!

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