The Jakarta Post
The Directorate General of Immigration has launched a special passport application service for prospective haj pilgrims who plan to embark on their trip in 2018. The special service is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The directorate general will keep the special service open until all prospective haj pilgrims who plan to embark on their pilgrimage in 2018 have their passports ready.
To benefit from the service, the prospective haj pilgrims have to go to the nearest immigration office to apply for their passports collectively. The Directorate General of Immigration, through immigration offices across the country, has formed partnerships with the Religious Affairs Ministry’s regional offices for data verification purposes and make access to the service easier for prospective haj pilgrims.
In contrast to regular passport applicants, who are required to register online before going to their nearest immigration offices to apply for their passports, the haj pilgrims are not required to do so and thus can go straight to the nearest immigration office, as has been arranged by the Directorate General of Immigration with the Religious Affairs Ministry.
Once you walk into an immigration office to apply for your passport as a prospective haj pilgrim, officers there will verify your data, interview you and take your biometric photographs as well as fingerprints. Afterward, the office will send your passport to your home address through Religious Affairs Ministry representatives.
The immigration office is cooperating with the Religious Affairs Ministry to make it easier for the former’s officers to verify data in order to check the originality and completeness of the prospective haj pilgrims’ documents.
This verification process is important because the Directorate General of Immigration has recently discovered a number of individuals who have been applying for passports to work in Saudi Arabia through a non-procedural recruitment system under the guise of a haj pilgrim.
The Directorate General of Immigration will take applicants biometric data during the weekend to avoid data traffic overload that might disrupt regular public service.
A number of immigration offices in certain areas will also expand their prospective haj pilgrimage passport services to sites located near applicants homes, which means applicants do not need to travel far to reach an immigration office if none are located near their homes. The immigration officers will use mobile equipment to record biometric data at assigned sites. They do this to provide the best service to prospective haj pilgrims.
This extended service can help prospective haj pilgrims to observe their religious rituals in a convenient way while making their pilgrimage safe and enjoyable.