The Jakarta Post
The Batam Immigration Office turned down 511 passport applications last year due to incidences of human trafficking-related crimes, with most of the applicants being illegal Indonesian migrant workers.
"The applications we turned down were 'non-procedural' migrant workers. According to the prevailing regulation, it is categorized as a human trafficking crime," the immigration office’s head, Lucky Agung Binarto, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
"Non-procedural migrant workers used to file passport applications here. But we became more selective in 2017,” Lucky said.
Batam immigration rejected 418 passport applications in 2016.
After the immigration office tightened its passport application process, the number of requests that were approved dropped to 48,031 last year, from 63,299 in 2016.
Lucky said the selective application process included more stringent interview sessions for applicants.
While the Batam Immigration Office rejected a high number of applications, more passports were issued nationwide last year because more Indonesians traveled abroad mainly due to cheap overseas holiday packages and umrah (minor haj) trips, he added. (nmn/ipa)