Passports at the Touch of Text Message
Medan. People applying for passports at the Medan Immigration Office will no longer have to make multiple trips to check on the status of their passports.
The office has instituted a system that will send out a short message to applicants’ cellphones to let them know their passports are ready to be picked up.
Masturiah, the head of the office, said they were the first ones in the country to introduce the system. She said the idea came after she saw people making numerous trips to the office to check on their passports.
“Now, they don’t have to, because we will send them an SMS letting them know when they can pick up their passport. It means when they do come back, their passport will be ready,” she said.
Masturiah said people would still have to go through the usual process of submitting documents, being verified, photographed and interviewed, but once that was done, they could go home and wait.
“Before they leave, we will ask them to leave their contact number,” she said.
Medan’s immigration office sees thousands of people come in every day to apply for passports. It takes several days to finish processing them.
Many people wasted time by coming back throughout the day, only to find that their passports weren’t ready, Masturiah said.
“Medan residents have lauded our SMS program,” she said.
Immigration has been known as one of the country’s most corrupt institutions. Earlier this month, Hollywood actor Taylor Kitsch accused Indonesian officials of asking for bribes when he wanted to enter the country.