6 February 2023
Come 2025, all immigration-related affairs, including those now being managed by outside parties such as MyEG, will be reverted to the Immigration Department.
Besides passport renewals and visa applications, these would also include applications and renewals of foreign workers’ permits and maid permits.
The return of these services to the department will take place when it rolls out its National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe), which will converge all immigration transactions.
Under the current MyIMMs system (Malaysian Immigration System), some services, termed “patch-on” services, are outsourced to independent contractors. However, under the NIISe currently in development, the Immigration Department would take charge of all its affairs.
Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, in an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times, described NIIse as a “game-changer” as it would improve efficiency within the department as well as customer experience.
He said the system, currently being developed by IRIS Corporation Bhd, would place the department on track to its goal of becoming one of the best immigration authorities in the world.
“I sometimes receive reports on technical glitches in the MyIMMs system, which we have been using for almost 13 years. NIISe will replace the system within two years.
“NIISe will replace all immigration transactions, including visa, work permit and passport applications and renewals, as well as checks at airports and ports.”
The department had over the years come under intense criticism over its system glitches, extended waiting periods at international gateways, and inability to provide a smooth processing experience for travellers.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had, after a recent visit to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), said some travellers had complained about having to wait up to two hours to clear the Immigration counters.
Khairul said such problems would be a thing of the past when NIISe is rolled out.
NIISe, he added, would also help slash the waiting period for foreign tourists at airports.
“The system is automated, so we will be able to reduce the number of manual counters from, for example, 38 (right now) to 15. More foreigners will also be allowed to use E-gates, such as what is being done at airports in Europe.
“But obviously, we can’t have all of them passing through the E-gates for security reasons,” he said.
Last month, the New Straits Times had reported how the department was clearing an average of 495 tourists per 47 minutes to ensure smooth flow at KLIA.
Khairul said NIISe module would provide reliable and sustainable services that could be accessed via the Internet.
The system would also see the integration of a database with over 20 agencies in the country, including the police and National Registration Department (NRD).
This, said Khairul, would not only ease the travel documentation procedure, but also help the authorities with preventing criminals, for instance, from entering the country by integrating data of those who had been placed on a blacklist.
He said the PTD application process would be faster and user-friendly as integration of data between government agencies would help the review process and reduce the need for supporting documents that applicants needed to provide.
NIISe, he said, would make it easier to apply for passports and cut down on the rate of rejection due to technicalities.
Currently, some people have had their passport applications rejected for reasons such as lack of fingerprint data and non-matching photos.
“The new system will help the department tap into the NRD database and instantly verify such information,” he said.
Khairul also cited an example of how the NIISe would clear up the queues at KLIA for umrah and haj pilgrims.
He said a proposed integration with Tabung Haji would help ease the processing of pilgrims. The system could streamline the clearance period for departures, thus eliminating any backlog or crowding at Immigration counters.
“In the past, pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia have to line up at KLIA to stamp their passports at the Malaysian Immigration counters. Upon arrival in Jeddah, they have to queue at Saudi Immigration to again have their passports stamped.
“That changed when the Makkah Route system was introduced, whereby the entire process was completed at KLIA. However, upon their return to Malaysia, they would have to face the same old system, resulting in long queues.
“A system integration with Tabung Haji will eliminate this and ease the entire process. It will also make it easier for the department to verify any information with TH due to the integrated database,” he said.
Did you find what you are looking for? Try out the enhanced Google Search: