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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Replacing A Lost Passport for Malaysians

AkiraSabine(AS) has not mentioned it but she unfortunately lost her passport in a theft during her final night in London. She was to depart home to sweet ol' Malaysia the next evening. That was nightmarish having denied boarding and forking extra for price difference of the unrequested flight change. Spending the night at the airport on a winter night in December 2010 was not welcomed but it was quite an eye-opener knowing she was not alone with many snuggling on seats and floor.

AS would like to take this opportunity to share with fellow readers on what to do in times like this. At the same time, she's making herself a very own reference for the future (touchwood, NO! she's not expecting to lose her passport again!)

Following is a summary of things you need to do immediately after the lost. Akira will not elaborate on the exact details of the events that happened to her but instead provide some guidelines for fellow readers.

1. Make a police report at the nearest police station
The police would then refer you to the High Commissioner, in her case Malaysia's in London.
If it were a Friday evening, and the office was closed. You might be referred a cellphone number. Call the number and tell him your situation. You have to leave in less than 24 hrs and you can't afford to pay for the flight change even though he said, "Offices are closed now. I'm sorry. There's nothing we could do. You'll have to wait till Monday." You might then be referred to a lady's cellphone number by this man. Do not leave her any voice messages and wait if for some reason she's not picking up. It's was a mistake of AS expecting her to retrieve the voice message and called her back. If possible, get someone back home to help you call and get her on the line even though it's her cellphone and it was a weekend. You're in an emergency all by   yourself and you definitely would not want to pay more in this awful time.  Not especially when you just became a theft victim. Also, AS has tried but NO, you are denied boarding with your original ID and passport copy.

2. Then, get to the embassy/ high commissioner of your country overseas to make an emergency certificate valid only for the flight home.

In order to replace the lost passport upon arriving home:-

1. Go to the nearest immigration department 
      Advice: If you're NOT a PR overseas, ignore it if the officer told you it has to be done in Putrajaya. It would save you an unnecessary trip because the officer in Putrajaya will in turn refer you back to where you came from. No point calling to ask someone at the Putrajaya office the one AS spoke to was hopeless in providing accurate information. However, the immigration department you go to has to be the same place your lost passport was issued.

2. Following is an extract of checklist taken from the official website to bring with you to the department. To save you an extra trip there, please heed the additional info in RED. The checklist claimed to be updated on Dec 14,2010 did not get AS the approval to proceed with the replacement until she complied with the RED requirements informed on site.

Additional info to find out later by Akira...

So, after 4 consecutive visits to the department, she got a head on to the processing. The officer who reviewed her case informed that it'd take 1 month for the processing of the passport (instead of 1 day which is OK) and that the new passport would only valid for 2 years.

A month later, Akira headed on back to the department after receiving the approval letter at her mailbox. 

Sorry for the ugly blindings.

Luckily for her that she arrived early. She mistakenly thought it was ready for collection and payment. It was a breeze anyway, joining the rest on the regular procedures and leaving the department 3 hours later with a new passport. By the way, the cost for a replacement passport is the same - RM300.

Akira was told:
Should you lose your passport due to house burglary and it was stolen with your safebox, you earn yourself a 5 years' replacement passport. 

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