JAKARTA – The Directorate General of Immigration (DGI) is expanding electronic passport (e-passport) services to answer the needs of people across the country. Through the Decree of the Director General of Immigration Number IMI-0235.GR.01.01 of 2023, DGI added 50 immigration offices in various provinces to the list of immigration technical service units (UPT) that provide electronic passport services. Thus, currently there are a total of 102 immigration offices throughout Indonesia that serve electronic passport applications.
"The expansion of e-passport services is to respond to the great interest of the public in various regions towards electronic passports. The current number is double the previous number, which was only 52 immigration offices," said Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, Friday (22/09/2023).
Silmy explained that in principle ordinary passports and electronic passports have the same function as proof of personal identity that is valid internationally and can be used for travel. However, electronic passports contain more complete data, namely facial biometric data and the holder's fingerprints. This data is stored on the chip and can be scanned. An ordinary passport only contains personal data and a photo of the passport holder.
Electronic passports also provide several conveniences, including visa exemption facilities for short visits to Japan following registration. In addition, Indonesian citizens applying for a visa to European countries can be granted a longer validity period compared to applying for a visa using a regular (non-electronic) passport.
From January to early September 2023, the number of electronic passports issued was 522,065 units, with an average issuance of around 58,000 passport units per month. The number of ordinary passports issued in the same period was 2,823,801 units, with an average passport issuance of around 314,000 per month. Meanwhile, during the period of January to December 2022, the number of electronic passports issued was 343,747 units, with an average passport issuance of around 28,000 units per month. The issuance of ordinary passports throughout 2022 will be 3,535,157 units, with an average passport issuance of around 294,000 units per month.
The issuance of ordinary passports throughout 2022 will be 3,535,157 units, with an average passport issuance of around 294,000 units per month.
With this policy of expanding e-passport services, Silmy explained that Immigration is here to break down the obstacles experienced by people who want to apply for electronic passports. Previously, those who are geographically far from immigration offices that provide e-passport need extra effort to get e-passport services.
“So that we [Immigration] can reach a wider community. Making it easier for people to get immigration services, that's our passion," he said.
By the end of 2023, it is targeted that all immigration technical implementation units in Indonesia will be able to provide electronic passport services. The number of immigration offices throughout Indonesia is 126, consisting of seven special class I immigration offices, 44 class I immigration offices, 61 class II immigration offices and 14 class III immigration offices. Apart from that, there are also 22 Immigration Working Units throughout Indonesia which operate as an extension of immigration office.