Friday, March 11, 2005

Yiyi's First Passport

We are planning for a trip down south to Singapore in the end of March. So first thing we need is a passport for Yiyi.

Before that, we need a few things. Documentation lar. We went to the Immigration office Subang Branch near Subang Terminal 3 to check what documentations are required and to get the form. The form costs us RM1. We need to have 2 passport sized photos of Yiyi, a photocopy of the father's IC (identification card), that's me, and a photocopy of the Yiyi's birth certificate. We also bring Mami's photocopied IC, just in case. We were also told that there will be a special counter to service those with kids and senior citizens. The photocopies have to be in a certain format, check with the Immigration.

Then we went to get Yiyi some passport photos. If you have a toddler then you should know how difficult it is to get a toddler to stay completely still for 2 seconds. We put her to sit on a stool, and I have to hold her still, without getting into the camera way. In the mean time, Mami have to think of a way to get her to look directly at the camera. And 7 snaps later, we got our picture. Phew...

For the photo, we recommend that you take the instant photos, digital format. The photographer can review the picture and decide whether it's ok or not before printing. This is extremely useful as he might not get a good photo, with the toddler moving and all. Also, with digital photos, the minimum is 8 photos (costs us RM15). So we asked them to take 2 different pictures, and then print 4 each. You know lar, the Immigration officer can be quite picky. Telinga tak nampak lar, muka senget lar, baju tak cantik lar. Remember to have the ears visible and remember to wear dark coloured shirt/cloth. The background is light blue.

So with the photos, forms and photocopies (and originals as well for verification purposes), we went to the Immigration office this morning. Of course, Yiyi has to be present. Traffic was fine, and we reached there about 9am. Finding a parking space was hard, so I let Mami off to get her queue number. There wasn't any queue, she went straight to Counter 1. The officer checked the documentation and seems to be happy with it, and proceeded to give us a number.

After parking my car, I joined Mami and Yiyi, and almost immediately, our number was called! That was fast! We went to the special counter (Kaunter Khas), gave him our form and other documentations. He checked everything and then asked me (the father) to sign in the form, and then to leave my thumb print (the father's). Yup! My thumb print, not Yiyi's. Then we were asked to wait for our number to be called for the payment. We spent about 2 minutes in this special counter.

But the wait at the payment counter is longer. About 20 minutes. After paying the RM150 fee, make sure the receipt has got all the information correct. The passport will be ready in 2-3 days time, Yiyi's on next Monday.

We were told that when we pick up the passport on Monday, Yiyi has to be present and we have to bring her birth certificate (original).

All in all, it was a pleasant experience, and fast too. Quite efficient. We only spent about 30 minutes in the Immigration office. However, to make things easy, just make sure the documentations are complete and the form is filled correctly.

So Yiyi's getting her own passport on Monday! Yeay!!