Nightmare at Jabatan Imigresen Putrajaya

If you follow my blog long enough, you would know by now that my husband is from China and every year we have been going to Jabatan Imigresen Putrajaya to extend his Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP).

If you are new to my blog, here's a summary of  my background.  My husband is from China.  We were married in 2011 (registered in China in Aug 2011 and re-registered in Malaysia in Nov 2011).  As we couldn't decide where we want to live after marriage, he only came to Malaysia in Dec 2012 for good.  He was on a 30 days tourist visa when he entered and so we went to apply the LTSVP for the first time in Dec 2012.   He has been on a 12-month LTSVP since 2012.  In 2014, when he got employed, we decided to do the work endorsement as well and he has been on 12-month work endorsement from 2014.

Now back to the title of this post.   I couldn't describe better what happened to us yesterday other than calling it a nightmare.  Might be over-dramatize for some, might be over-exaggerated for some, but if you are like me, having been visiting this place since 2012, this is like a never-ending nightmare.

Last year when we did the LTSVP, everything was so smooth and we were out of there before lunch.  And I even praised the officers who were there for speeding things up.  Guess I spoke too soon.

I am not sure if this is a sabotage to the new government (if you follow Malaysian politics, you will understand more) or they are 'memang' like that and I just got lucky last year , I really don't know.  I seriously do not know what has the government got against PRC men and Malaysian wives who married them.  

OK, before I go on rambling, let's get to the main story.

A week before the D-Day,  I went there to gather documents and information.  You may not know this but different immigration department at different location have different sets of rules and they kept getting updated without informing in the website, etc, etc.  So best is to pay them a visit before the actual extension day.

What I found out was, the Jabatan Imigresen Putrajaya have now upgraded and they have an app for us to make appointment.

The app is called powerQ and created by a company called Makro Baru Sdn Bhd.  Now, don't ask me what's the connection between this company and the Government.  Please hire a private detective if you want to know more as I am not interested to know if this is one of the cronies of the previous government or not.

Sorry, I digressed.  

The usage of this app only started from 1st October 2018 and only applicable for these 2 services and only at Jabatan Imigresen Putrajaya:

OK, let me recap this in BIG CAPS.   

If you a Yemen nationality and applying for extension for your social visit pass at Jabatan Imigresen Putrajaya, USE THIS APP

If you are a Chinese or Nigerian nationality (because only Chinese and Nigerian need to go to Putrajaya) and applying for extension for your long term social visit pass for spouse, USE THIS APP.

Now, I really don't know if you can opt not use this app and take the regular number instead.  Because when I enquired when I took the documents from them, I was told to use this app.  But on the day of the extension, I saw that the regular number also being used.  I will go to that later.

This app is very simple to use and the interface is also simple.  If you are not sure how to do it, there is a guide in the app itself.

First, you need to register.  

Second, book your slot.  This is a little tricky.  But maybe because I am kiasu.  But do listen carefully.  You are only allowed to book 5 working days in advance.  

And each day, there are only 5 slots available.  Each slot only allowed 8 appointments (or maybe lesser, I am not too sure).  The slots are 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am and 3pm.

Because of the limited place, the slots are filled very fast.  So, Rule No.1, BOOK AT MIDNIGHT.
I am sharing my secret now.  Just like Lazada sales where everyone go at midnight to start paying, this is the same.  The dates changed immediately at stroke of midnight.

Example, if you intend to go next Friday (7/12/18), you have to go to the app on Thursday night (29/11/18) and wait until 12am (30/11/18) in order to book your slot.

And that's because I am kiasu and kiasi.

After you booked, you will get this screen informing you the date and time and the QR code.

On the day of the appointment, bring your phone and scan at the machine located at the reception.  The machine will issue you a number.

The number from the powerQ app is an alphabet follow by 4 digit number.  A is for 8am slot.  B is for 9am slot and so on.  Number start with 2 is for long term social visit pass extension for spouse while number start with 3 is for social visit pass for Yemen nationality.

Now that I have explained about the app, I will go into the details of what happened that day.

We were there at 8.30am.  It takes about 40 minutes from PJ to Putrajaya and we left the house at 7.45am.  

We went straight to Istana Mahkamah Putrajaya to visit the pesuruhanjaya to stamp on the surat akuan to prove that we are still married and that we have a kid.  That process was very fast.  Less than 5 minutes and we paid RM4.  Rule No.2, BRING YOUR DEBIT CARD.  The pesuruhanjaya there does not accept cash.  Only debit card.

After that we re-parked our car nearer to the immigration and we were there at 9am.  My appointment was at 10am.  

We were called at 10am sharp.  I was pretty happy with the new system as that means I don't have to come early to queue up for number.  Within 10 minutes, we have submitted all the documents to the counter.  The officer at the counter asked about my occupation and my place of work.

Now, here's the confusing part.  If you use the app, you are in the priority lane and the queue number will appear on 2 TV monitors located one on extreme left and another at extreme right.  In the middle of the hall is the display of the normal queue numbers.  I supposed this normal queue numbers is for other services, like student visa, new application, etc. 

And if you are using the powerQ app, your queue number will only be displayed during your appointment slot and not other slots. 

But here's when everything starts to get ugly.  The waiting game sucks.   But I was confident with the speed and I told my husband, we should be out of there by lunch time.  Recalling 2017's experience which was pleasant and fast, we were out of there by 12 and had lunch when we got home.

Rule No.3, BRING POWER BANKRule No.4, BRING A SHAWL/SWEATER.  I forgotten to bring these 2 and was running to the car to charge my phone and was shivering cold sitting in the waiting hall.

By 12.30pm, all the counters were empty and I realised it was lunch time.  So we also went for lunch at 1pm.  Came back around 1.30pm and continue waiting.  Saw many impatient and frustrated people.  But I was still hopeful and thinking since I have used the app, everything should be faster.

By 2pm, the counters were full again.  And we continue to wait.  My husband's friend who happened to go there on the same day and their appointment was at 11am got called to pay.  And subsequently collected.  By 3pm they were out of there.

By 4pm, we have yet to pay at the cashier.  Something is not right.  Usually very fast we pay and very fast we were get the passport back.  But still no sign of being called.  By 4pm, the counters were empty again.  Left with only the cashiers and the kaunter serahan.  Since my husband's friend came later than us already got their passport and left, I went to ask what happened to ours.  The cashier said, the officer at the back have yet to approve our application.  Hmm...

Shortly after that, we were told to pay.    RM120 means it's only for 1 year.  I was extremely unhappy and disappointed at this point that I just wanted to leave for good.

As the clock went by, the crowd slowly dispersed.  From a room filled with people and noise, left with only empty chairs and counters.   By 4.30pm, I was getting very, very impatient and was walking up and down the hall.

I see people slowly leaving and then it was down to just us and another Yemen family.  I waited at the kaunter serahan and the officer asked what's my number because I was still waiting there.  He was surprised to see me still there when he doesn't have any more passport to distribute.  I showed him my number and he went back inside to retrieve the passport and finally came back out and gave us the passport.  By that time it was already 5pm.  And since it was already peak hours, Waze told me that it will take me 1 hour to reach home.  

We left the empty building, feeling extremely disappointed and disheartened.  I wanted to cry so badly.  Not of tears of happiness.  Not of tears of gratefulness.  Not of tears of anger.  Not of tears of irritations or frustrations.  But tears of being played around.  All together, we were there for 8 hours again.  Same as year 2015 when I was 8 months pregnant.

I seriously don't mind getting just 12-month extension.  But to wait for 8 hours and to get only 12-month is something else.  Probably the officers there don't know my feelings exactly.  

When he first got the LTSVP, we were told that he was lucky to get 12-month in the first year.  Some people get only 6 months.  And we have friends who told that we will get 5 years when we lived here long enough and have kids.  I waited.

Second year same thing.  Came third year when he was employed we did the work endorsement.  That's when the nightmare really started.  To get the pass is fast.  But to get the work endorsement is another process all together.  So to do it together, which is why we have to wait for 8 hours and this is just my feeling.  But I was still hopeful that he will get more than 12-month since the contract is for 5 years.  But no, it was still 12-month.

Then fourth and fifth year came and went.  After the birth of our child in 2016, I was very hopeful that he will get at least 2 years this time.  I was not even hoping for 5 years anymore.  Because we have reached 5 years and have a child.  I was extremely hopeful but was disappointed again and again.

6th, 7th and now 8th year came and went.  It was just the same.   You know what.  I am not hopeful anymore.  I thought with the new government, probably things will be better.  But I was wrong.  The attitude is still the same.

I seriously don't understand what they are trying to do.  Are they telling me to leave Malaysia for good?  Are they telling me that my husband is not wanted here?  Are they telling me it's better to marry someone not from China?  What is it they are trying to tell me?

Rule No.5, BRING YOUR CHILD WITH YOU.  OK, I am not sure if this works now that we are using the powerQ app.  But last year when it was faster, we did brought our girl along.  But this year we didn't.  So we were wondering if we have brought her, would it be faster?  But if it is not fast, then she has to suffer with us.  Well, do this at your own risk.  

And here is the last tip before I sign off.  If the PRC passport is renewed, it is better to transfer the LTSVP to a new passport book.  However, I have heard that the immigration at the entry point allow 2 passports.  Means you can bring your old passport with the LTSVP and also the new passport without the LTSVP.

And if you are doing stamping at LHDN, bear in mind that from Aug 2018 onwards, they no longer handle forms.  You have to download the LHDN Digital Franking app and key-in all the information required and get the QR code.  When you go to the counter, they will just scan the code and the process is super fast.

I don't know what to say anymore.  Every year has been the same.  Every year has been so frustrating.  

BTW, there is a FB page called Foreign Spouses Support Group, Malaysia.  There are a group of volunteers in the group who are trying to get the immigration to remove the sentence, 'Any form of employment is strictly prohibited.' in the LTSVP.  They attend forum, make known to reporters and government officers to get this done.  

If this sentence is remove, there is no need to get the work endorsement and foreign spouses can work just like Malaysian.  I am hoping too.  Praying hard there will be positive changes.  Will shoebeat, bandhan and paperburn whenever I can.  Let's see if next year makes a difference.  

I do feel relieve.  That we got the LTSVP out of the way so that now husband can travel overseas without me being worried if he can come back in.  Because he renewed his passport as the old passport didn't have enough pages anymore.  And I didn't transfer the LTSVP  because I thought it works like the American Visa.  But I was told that it is better to transfer.  Luckily this year we didn't travel overseas.  

Next year.  Till next year.  Fingers crossed.