I had read about people going as early as 4am to 5am to queue up! I certainly wasn’t going to do that. Besides, we had to send our kids to school.
So, one morning after sending the kids to school, my husband, my maid and I went to the Indonesian Embassy at 9am in the morning. We brought the maid’s old passport and nothing else. We parked at the carpark right beside it. As we were walking towards the Embassy gates, some touts called out to us shouting out something about photostating documents. We ignored them and walked straight on.
When we arrived at the gates, there was a man at the gate telling us to go towards a queue station to collect forms and do photostating. You can do photostating for free in the Indonesian Embassy. We headed towards the queue station. There was a man seated at a desk at the start of the queue station. There was no queue. We showed him the passport and he handed us a form and 3 duplicate copies of a pre-printed contract of employment between maid and employer.
The form was very simple to complete. Just one page. The only thing you probably have to remember is your maid’s address and contact person back home. Make sure your maid knows this beforehand. I remember my sister’s young Cambodian maid who did not even know her home address. She was homesick and the agent offered to contact her family but she was not able to give them a contact number.
The contract of employment is to be filled out in triplicate. One copy for the Embassy, one for the maid and one for the employer. You have to fill out the number of years you wish the contract to be, the salary (minimum salary for renewal is RM600), the Embassy announced this in the loudspeaker, as well as the place of exit, ie your responsiblity in terms of paying for the maids fare to and fro. You should have a rough idea about all this before you go so that it is easier for you to write this information down in the preprinted contract.
After we completed the form and contract we went to the end of the queue station (though there was no queue) and showed the form, contract and passport to the man seated there. He gave us a number and allowed us to enter. It is a good idea to photostat your documents after you take the number. The photostat station is located on the right or you can ask the man who gives out the numbers.
Before entering the waiting area, we had to walk through a room to have the maid’s photograph taken. Then we are allowed to enter the waiting area. We were there at 9.45am. Our number (2078) was called at 11.15am to surrender the documents at the counter. We did not realise that we had to photostat the documents before that but we were allowed to leave the room to the photostat station which is outside and not very far from the waiting room to get the documents photostated for free.
After that we had to wait to make payment. We were called to make payment at 12.30pm. When making payment, usually the maid has to go to the counter as the counter person will interview the maid. They will ask for her address and contact person back home to verify her indentity. Then they will enquire whether she is happy working and how much is her renewal salary. Remember, the minimum is RM600.
After making the payment, I asked the man manning the counter how long it will take for the passport to be ready. It was 12.20pm at the time. His reply was “After lunch. You can go and have your lunch and go shopping if you like and come back at 3pm to collect the passport”
I would say that everything is quite smooth flowing so far. Accept that you have to be prepared to wait it out. If you trust your maid to be around lots of long haired hippy looking males, you may even leave her there to wait. 😛
We went to pick up the kids from school, have lunch and then hubby sent us there at about 2.30pm. Hubby was supposed to leave us there and go run another errant. However, I saw that the numbers 2071 to 2074 was called in rapid succession. My number was 2078. So I called hubby to turn back.
Unfortunately, the number did not move from there and an hour later, they were still calling 2075. Then the numbers became erractic. 2095, 2103, 2080 etc. till almost every number near and above mine were called except my 2078.
I went to the counter twice to ask why my number was not called even though those ahead of mine had been called just to make sure that I had not missed my number but they said it was like that and told me to wait.
Finally, my number was called at 4.00pm. The counter man interviewed the maid again shortly, almost the same questions ie how long she has been working etc. Then he looked at me and asked “Is this your signature?” pointing to the employer’s signature on the employment contract. I explained that it was my husband’s who was there in the morning and he said “you should start paying her the new salary from next month.” I told him that we will start paying her the new salary immediately after her current 2 year contract with us expires in 3 months time. He looked at the maid and asked her whether that was ok with her and when she said yes, he released the passport to us together with a copy of the employment contract for her and for me. The new passport starts from the date of application even though the old passport expires much later.
9am to 4pm. That is all the time it took us. The only documents you require is your maid’s current passport. Not too difficult but very time consumming. Oh I forgot to mention. I paid RM10 for parking and RM18 for the passport. The agent was going to charge us RM350 for this service.
Updated: On 28th May, 2012 I renewed my maid’s passport at the Indonesian Embassy for a second time. Not much changes but I have written a more detailed post than this including a sample letter of authorization for those who are renewing their maid’s passport on behalf of their spouse (if they are not named as the employer in the original maid application). Here is the post on How To Renew Your Indonesian Maid’s Passport Yourself.