Indonesia’s newly appointed Director General of Immigration has conducted a site visit to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Immigration Office, and he was delighted with what he found. Director General Silmy Karim has only been on the job a little over a week and is conducting visits to immigration offices across Indonesia. He has publicly conveyed the results of his site visit. Karim told reporters that Bali immigration exceeded his expectations.
The new Director General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia visited the Ngurah Rai immigration Office in Badung Regency on Thursday. He told reporters, “this is beyond my expectations. I hope that other ranks can do the same thing”.
When asked about what made the Ngurah Rai Office so outstanding, Karim said, “Fast and clean service, as well as digitalization support that we hope in the future to improve immigration services.” He added, “service is the number one target. The tasks must be carried out as well as possible” he kindly reminded staff to keep up the good work and provide service ‘wholeheartedly.’
He is clearly a detail-orientated man. During his visit, he observed the process of passport applications for Indonesian citizens and observed the visa renewal and extension process. He followed the process from the queue through to the interview, photograph, and application processing procedures. He addressed immigration staff at the Ngurah Rai Offices and called on them to continue to focus on improving three key areas. Namely the quality of the organization, staff performance, and increasing the department’s contribution to the prosperity of Indonesia as a country.
Karim also visited the Denpasar Immigration Detention Center. He checked the detention investigation room and the dentation accommodation block. He also chatted with foreign nationals currently being processed at the facility. Karim said, ‘we will protect their human side’ and reminded Immigration staff to treat inmates with care.
He was joined on his site visits by the Head of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Anggiat Napitupulu, and the Head of the Immigration Division of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Barron Ichsan. During his time at Bali Airport, he was escorted by General Manager Handy Heryudhitiawan.
Silmy Karim takes over the role of Director General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights from Prof Widodo Ekatjahjana, who fulfilled the role as an acting head for a year and a half. Ekatjahjana will now return to his role as the Head of the National Law Training Body of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Ekatjahjana did not shy away from highlighting where improvement could be made in the Department of Immigration. During a spot check of Bali Aiport in October 2022, he was left furious after discovering multiple visa-on-arrival counters and payment kiosks unstaffed during peak travel times. He even threatened to call a ministerial meeting “so that they know that all immigration is trash….” He said at the height of his anger.
Fortunately, his feedback was taken on board, and Bali Airport addressed the issue he raised. Moving forward, there are clear directives to improve the immigration experience for citizens and foreigners even more. The Minister of Law and Human Rights in Indonesia, Yasonna Laoly, made a statement at the appointment of Silmy Karim into his new role.
Laoly said he wants to see the Department of Immigration becoming more dynamic and focus on the development of strategic immigration. He explained Indonesia should “particularly study some countries that [we can] can speed up immigration services [for] so that we can ultimately attract the interest of investors and talented people to come. I also expect the Directorate of Immigration to make a variety of change efforts involving related stakeholders, the key mainly being through technology and digitalization.”
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