Visa policy of Singapore

The visa policy of Singapore deals with the requirements a traveller must meet to enter Singapore. A foreign national, depending on their country of origin, must meet certain requirements to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel, to enter and remain in the country. A visa may also entitle the visa holder to other privileges, such as a right to work, study, etc. and may be subject to conditions.

A 63-days short term multiple entry Singapore e-visa in 2022. Singapore no longer endorses any sticker visas or passport stamps in any travel documents.

Citizens of most countries and territories can enter Singapore without a visa. A citizen of one of the visa waiver eligible countries and territories can temporarily enter the country for a period of 30 or 90 days without a visa depending on their nationality. However, nationals of some countries must first obtain a visa in advance before being allowed to enter Singapore.[1][2]

In recent years, applications of work permits, study permits and certain types of permanent residency are submitted online. However, such applicants must provide their biometrics (photograph and fingerprints) as a part of their application process. Depending on the country by which the passport was issued, a visa application may have to be submitted at a visa application centre at a Singaporean diplomatic mission.[1]

Entry requirements edit

 
Singaporean entry stamp. (no exit stamps since 22 April 2019, no entry stamps since 21 October 2021)[3][4]

All visitors to Singapore must:

  • hold a passport or a travel document valid for more than 6 months at the time of departure,[5]
  • hold an onward or return ticket;[5]
  • have sufficient funds for the duration of stay in Singapore;[5]
  • have entry documents (including a visa if required) to their next destination (if applicable);[5]
  • have a visa and/or a yellow fever vaccination certificate for entry into Singapore (if applicable).[5]

SG Arrival Card edit

Prior to entering Singapore, all travellers (including Singapore citizens) are required to submit an SG Arrival Card online, which provides personal information, trip details and health declaration, to Singapore immigration.[6] Singapore citizens are exempt from the requirement to submit an SG Arrival Card if entering Singapore by land.[5]

The electronic SG Arrival Card must be submitted within three days prior to the date of arrival in Singapore, to avoid unnecessary delays during immigration clearance.[6]

Travellers can submit their personal information and trip details via an official link or via the "SG Arrival Card" mobile application from either the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).[6]

The Electronic Arrival Card is free of charge. The Electronic Arrival Card is not a substitute for a visa.[6]

The paper-based Disembarkation Card (colloquially known as the “White Card”) has been discontinued since 2020.[7]

Visa policy map edit

 
  Republic of Singapore
  Visa-free (indefinite stay)
  Visa-free (90 days)
  Visa-free (30 days)
  Visa required in advance
       • e-Visa (through local contact or authorised agent)
       • traditional Visa (without local contact or authorised agent)

Visa exemption edit

Citizens of the following 162 jurisdictions may enter Singapore without a visa for stays up to the duration listed below, depending on nationality:[2]

Indefinite stay (1)

90 days (35)

1 - Visa-free entry for British passport holders without proof of right of abode in the United Kingdom is shortened to 30 days.

30 days (126)

1 - For Chinese citizens with People's Republic of China passports, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports or Macao Special Administrative Region passports only.
2 - Holders of Taiwan passports who do not have the right of abode in Taiwan must hold a valid Taiwan re-entry permit.
3 - Holders of United Arab Emirates temporary passports are not eligible for visa exemption and must obtain a visa.

According to Timatic, nationals of South Sudan do not need a visa to enter Singapore for a maximum stay of 30 days.[2] This, however, is not supported by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, which states that South Sudanese nationals must obtain a visa.[1]

APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) edit

Holders of passports issued by the following jurisdictions who also possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing the "SGP" code on the reverse, which indicates that it is valid for travel to Singapore, can enter Singapore without a visa for business trips of up to 60 days.[2] They are also eligible for enrollment into the Automated Clearance Initiative.

ABTC holders are eligible to use automated immigration clearance lanes upon arrival and departure.

ABTCs are issued to nationals of:[8][9]

Visa required in advance edit

Singapore categorises countries whose citizens require a visa to enter into two groups – Assessment Level I and Assessment Level II countries.

Assessment Level I Countries edit

Holders of normal passports or travel documents issued by Assessment Level I countries and territories may obtain an e-visa from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)'s online portal through a local Singaporean contact or a strategic partner in Singapore; if successful, the applicant can enter Singapore with a printout of the e-visa. Applicants may alternatively obtain a visa at the nearest Singaporean diplomatic mission or from one of its authorized visa agents outside Singapore, in which case a local Singaporean contact is not required.[1][2]

Expedited processing edit

e-Visa and regular visa applications lodged by holders of the following three travel documents are processed in 1 working day, excluding the day the application was submitted.[1]

Regular processing edit

e-Visa and regular visa applications lodged by nationals of the following countries are processed in 3 working days, excluding the day the application was submitted. Visa requirement does not apply to holders of non-ordinary passports of these countries, with the exception of North Korea.[1]

Assessment Level II Countries edit

 
Singapore visa vignette issued to a stateless person in 2017.

Holders of all passports or travel documents issued by Assessment Level II countries and territories may obtain an e-visa from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)'s online portal through a local Singaporean contact or a strategic partner in Singapore; if successful, the applicant can enter Singapore with a printout of the e-visa. Applicants may alternatively obtain a visa at the nearest Singaporean diplomatic mission or from one of its authorized visa agents outside Singapore – however, a "Letter of Introduction for Visa Application" to support the visa application is required, which can be issued by a local Singaporean contact or a Singaporean diplomatic mission. e-Visa and regular visa applications lodged by nationals of the following countries and territories are processed in 3 working days, excluding the day the application was submitted.[1]

Visa requirements also apply to non-ordinary passport holders of these countries, unless otherwise noted.

DOS - Holders of diplomatic, official and service passports are exempt from visa requirements.
D - Holders of diplomatic passports are exempt from visa requirements.

Automated Clearance Initiative (ACI) edit

Under the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)’s Automated Clearance Initiative (ACI), eligible foreign visitors, including those visiting Singapore for the first time, can use automated lanes for both arrival and departure immigration clearance without the need for prior enrolment.[11] As of April 2023, the ACI was deployed to 130 automated lanes at Changi Airport and 40 automated lanes at the land checkpoints.[11]

Travellers are required to provide a valid email address within their SG Arrival card submissions in order to receive their Electronic Visit Pass (e-Pass) when using the automated lanes; travellers will not be issued an arrival immigration endorsement in their passports.[12]

Under the ACI, eligible arriving foreign visitors are directed to the automated lanes for immigration clearance.[11]

a) Their biometrics (iris, facial and fingerprint images) are automatically enrolled during the arrival clearance process (if not already enrolled during a previous trip to Singapore).

b) Information on their enrolment is included in the electronic visit pass (e-Pass) which is emailed to them after immigration clearance.

c) Enrolled foreign visitors will then be able to use any automated lane during departure and on subsequent visits to Singapore.

ACI is a critical component of ICA’s New Clearance Concept (NCC), which aimed to make automated immigration clearance the norm at the checkpoints. Automated immigration lanes leverage multi-modal biometric scanning technology to provide travellers with a more secure, efficient, and seamless immigration clearance experience. 95% of all arrivals at Changi Airport are expected to be cleared through the automated lanes, by the first quarter of 2024.[11]

Through the use of automated lanes which take up less physical space and require less manpower than manual counters, ICA would be able to increase its clearance throughput and meet the growing traveller volume, which was expected to reach 300 million travellers per year by 2025.[11]

As of January 2024, ACI eligibility was extended to the passport holders of 60 jurisdictions. Holders of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) are also able to use the automated lanes under ACI.[11] The Automated Clearance Initiative (ACI) is available for enrolment, for the following nationals (aged 6 and over):[13]

1 - For British passport holders, only British citizens are eligible for enrolment into the ACI. The other classes of British nationality are eligible when departure.

Transit without visa edit

Transit through Changi Airport edit

Nationals of Assessment Level I and II countries do not require a visa to transit through Changi Airport as long as they fulfill the following requirements:[14]

  • have an onward ticket,
  • remain in the transit area,
  • have their luggage checked to their final destination,
  • do not clear immigration to enter Singapore, and,
  • are not travelling on a low-cost airline (except for passengers travelling on Scoot with Scoot-thru, or Jetstar with connecting flights purchased on the same booking).

Nationals of certain Assessment Level I countries may clear immigration to enter Singapore under the Visa Free Transit Facility.

Visa-Free Transit Facility (VFTF) edit

Nationals of China and India edit

Nationals of   China1 and   India may enter Singapore without a visa for 96 hours if they are in transit to or from any third country by air, and possess a valid visa or long-term residence permit with validity of at least one month issued by Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom or United States.[15] Schengen visas are also accepted if the visa allows entry into Germany or Switzerland.[15]

Single-journey visas issued by these eight countries are also acceptable for transit, but if using the VFTF on the return journey (i.e. after the single journey visa has been used) the traveller must travel directly from the visa-issuing country and directly back to the home country, and the traveller must have not returned to their home country since the single journey visa was last used.

They may enter Singapore by any mode of transport but must depart by air or sea.[15] They must have a valid onward air/ferry/cruise ticket departing Singapore within 96 hours.[15]

1- Chinese citizens who hold Chinese passports are visa exempt in general, while holders of other travel documents who require a visa may use this policy.

Nationals of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Georgia, Moldova, Turkmenistan and Ukraine edit

Nationals of the following countries may enter Singapore without a visa for 96 hours if they are in transit to or from any third country. These nationals may use the VFTF on both the forward and the return journey. They may enter Singapore by any mode of transport but must depart by air.[15]

Mandatory yellow fever vaccination edit

All travellers, including Singapore residents, who arrive in Singapore from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission (listed below) require an International Certificate of Vaccination in order to enter Singapore.[16] Failure to provide a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate, would result in the traveller being quarantined under Section 31 of the Infectious Disease Act, for a maximum of six days upon arrival in Singapore.[16] Non-residents who object to the quarantine, will be denied entry and returned to his/her place of origin or last port of embarkation.[16] The vaccination requirement is imposed by this country for protection against Yellow Fever since the principal mosquito vector Aedes aegypti is present in its territory.[17][18]

Admission restrictions edit

According to Timatic, nationals of North Korea are required to be escorted to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority upon entering or transiting Singapore.[2]

History edit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all short-term visitors were not allowed to enter or transit through Singapore effective 23 March 2020, 2359 hours.[1][2][19]

From 29 March 2020, 2359 hours, all Singapore long-term pass holders, as well as those granted in-principle approval for long-term passes, were required to obtain an entry approval from the relevant government agency (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Ministry of Education or Ministry of Manpower) before commencing their journey to Singapore. All travellers will need to submit a health and travel declaration online prior to arrival, and will be issued a 14-day stay home notice upon arrival.[20]

All COVID-19 related border measures were lifted starting 13 February 2023.[21]

Visitor statistics edit

Most visitors arriving to Singapore on short-term basis were from the following countries of nationality:

Source: Singapore Tourism Analytics Network[22]

Country or territory 2021 2022 10/2023 01/2024
  Indonesia 33,460 1,104,160 1,872,030 268,970
  China 88,250 130,870 1,128,440 211,190
  Australia 10,050 565,680 884,270 124,140
  Malaysia 24,220 590,960 891,890 93,390
  India 54,380 686,470 887,260 82,120
  South Korea 7,130 217,530 488,370 79,260
  United States 10,960 318,450 516,040 63,260
  United Kingdom

8,550

226,740 384,060 60,950
  Germany 5,410 130,590 249,770 51,790
  Philippines 11,490 381,990 568,380 46,300
  Taiwan 3,410 65,050 289,980 38,460
  Japan 5,920 132,110 359,050 37,690
  Thailand 4,380 283,430 393,210 27,220
  Vietnam 3,440 312,710 406,410 25,910
  Hong Kong 5,430 129,050 267,910 23,420
  New Zealand 595 57,080 115,910 14,430
  Canada 1,690 55,020 102,970 13,090
  France 4,210 86,090 142,140 12,980
  Myanmar 10,020 85,290 100,550 12,360
  Bangladesh 17,900 102,990 98,730 10,330
  Russia 388 9,800 46,460 9,470
  Netherlands 1,960 51,180 76,600 7,790
   Switzerland 1,320 36,290 62,050 7,640
  Italy 1,230 33,120 63,710 5,610
  Sri Lanka 1,470 35,520 44,260 5,590
  Brunei 1,250 31,640 47,580 5,220
  United Arab Emirates 940 42,970 66,100 4,760
  Spain 777 30,460 49,640 4,030
  Sweden 545 13,500 21,330 3,660
  Finland 355 9,780 15,580 3,490
  South Africa 159 13,020 19,910 3,210
  Denmark 730 16,410 23,590 2,990
  Norway 425 12,690 20,270 2,140
  Saudi Arabia 196 7,170 18,620 2,080
  Israel 704 11,940 14,040 1,080
  Pakistan 195 10,560 14,690 1,410
  Kuwait 38 3,650 7,470 955
  Mauritius 35 2,410 4,010 548
  Iran 54 1,370 4,910 409
  Egypt 94 1,640 6,320 279

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "ICA | Check if You Need an Entry Visa". www.ica.gov.sg. Immigration & Checkpoints Authority. 1 June 2023. Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Visa and passport". Timatic. International Air Transport Association through Emirates.
  3. ^ "Foreigners leaving Singapore will no longer have their passports stamped". CNA. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  4. ^ "Electronic Visit Pass (e-Pass) Replaces Inked Endorsements for Foreign Visitors Arriving in Singapore via Air Checkpoints". ICA. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Entry Requirements". Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, Singapore. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "SG Arrival Card". Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, Singapore. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Coronavirus: All travellers arriving in Singapore must submit health declaration from Friday". The Straits Times. 2020-03-23. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  8. ^ "ABTC Summary". Travel@APEC. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  9. ^ https://www.apec.org/docs/default-source/groups/abtc/0-abtc-economy-entry-information-table-(as-of-18-oct-2022)852440b8682b4b84b94ccbe4745b0dbc.pdf?sfvrsn=260f0b80_2
  10. ^ CNA (21 November 2019). "No visa required for Hong Kong passport holders to enter Singapore, ICA clarifies". CNA. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "More Foreign Visitors Able to Clear Immigration Through Automated Lanes". ICA. Retrieved 2023-04-25.
  12. ^ "Automated Clearance Initiative". ICA. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  13. ^ "Automated Clearance Initiative". ICA. Retrieved 2022-09-03.
  14. ^ Flight transfer
  15. ^ a b c d e "Visa-Free Transit Facility". Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b c "ICA | Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate". www.ica.gov.sg. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  17. ^ "Countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination" (PDF). World Health Organization, International Travel and Health. June 17, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  18. ^ "Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate". Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  19. ^ Tang, See Kit; Tjendro, Johannes (22 March 2020). "No entry or transit through Singapore for all short-term visitors amid heightened risk of imported COVID-19 cases: MOH". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  20. ^ "COVID-19: Entry approval required for all long-term pass holders entering Singapore". Channel NewsAsia. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Information for Incoming and Outgoing Travellers".
  22. ^ "Visitor Arrivals - Ad-hoc Report". Singapore Tourism Analytics Network. Retrieved December 28, 2022.

External links edit