If you are planning a trip to Singapore and you need a visa, this article details the Singapore visa application.
A Singapore visa allows the holder to enter a Singaporean point of entry, where they will be checked by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers. The ICA decide whether the visitor meets the requirements for entry into the country.
You have to apply for a Singapore visa at least 30 days before you arrive in Singapore.
But keep in mind that just because you have a Singapore visa, it does not mean you will be allowed to enter since the Singapore visa is just pre-entry permission.
If you meet the entry requirements, however, you will receive a Pass which allows you to enter Singapore and stay for the duration that the Pass is issued. For example, for a Singapore tourist visa, you will receive a Visit Pass, usually valid for a maximum of 30 days within a 90-day period.
Do I Need to Apply for a Visa to Go to Singapore?
The majority of the world’s countries can freely enter Singapore without a visa. However, for those that do need a visa, the application process has been simplified. You can apply online, at any time, after Singapore introduced the e-Visa.
The countries whose citizens need a Singapore visa have been categorized into two groups. The Assessment Level I Countries and Assessment Level II Countries. The level in which your country is in determines part of the application process as well as the visa processing time.
How to Submit a Singapore Visa Application?
Countries from either assessment level can apply for a Singapore at one of the following:
- Online, through a local Singaporean contact or a strategic partner, using ICA’s e-Service.
- At a Singaporean diplomatic mission.
Even though you fill out your own visa application form, and gather your documents, you cannot submit a Singapore visa application yourself. You need to find an authorized visa agent, strategic partner or local contact in Singapore to submit the Singapore visa application for you.
Authorized visa agents and strategic partners are travel agencies that the Singaporean government has authorized to submit visa applications. They can submit an application on your behalf through the SAVE (Submission of Application for Visa Electronically) that is available on ICA’s (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) website.
You can ask the nearest Singaporean mission about the information on how to get in touch with a strategic partner.
A Singapore local contact is someone you know and trust in Singapore (citizen or permanent resident) that is eligible to register on SingPass and submit an application for you. They must be at least 21 years old.
If you are applying through a Singaporean diplomatic mission, you will have to get in touch with them regarding their requirements and application process.
Collect the required documents
The requirements for a Singapore Visa application are:
- Completed Singapore Visa application form. You have to answer questions regarding your personal information, marital status, where in Singapore you will be staying, your address in your home country, the purpose of your visit, your intended stay, and so on. You must sign the document yourself. When you arrive at the entry port in Singapore, the ICU could ask you to submit it.
- Your passport/travel document. It has to be valid for at least six months after your visa expires.
- Photocopy of your passport’s bio-data. It has to be in an A4 format.
- Photocopy of booked airline ticket or travel itinerary. A4 format.
- Passport-size picture of yourself. It must have been taken in the last three months, have a white background, and show you facing forward with a neutral expression. You are not permitted to have headgear unless it is for religious reasons. Even so, the headgear cannot obstruct the face.
- Letter of Introduction. This document must be signed by your local contact or strategic partner and be attached to your application. It asks your contact/partner in Singapore to provide your personal information, the reason you want to visit Singapore, how long you will stay, as well as the relationship between you and them.
- A credit card. You will use the card to pay for the Singapore visa processing fee. The card must be a VISA or MasterCard.
- Yellow Fever Vaccination (If applicable). If you have been to the countries on the table below six days before traveling to Singapore, you will need to show the ICA officers at the entry point that an International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever.
List of countries that need to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination
|Angola||Central African Republic||Ethiopia|
|Burkina Faso||Cote d’ivoire||Gabon|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Cameroon||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
After you Receive your Singapore Visa
Once you receive your Singapore visa, you or your partner can print a paper copy of the e-Visa.
If you are from an Assessment Level I Country, it will usually take about 1 day for your Singapore visa to be processed.
If you are from an Assessment Level II Country, your visa will be processed within three days.
In both cases, some applications may take longer to process than usual.
Then, after receiving your visa, you can travel to Singapore, where the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers determine at the entry points whether you should be allowed to enter and issue you a Pass.
Singapore Tourist Visa
If you want to travel to Singapore for tourism purposes, you need to apply for a Singapore tourist visa. The tourist visa application process Singapore is as explained above.
When you reach the immigration checkpoint, if the officers find you suitable for entry, they will give you an Entry Pass.
The Singapore entry pass for a Singapore tourist visa is called a Visit Pass, and it is valid for 14-30 days. If you overstay your visa, you will be punished, so make sure not to do so.
If you want to stay for longer than the permitted time, you will have to apply for a Singapore tourist visa extension before your current visa expires. The visa extension application can be submitted online on ICA’s website or in person at their offices in Singapore.
If you enter via a Singapore tourist visa, you are not allowed to take up any sort of paid employment.
What is the Difference Between Multiple and Single Journey Visa?
- The Single Journey Visa can only be used once. After you leave Singapore, you cannot travel to Singapore with that visa again, even if you still have remaining days.
- The Multiple Journey Visa can be used multiple times for as long as it is valid.
Types of Visas and Passes for Singapore
As mentioned before, Singapore visas only allow the holder to travel to Singapore not enter. So, while there are only two types of Singapore visas, Multiple and Single Journey Visa, there are different types of Passes.
- Short Term Visit Pass, which allows the holder to enter Singapore with the purpose of a short social visit, for tourism, or medical reasons.
- Work Passes and Permits. This is what would otherwise be called a Singapore work visa. The holder of a work permit or employment pass can legally take up work in Singapore.
- Dependent’s Pass, available to the family members of Employment Pass. It allows the holder to remain in Singapore for as long as the EP holder does.
- Long-Stay Visit Pass, available to the family members of EP holders who do not qualify for the Dependent Pass.
- Student Pass. This is the Singapore student visa, available to foreign students who want to pursue higher education in Singapore.
- Visa-Free Transit Facility – a Singapore transit visa available only to nationals from certain countries. It allows them to leave the transit area of the airport and stay in Singapore for up to 96 hours while they wait for a connecting flight.
What is eIACS?
If your passport is a machine-readable passport (biometric passport) which follows the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, you may be eligible for the
Singapore enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS).
eIACS enables you to clear immigration checks at ICA quicker.
To be eligible for eIACS, you must have an ICAO passport and fulfill one of the following conditions:
- Be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident or Long-Term Pass card holder. You must be over six years of age and have your fingerprints registered with the ICA.
- Have a Singaporean S Pass, Employment Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Work Permit and have your fingerprints registered with MOM (the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower).
- You are registered in ICA’s Frequent Traveller Programme (FTP).
- You are leaving Singapore and had registered your fingerprints on arrival.
You can register and use eIACS at an eIACS Enrollment Center in Singapore, such as at the ICA Building or an eligible checkpoint (Changi Airport Terminal 3, Woodlands Checkpoint, or Tuas Checkpoint).
Your passport must be valid for at least six more months when you apply.
Quick Facts About Singapore
Singapore may be small, but it’s nevertheless one of the most popular destinations in the world.
It is one of the world’s three remaining city-states (the other two being Monaco and Vatican City) as well as one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with an area of only 278.6 square miles (721.5 square km), and an estimated 5.6 million residents.
Out of the overall population, only 3.4 million of them are Singaporean citizens, while the remainder are permanent residents or international students and workers.
With its greenery-filled streets, modern, breathtaking landscapes, malls, delicious street food, and what is known as the best airport in the world (no joke, there’s a flower garden!), Singapore attracts millions of visitors every year.