Because Singapore is so small, it only has two airports, one of which (the Changi Airport) has been named as the best airport in the world for seven years straight. It features art installations, butterfly gardens, majestic fountains, shopping centers, more plants than you would find in some countries’ outdoors, cinemas, and many more.
Safe to say, foreign travelers transiting through Singapore will get quite the Singaporean experience without ever leaving its airport.
The rules on a Singapore Transit Visa change depending on your nationality. If you are traveling to Singapore, and wondering whether you need a Singapore Transit visa, the answer is most likely, “No.” That’s because most countries do not need a Singapore Visa at all, and therefore, they also do not need a Singapore Transit Visa.
But before you understand the Transit visa rules for Singapore, you need to know what countries are subject to a visa, and which are not.
Do I Need to Apply for a Singapore Transit Visa?
No, if you are simply transiting in Singapore, you do not need to have a Singapore Transit Visa, (even if you are from one of the countries mentioned in the tables below) if you fulfill these conditions:
- You do not leave the Airport Transit Area.
- You must have a connecting flight ticket for onward travel.
- You do not go through the immigration area.
These rules only apply to nationals from countries who need to apply for a regular Singapore Visa in order to visit Singapore. The countries who are subject to Singapore visa requirements are divided into two groups, which are listed below.
Assessment Level I Countries
|Democratic People’s Republic of Korea||Georgia||India|
|The People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Assessment Level II Countries
But even though there is no such thing as a Singapore Transit visa, Singapore does have a special transit visa which allows the holder to enter the country under certain conditions.
The Singapore Visa-Free Transit Facility (VFTF)
Singapore has made an agreement with certain countries who need a visa. This agreement allows certain travelers who are transiting in Singapore to enter the country for up to 96 hours.
This is called the Visa-Free Transit Facility (VFTF).
The Visa-Free Transit Facility is available to nationals from:
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
- The People’s Republic of China (PRC)
- Turkmenistan and Ukraine
Nationals from those countries who think they meet the requirements for the VFTF have to submit their case to the Singaporean immigration services (ICA) at their point of entry. It is the ICA who reviews the application and decides whether to grant the traveler entry into Singapore.
They hold the right to refuse.
If you receive this special Singapore transit visa, you are only allowed to leave the transit area and stay in Singapore for a maximum of 96 hours. The time cannot be extended under any circumstances.
Overstaying any type of Singapore visa is considered a punishable offense, so be careful not to do so.
You can only use the VFTF once, either on your forward or return trip.
The Requirements for the Singapore Visa-Free Transit Facility
The requirements for obtaining a VFTF visa change depending on the country.
If you are from India or the People’s Republic of China (PRC) you are eligible for the VFTF visa if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You leave Singapore via air or sea, regardless of how you came in. This means you must have a valid ticket for a flight, a ship, or a cruise which is departing within 96 hours.
- You have a valid visa for one of the following countries:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- The visa is valid for at least one month starting from the time VFTF comes into effect.
If you have a Single Journey Visa which has expired (meaning you already traveled to the country that issued it) you can still use the VFTF on your return flight. In this case, you must:
- Travel directly from the country who issued the visa
- Stop into Singapore to transit.
- Travel directly back to your home country.
If you are from The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Georgia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine you are eligible for the VFTF if you fulfill the following countries:
- You leave Singapore via airplane, regardless of the method with which you traveled in.
- You have a valid airplane ticket which departs in the next 96 hours.
In either case, when you request entry in the country through the VFTF, you must present the ICA officers:
- A passport, which is valid for at least six more months from the time you depart Singapore.
- Your booked onward travel ticket (flight or ship, as applicable).
- The visa to the third country, if applicable.
- Proof you have sufficient funds to cover your stay.
- The Embarkation/Disembarkation card, completed.
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