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Expatriates     Employment Pass     Permanent Residence     Student Pass

Seeking Employment     Short-Term Employment      Recruitment

Vehicle Entry Permit     Conversion of foreign driving licence

Singapore Websites

Clearance of Travellers through Customs (important)


     Maps for Tourists

To get free copies of maps & brochures on Singapore, including Singapore Official Guide, please click HERE.

Not illegal for security guards to hold NRIC

Foreigners to get no subsidy at polyclinics from 2006

New 10 VEP-free days scheme & shorter VEP operating hours

Foreign-registered cars need not have in-vehicle unit from Sep 2003

Easing of visa requirements for citizens of China from 1 Nov 2003


Amendments to the Immigration Act

" 2003, ICA repatriated more than 11,800 foreigners who had either entered Singapore illegally or violated the conditions set out in their immigration passes.

To enable swifter repatriation of these undesirable foreigners, clause 16 will empower the Controller to seize monies found in possession of any prohibited immigrant to cover any expenses incurred by the Government in connection with his or his dependents' detention, maintenance, medical treatment and removal from Singapore.



     VISA FREE entry into Singapore is available for the following:

       - citizens of the British Commonwealth (except India and Pakistan)

The following are members of the British Commonwealth - Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji Islands, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India (need visa), Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan (need visa), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe

      - citizens of Australia, Belgium, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, South Korea, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States

      They are allowed entry into Singapore for 30 days automatically. However, they must meet these requirements or the length of stay may be shortened:

      - validity of passport must be at least 6 months or longer

      - must have cash of S$600 or equivalent in other currencies (to ensure visitor has sufficient means, just in case)

      - must have return ticket

      They must apply for a Social Visit Pass if they wish to stay longer than 30 days. Application forms may be obtained from:

                      SIR Building   4th storey Information/Queue Ticket Counter

      Of course, if the visitor, before expiry of his 30-day visit pass, goes over to Johore Baru and then comes into Singapore again, that visitor will get a fresh 14 to 30-day visit pass. Less hassle, really.

      Tourists who have come into Singapore and then gone over to visit Malaysia for a short while will get a 14-day tourist visa when they re-enter Singapore at the Johore checkpoint. If they need a longer-term tourist visa, they can explain their situation to the Immigration Officer at Johore checkpoint to try to obtain a longer-term tourist visa of up to 30 days. However, if the Immigration Officer is unwilling to grant such a visa, the tourist should:

          1. first obtain the standard tourist visa of 14 days stay

          2. visit Singapore Immigration & Registration (SIR) HQ at 10 Kallang Rd Singapore to get an extension. This should be done about 3 - 4 days before departure from Singapore. The tourist has to bring along a local sponsor. But, if the tourist has no local sponsor, he/she has to declare that fact to the Immigration Officer processing the extension. The whole process - from application to approval - takes only about two hours.

      There is a fee of S$40 for any extension of pass accumulating to a period of 3 months or more from the date of entry and for every subsequent extension accumulating to 3 months or more. The issue of a visa is S$20, where applicable.

Citizens of Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam

From 10 Nov 2003, citizens of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam holding ordinary passports will not need a visa to visit Singapore if they stay in Singapore for not more than 30 days. Those who wish to work or study in Singapore are still required to apply for the appropriate work passes or student's pass.

Source: ICA Press Release 6 Nov 2003

       ENTRY VISAs are required for visitors from the following countries:

Foreigners holding travel documents issued by the following countries will require a visa to enter Singapore:

  • Afghanistan

  • Algeria

  • Bangladesh (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Commonwealth of Independent States* (Except Diplomatic/Official/Service passport holders for a stay of up to 30 days )

    • Armenia

    • Azerbaijan

    • Belarus

    • Georgia

    • Kazakhstan

    • Kyrgyzstan

    • Moldova

    • Russia

    • Tajikistan

    • Turkmenistan

    • Ukraine

    • Uzbekistan

  • Egypt

  • India (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Jordan (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Lebanon

  • Libya

  • Morocco

  • Myanmar (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • People's Republic of China  (Except Diplomatic/Service/Public Affairs passport holders for a stay of up to 30 days)

  • Pakistan

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Somalia

  • Sudan

  • Syria

  • Tunisia (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Yemen

In addition, visitors holding Hong Kong Document of Identity, Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Travel Permit, Palestinian Authority Passport, Refugee Travel Document issued by the Middle-East countries and Temporary Passport issued by United Arab Emirates will also require a visa to enter Singapore.

* Nationals of the Commonwealth Independent States may be granted entry into Singapore without visas if they are on transit to a third country. However, they are required to fulfil the following conditions:-

  • They are in transit to a third country;
  • They hold a valid passport, a confirmed onward air-ticket, entry facilities (including visa) to the third country and have sufficient funds for the period of stay in Singapore;
  • They continue their journey to the third country within the 96-hour visa free period granted; and
  • They satisfy Singapore's entry requirements. As in all arrivals, the grant of the social visit passes to travellers will be determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officers at the Singapore Checkpoints.

Updated: 23 Feb 2006

Source: Immigration & Checkpoints Authority


       Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has a 24-hour hotline at Tel: (65) 6391 6100. Please remember this is an automatic-answering service which means you will be listening to a computer if you call after their office hours and you may not get the type of information you need.

      Their office hours:    Mon - Fri       8.00 am to 5.00 pm

                                    Sat              8.00 am to 1.00 pm

       When I need urgent information during odd hours, especially for replies in response to queries from website visitors, I usually call Immigration & Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) airport phone line at Tel: (65) 6542 1122. That way, I get to speak to someone, not a computer and I get answers straightaway..

       If that method is inconvenient because you are overseas, please e-mail your request to us. We will get the information for you as soon as we can.


Excerpt of a letter dated 5 Jul 2000 to Forum, The Straits Times by Sharon Wong, Deputy Head, Publicity & Media Relations, Singapore Immigration & Registration.

  Singapore welcomes all foreign visitors and SIR would, as far as possible, facilitate the entry and stay of bona fide visitors.

  Multiple-journey visas are meant for foreigners who need to travel in and out of Singapore frequently, such as businessmen, those working here on valid work passes or staying with family on long-term social-visit passes.

  Those who wish to visit neighbouring countries from Singapore can also apply for the appropriate visas by providing their itinerary at the point of application.

  Other bona fide visitors are granted a 30-day visit pass at the entry point if they meet our immigration requirements.

  For most visitors, the period of stay granted is sufficient for their purpose. Those who need to remain beyond the validity of their visit passes may apply for an extension of stay at the Visitor Services Centre, SIR Building. Applications are normally processed in the same day, if submitted before 3pm.

For more information, click HERE!


     - Use of MyKad & cancellation of Malaysian restricted passports

     - Workplace Safety and Health Act replaces Factories Act

     - Food items individual travellers may bring into Singapore

     - Student Protection Scheme for international students

     - Guidelines on employment of foreign students

     - Illegal employment/deployment of foreign domestic workers




Higher school fees for PRs and foreign students

"From January 2007, PR in Government and Government-aided schools, junior colleges (JCs) and the centralised institute (CI) will pay about 20% more for school fees. They currently pay the same fees as citizens at the secondary and pre-university levels.
"FS, whose fees are already higher than those for citizens and PR, will have their fees increased by about 30%. The new fees for FS will take effect two years from now (2009 ), to give time for them to decide if they wish to apply to become permanent residents..."



Revision of hospital subsidy for foreigners

"From October 2007, PRs will continue to be subsidised for hospital services, but at 5 percentage-points less than Singapore citizens.
"From October 2008, another 5 percentage-point reduction will be applied. This way, Singapore citizens will enjoy greater subsidy than PRs, by a total of 10 percentage- points.
"As for the other foreigners, there will be no more healthcare subsidy from October 2007. ..."


     - Genting International and Star Cruises wins Sentosa IR bid


     - Three years of free Wi-Fi for Singapore from 1 Dec 2006

     - Singapore ranks 5th in 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index

     - Police bust foreign housebreaking syndicate

     - Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2006

     - 15 sleight-of-hand cases reported since January 2006



Option for foreign maids to have salary paid into their bank account

"To ensure prompt salary payment, FDWs can ask for their salaries to be paid into their bank accounts in Singapore.

"Effective 1 November 2006, MOM will introduce this as a new work permit condition for employers to comply..."


     - Police bust foreign syndicate using cloned ATM cards

     - Singapore Labour Market Report for 2nd Quarter 2006

     - Police may not allow some IMF/WB civil society representatives to enter Singapore

     - Singapore tightens security ahead of IMF/World Bank meetings


New personalised employment pass not tied to any employer

The Ministry of Manpower will introduce a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) from 1 January 2007 to help us better attract and retain global talent...

The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities. This helps us to retain selected global talent who would otherwise have to leave Singapore...

The PEP will be issued only once with a validity of 5 years. It will be nonrenewable. A PEP holder will retain the dependant privileges of his original EP type and the minimum annual basic salary requirement of S$30,000 will continue to apply throughout the 5-year duration...



Singapore needs 60,000 babies yearly but gets 35,500 only

"Owing to our declining fertility rate, we are not able to replace ourselves, let alone augment our population. To replace ourselves and maintain our current population size, we need to have 60,000 babies every year and we have only about 35,500 today. We need to therefore attract more immigrants into Singapore..."


     - Police arrest Malaysian for smuggling counterfeit S$1 coins


Subutex a Class A Controlled Drug from 14 Aug 2006

"From 14 August 2006, doctors will not be permitted to prescribe and dispense any take-home dosages for existing patients.

"All patients who require Subutex will have to consume their medication under direct visual observation of the pharmacist, doctor and/or his treatment team on a daily basis1 ."


     - Number of recognised foreign medical schools increased to 120


Exit permit rules relaxed for National Servicemen from 1 Aug 2006

"Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) will henceforth be exempted from applying for exit permits for short overseas trips of less than 3 months...

"NSmen who have completed their Operationally-Ready National Service Training Cycle and have been phased into the MINDEF Reserve (MR) will no longer be required to notify the MNC of their overseas trips of more than 24 hours and less than 6 months..."



New Singapore biometric passports from 15 Aug 2006

"To facilitate a smooth transition to the BioPass system, ICA will have to close some of its passport application services counters from 9 Aug 2006.

"This will allow ICA to install and test the BioPass systems before its actual launch. As such, only limited passport application avenues will be available from 10 to 14 August 2006..."


     - Police bust Orchard Underpass counterfeit syndicates


Foreign domestic maids get one-day off in new standard contract

"This contract is designed to help smoothen employer/employee relationships from the onset, by minimising any ambiguities on the employment terms.

"For example, the contract will include the stipulation of the minimum of one day-off entitlement for the Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs). However, if the day-off is not taken, the employer will have to compensate the FDW in cash..."



Singapore salaries increasing, candidates receiving multiple job offers

"Continued hiring increases means good news for Singapore's workforce, while increased optimism continues to fuel increasing economic growth...

"This optimism is reflected in planned salary increases and 7% of employers expecting to pay 15% or more, the highest figure for any market surveyed in Asia..."



Singapore to hold large-scale flu pandemic exercise

21-22 Jul 2006

"This large scale exercise will involve over 1,000 personnel from MOH, the Ministry of Education (MOE), home-front and related agencies such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA), Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and the People's Association..."


     - Foreign Worker Levy and S Pass quota to go up

     - Police arrest 77 foreigners illegally working as masseuses


Smoking ban in eating places starts today

Food outlets such as hawker centres, coffeeshops, cafes and fast food restaurants will be smoke-free from 1st July. To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, smokers are reminded to light up only at designated smoking corners.

Under this new regulation, smoking is banned within the indoor refreshment areas (IRA) of all foodshops (Eg. Coffeeshops, Cafes, Restaurants). They can designate up to 20% of the floor area in their outdoor refreshment areas (ORA) as a smoking corner upon NEA’s approval....



Singapore as A Leading Wealth Management Hub

Mr Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director, MAS

"Rising wealth in Asia, and the focus on Asian growth prospects have seen total assets under management in Singapore's fund management industry grow from about S$280 billion in 2000 to much more than S$600 billion now.

"Growth in private banking assets under management has also been strong, with anecdotal feedback suggesting Singapore private banking AUM averaging 20% per annum over the past few years to about US$200 billion currently...

"Our reputation for high standards of regulation and supervision and a robust legal and judicial framework, is trusted by financial intermediaries and clients alike to conduct wealth management activities..."



Changes To Conditions For Massage Establishments

Under the new requirements, establishments administering foot-reflexology, physiotherapy, traditional massage or curative massage must ensure that the massage services are conducted in full view of the public and satisfy the following new requirements before they are exempted from the provisions of the Act...

To safeguard public health and safety, masseuses, therapists and reflexologists who are working or will be working in licensed massage establishments may be required to undergo and pass a medical health screening before they can be allowed to work for any licensed establishment for massage...
Those who are currently already operating in the industry are required to register their details by 26 Aug 2006...


     - Chinese national found murdered in Ang Mo Kio salon


Employment grew strongly by 45,000 in first quarter 2006

All the major sectors registered increases in employment. The bulk of the employment gains continued to come from the services sector (28,000)...

There was also a notable improvement in the long-term unemployment from a year ago. Some 10,100 residents or 18% of the unemployed residents have been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in Mar 06, about half the 20,200 or 30% a year ago...



Police arrest four African suspects in advance fee fraud scam

"... the victim was told that the buyers' funds were in blackened United States currency 'notes' held at the South African Embassy in Singapore. The victim was told to pay the suspect a sum of USD2,100 purportedly as 'late charges' to secure the release of the funds..."


     - Use of MyKad & cancellation of Malaysian restricted passports

     - Six foreigners arrested for theft from ATMs; S$370,000 cash seized

     - Inaugural Changi Airline Awards


The Challenge Posed by HIV/ AIDS to Singapore Businesses

In Singapore, the number of HIV-positive people has climbed steadily from the first case detected here in 1985 to 2,641 by December 2005. Three out of four (74.77%) who are infected are actively employed...

In 2005, out of the 255 new cases reported, a great majority (87%) comprised the age group of 20 - 59 years old, with those aged 20 - 49 years accounting for as much as 70% of all new cases...


     - Polling Day 6 May 2006 is a public holiday


Retrenchment & re-employment 2005

Amid favourable economic conditions, the incidence of retrenchment dropped to a twelve-year low in 2005...

The incidence of retrenchment for professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) dropped to an eight-year low of 8.0 per 1,000 and a thirteen-year low of 4.8 per 1,000 for clerical, sales & service workers...

In 2005, on average 61% of local2 retrenched workers found re-employment within 6 months of their retrenchment, slightly higher than 59% in 2004. The improvement was more pronounced for the better educated workers...


     - Expat survey shows Singapore best place in the world for Asians to live


Amended Enlistment Act requires males 13 years & older to get exit permits

MINDEF will require pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16½ to apply for Exit Permits if they intend to be away from Singapore for 3 months or more.

Those who require Exit Permits of 2 years or more will be required to furnish a bond...

The penalty regime for Exit Permit offences for those aged 13 to 16½ will be only a fine of up to $2,000, with no custodial sentences...

We will thus be introducing a new offence in the Enlistment Act under which parents and guardians can be made liable for the Exit Permit offences of their children or wards of ages 13 to 16½ so that the penalty can be imposed on their parents or guardians when the circumstances warrant it. The penalty regime for the offence will also be a fine of up to $2,000...




     - ICA raid in 2 HDB blocks nets 33 immigration offenders

     - Workplace Safety and Health Act replaces Factories Act

     - Expatriate fined for verbally abusing immigration officers

     - Food items individual travellers may bring into Singapore

     - Five illegal immigrants nabbed entering Singapore by sea

     - Singapore Employment Situation in 4th Quarter 2005

     - Singapore and US begin testing of e-Passports


"Tailor-maid for the elderly" The Straits Times 11 Jan 2006 (4)

"...According to the Ministry of Manpower, there are 150,000 foreign domestic workers in Singapore. But it was unable to say how many were hired specifically to look after the elderly.

"Maid agencies interviewed estimate that 30 per cent of the 150,000 figure - or 45,000 - are engaged for that purpose, with employers generally preferring Indonesians..."

     - $45-million Budget Terminal for low-cost carriers completed

     News - 2005

     News - 2004

     News - 2003

     News - 2002