Entry into Singapore made easy. Source: Shutterstock

LAST October, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced it would be doing away with its flimsy white disembarkation for foreign visitors.

This means foreign travelers are no longer required to fill up the paper card with information pertinent to the travelers, such as their flight to Singapore and where they are staying in Singapore upon arrival.

On Aug 14, ICA announced that foreign visitors traveling to Singapore using selected transport services can now submit electronic arrival cards up to 14 days before they reach the country. The move is part of a series of recent high-tech measures by ICA.

With the new electronic arrival card, travelers can submit their personal information and trip details through the ICA website or via a mobile application before arriving in Singapore. Travelers will then only need to produce their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival.

Foreign visitors will need to produce only their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival — instead of filling out paper arrival cards — as their details will already be in the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA’s) system, TODAY reported.

The mobile application will also allow returning travelers to save the information submitted from previous trips for use for their next trip to Singapore.

Source: Shutterstock

The move, which went on trial last October, is part of ICA’s new “SG Arrival Card” e-service.

The trial was conducted at most of the air, land and sea checkpoints, namely Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, Changi Airport, and the four cruise/ferry terminals (i.e., Singapore Cruise Centre, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Changi Point Ferry Terminal, and Changi Ferry Terminal).

It has now been extended to visitors traveling via certain airlines, coaches, and ferries. Visitors traveling with these transport companies are eligible for e-arrival cards, according to ICA:

  • Airlines: AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines.
  • Coach: Transtar Travel.
  • Ferries: BatamFast Ferries, Bintan Resort Ferries, Horizon Fast Ferry, and Majestic Fast Ferry.

For now, all other visitors will still have to complete the paper disembarkation or embarkation cards upon arrival.

The SG Arrival Card e-service has gone live on both the ICA’s website and as a mobile application. Users of the mobile app can simply scan their passport biodata pages, instead of manually keying in the information.

ICA said that the e-service is part of its move to improve the immigration clearance process for foreign visitors, adding that it plans to completely replace paper-based immigration clearance forms by 2021.

It will be studying the results of the trial and will “progressively extend” the e-service to all foreign visitors.

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