Singapore - Travel Preparation
- First, check the current validity of your passport.
All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following your departure date from Singapore. However, we strongly recommend traveling with 6 months validity on your passport at all times. VisaHQ can assist U.S. citizens with a full range of expedited passport services, including new passport application and passport renewal.
- Second, make sure your passport has blank Visa pages.
Most destinations, including Singapore, require that you have adequate un-used pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. We recommend that you have at least two free pages in Visas section of your passport before any international travel. U.S. citizens can get extra passport pages added to their passports as fast as within 24 hours.
- Finally, confirm if transit visa is required for any connections.
Check with your airline in case you have connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Singapore. It may be the case that countries you pass through en route to your destination may require a separate transit visa. Please refer to visa requirements of the specific country.
Who requires a visa?
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) and Yemen.
Visitors holding travel documents issued by the following also require a visa to enter Singapore:
Hong Kong Document of Identity
Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Travel Permit
Palestinian Authority Passport
Refugee Travel Document issued by the Middle-East countries
Temporary Passport issued by United Arab Emirates
Nationals of the Commonwealth Independent States may be granted entry into Singapore without visas if they are on transit to or from a third country. However, they are required to fulfill the following conditions:
- They are in transit to or from a third country
- They continue their journey to the third country within the 96-hour visa free period granted
- They satisfy Singapore's entry requirements, as determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officers at the Singapore Checkpoint
- They are in possession of a valid passport
- They are in possession of a confirmed onward air-ticket
- They are in possession of Entry facilities (including visa) to the third country
- They are in possession of Sufficient funds for the period of stay in Singapore
Note: Possession of a visa alone does not guarantee entry into Singapore. Visitors must also meet entry requirements such as holding a valid passport, sufficient funds for the period of stay in Singapore and confirmed onward/return air ticket.
What documents will be required?
All travelers are required to go through immigration clearance upon arrival into Singapore. The granting of social visit passes to visitors is determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the point of entry. Visitors must satisfy the following basic entry requirements before they are allowed to enter Singapore:
- A passport with at least 6 months validity
- Valid Singapore visa, if applicable
- Sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in Singapore
- Confirmed onward/return tickets (where applicable)
- Entry facilities to their onward destinations, e.g. visas.
- Completed Disembarkation/Embarkation Card
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, if applicable
The period of stay granted is shown on the social visit pass endorsement given on the visitor's passport. Visitors are advised to check their passports for the arrival endorsement and take note of the number of days stay given before leaving the checkpoint.
All visitors on social visit passes are not permitted to engage in any form of business, profession, occupation or paid employment while in Singapore. Visitors are also reminded that it is a punishable offence to overstay in Singapore beyond the number of days given. If there is a need to stay beyond the period granted, visitors may apply for an extension of stay online via e-XTEND or at the Visitors Services Centre, 4th storey, ICABuilding, before the social visit pass expires. Application for extension of stay is subject to approval.
Time required issuing visa:
From 4 days to 4 weeks. It is advisable to allow plenty of time.
What is the cost of a visa?
The current fee for a Singapore visa is S$30 per issue. There is no additional processing fee.
For business visitors and social visitors, S$ 40 for an extension of stay accumulating to a period of 3 months or more from the date of entry/issuance of pass. This fee is applicable for every subsequent extensions of stay accumulating to 3 months or more. A visa fee of S$30 is applicable if the applicant has resided in Singapore beyond the visa-free period.
How long is the visa valid for?
A SocialVisitPass is valid for a maximum of 3 months
a successful Employment Pass applicant will be granted an Employment Pass valid for two years upon first approval and three years upon subsequent renewals.
A visitor on a Performing Artiste Work Permit is entitled to work for 6 months. If a longer work period is required, an EmploymentPass, S Pass or Work Permit should be obtained.
· Import regulations by Singapore customs:
Dutiable, Controlled & Prohibited Goods
Under Singapore laws, certain types of items are subject to the payment of duty before you can bring them into the country.
Generally, there are 4 types of dutiable goods in Singapore as follows.
- Intoxicating liquors, including spirits, wine, beer, ale and stout;
- Tobacco, including cigarettes and cigars;
- Motor spirit; and
- Motor cars and motorcycles/motor scooters
Please approach ICA officer at the Red Channel for payment of duty and GST if you have dutiable goods which exceed the GST relief or duty-free concession. It is an offence to proceed to the Green Channel for clearance if you have items that are subject to payment of duty/GST. Please click here to see the GST relief and duty-free concession.
(For clicking duty-free concession do we have to do it in HTML? Editor)
Certain goods are controlled and allowed entry into Singapore only when you produce the import permit or authorisation from the relevant authorities.
The following items are NOT allowed to be imported into Singapore:
- Chewing gum (except dental or nicotine gum)
- Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products
- Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape
- Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
- Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
- Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software
- Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
- Seditious and treasonable materials
It is an offence if you attempt to bring any of the items listed above into Singapore
Singapore customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary import and export of items such as weapons, illegal drugs, certain religious materials, pornographic material, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, and software (for censorship or pirating reasons). The definition of "weapon" enforced by Singapore customs is very broad, and, in addition to firearms, includes many items which are not necessarily seen as weapons in the United States, such as dive knives, kitchen knives, handcuffs, and expended shell casings. Carrying any of these items without permission may result in your immediate arrest. All baggage is x-rayed at every port of entry, so placing such items in checked baggage will not allow you to bring it into the country.
Departing from Singapore:
Tourist Refund Scheme
You may as a visitor to Singapore claim for refund of GST paid on your purchases, if you are departing from Changi Airport or Seletar Airport. Please click here to obtain more information on refund of GST under the Tourist Refund Scheme. (Ensure clicking opens refund rules -- Editor)
Three Quarter Tank Rule
If you are departing for Malaysia in a Singapore-registered car for Malaysia, please note that you must have at least three quarter tank full of petrol in the fuel tank of your car. It is an offence if the amount of petrol is less than the prescribed quantity. Under the law, the driver would be held liable for the offence. A fine may be offered and the driver is required to turn back for re-fueling, if he wishes to continue his journey.
As a visitor to Singapore, you may claim refund on the GST paid for your purchases bought from retailers participating in the Tourist Refund Scheme #, if you are departing by air, and if:
- You are not a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident of Singapore;
- You have not at any time during the past 6 months was not employed in Singapore;
- You have not spent more than 365 days in Singapore in the past 2 years;
- You have spent S$300 or more on goods at shops displaying the "TAX REFUND" logo, or S$100 or more on goods at shops displaying the "TAX FREE SHOPPING", or "PREMIER TAX FREE" logos;
- You take the goods out of Singapore through Changi or SeletarAirport within 2 months of purchase; and
- You are not a member of the cabin or flight crew of the aircraft on which you are departing.
Qualified shops display the logo "TAX REFUND", "TAX FREE SHOPPING" or "PREMIER TAX FREE."
How to apply for a refund
If the total value of your purchases is worth S$100 or more, ask the sales assistant for a GST Claim Form. The sales assistant will need to verify your passport to check your eligibility. You would have to sign on the form in duplicate, of which a copy will be handed over to you for your claim of GST refund on your departure.