Tourism is an important pillar of Singapore’s economy, and the country often portrays itself as an Asian stopover destination. Singapore has therefore put in place a relatively flexible visa policy which allows nationals from many countries to travel visa-free.
In order to visit Singapore, travellers will need to be in possession of a valid travel document with at least 6 month’s validity at the time of departure. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a list of nationalities for which a visa is required, classifying them into two groups (Assessment 1 and Assessment 2 countries), with some nationalities having the possibility to apply for an electronic visa. For travellers of non visa-exempted countries, an entry or business visa can be obtained from the embassy or consulate in your country of residence. The visa application process is generally streamlined, and all documentation can be obtained online. For most nationalities however, a visa is not required, and most travelers are allowed to stay in Singapore for periods of 30 days or 90 days.
Visitors in Singapore need to comply with some basic requirements, including holding an onward or return ticket. Whilst these tickets are not systematically checked, it is highly recommended to print the details of your tickets for presentation to immigration officials. Travellers should also present proof of sufficient funds to maintain themselves whilst in Singapore. It is also advisable to have details of your accommodation in Singapore handy (including addresses and telephone numbers).
There are no specific needs for vaccination whilst visiting Singapore, except for travellers having visited a country at risk of yellow fever. The website of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) provides the list of nationalities for which an International Certificate of Vaccination is required. Many clinics offer yellow fever vaccines, both in private and public hospitals.
Some visitors to Singapore might find themselves in a situation where they have to extend the duration of their stays. Singapore makes this very easy by allowing travellers to carry out the extension through an online portal called e-XTEND. Every year, many foreigners visit Singapore for medical treatment and it might be particularly relevant for these visitors to seek to extend the duration of their stays in the country. This is a generally straightforward process (although some nationalities might require a sponsor) as outlined by the ICA.
Some visitors might require to stay for longer periods of time if, for example, their spouses are Singaporean, they wish to deliver a child in Singapore, or they are students wishing to find employment in Singapore. For these categories, a Long Term Visit pass might be relevant. There are specific guidelines and eligibility requirements for each category, and an e-service system is available for potential applicants, which is again accessible from the ICA’s website.
Once your paperwork is ready, Singapore will only ever be a couple of flights away. With an ultra-modern airport regarded as being one of the best in the world and a very extensive range of airlines serving the country, interesting deals are never far away. In some cases, and depending where you are travelling from, you might even be able to purchase cheap tickets from one of the many low-cost carriers serving Singapore, including TigerAir and Scoot.
Useful links :
Embassy of Singapore in the USA www.mfa.gov.sg
Embassy of Singapore in the United Kingdom www.mfa.gov.sg
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore www.mfa.gov.sg
Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore www.ica.gov.sg
Countries requiring a visa to visit Singapore: www.ica.gov.sg/
Yellow fever certificate: https://www.ica.gov.sg/
Long term visit pass: https://www.ica.gov.sg/