Singapore visa FAQ

Singapore visa FAQ

Here we have collated the answers to the most popular frequently asked questions regarding Singapore visas.

1. Am I required to provide my passport to apply for a Singapore visa?

Starting from August 2008, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore introduced a new visa facilitative measure, known as e-Visa. Consequently, certain foreign nationals will no longer be issued with the physical visas. Instead, the sticker visa has been replaced by an electronic visa in a PDF (Acrobat Reader) format. An approved electronic visa is emailed to the applicant in a PDF (Acrobat Reader) format which will contain a unique identification number. The visa can be printed on an A4 sheet of paper and presented to the immigration officer together with the passport and completed landing card at passport control.

2. What documents are required to apply for a visa to Singapore?

  • A completed online form for every applicant on the Apply for a visa to Singapore page.
  • A scanned copy of the bio page of the passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months at the time of entry into Singapore. Please note that the passport must be valid for a minimum of 7 months at the time of application. The passport must have a blank page for the stamp. For each child a separate visa is issued regardless of whether the child has a separate passport or is included in the passport of the parent, in which case you should attach a copy of the passport page with the child’s details, and specify the passport number of their parent, where the child is included.
  • A colour photograph for every applicant. A photo must be made against a light uniform background; you can even take a picture on a mobile phone against a lightly-coloured wall. The face and head in the photo must be uncovered.

3. How long before the trip shall I apply for a visa?

Since the visa’s 9-week validity period begins from the issue date, application should be initiated no sooner than 2 months prior to the trip. However, if you are planning to travel in a few months’ time, we will accept your application but will start the application process 2 to 3 weeks before the specified entry date into Singapore. Alternatively, you may choose to state the desired application date yourself.

4. What is a Singapore visa’s validity period?

Issued visa allows multiple entries into the country during its period of validity (9 weeks, 63 days), which begins from the date of issue of the visa. Please bear in mind that the duration of each stay in Singapore cannot exceed 30 days, i.e. every time you are entering the country your passport will be accordingly stamped allowing to remain for (usually) 30 days.

5. Are requirements in obtaining a visa to Singapore different for a child? Is the price different? Does the child require a separate passport?

For each child a separate visa is issued regardless of whether the child has a separate passport or is included in the passport of the parent, in which case you should attach a copy of the passport page with the child’s details, and specify the passport number of their parent, where the child is included.

6. Do I need to have an account with PayPal to be able to make a payment?

PayPal allows you to make a payment with the majority of debit and credit cards. Since PayPal entered the market in Eastern Europe relatively recently, perhaps some of you do not have an account with them yet. Fortunately, this is not an obstacle, since payments by credit cards, issued in majority of the countries, can be made as a guest without creating an account. Customers who pay by a credit card, issued by one of the CIS countries will be asked to complete a simple registration, but the process should not take more than a minute or two.

To make a payment, please enter the address where the credit card is registered and your phone number including the international dialling code, for example, 007 495 1234567 (please always use the 00 instead of the +).

7. Will it possible to pay with my friend’s or relative’s credit card?

When making a payment though PayPal, you’ll be able to use practically any credit card. The applicant’s name does not need to match the credit card holder’s name.

8. Are you able to process a Singapore visa for stateless (Alien’s Passport) permanent residents of Estonia and Latvia?

Alien passport holders of Estonia and Latvia require a visa to enter Singapore. We are able to assist you in applying for a visa in such cases. The application procedure takes about 5-7 working days.

9. Will I need to produce a return ticket when entering Singapore?

You might be asked to produce a return ticket. Even those who do not require a visa to enter Singapore are often asked to produce a return ticket when checking in on a flight.

10. Am I required to obtain a visa when transiting through Singapore to Malaysian and Indonesian islands?

A visa is not required if your stay in Singapore does not exceed 4 days (96 hours) and you are arriving to and leaving Singapore by air. This is considered a transit. For example, if you are flying from Moscow to Bali through Singapore, at Singapore passport control you will be asked to produce an air ticket (and a visa if it’s required) to the third country. If after arriving to Singapore you are planning to take a ferry to one of the Malaysian or Indonesian islands then you are required to apply for a visa to Singapore.

A visa is required if you are flying, for example, from Moscow to Singapore and back to Moscow, i.e. you are not departing to the third country but returning to the country where you have arrived from.

11. How many times per week/month/year can a visa-free transit be exercised?

Officially, there is no limit on a number of visa-free transit entries into Singapore. However, bear in mind that an officer from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority may inquire into your frequent short-stay visits. Please bear in mind that recently there has been an increase in a number of comments from travellers on various tourist forums and blogs speculating that airlines check-in staff are not always aware of this visa-free transit rule and delay passengers, or even prevent them from boarding the flight bound for Singapore without a visa. To be on a safe side and to avoid spoiling your trip, you may choose to apply for a visa to Singapore.

12. Is the visa-free transit through Singapore applicable to me if I am leaving Singapore not by air but by train, coach or car?

In accordance with the ICA, visa-free transit is allowed if you can produce an air ticket to the third country.

13. Is the visa-free transit through Singapore applicable to me if I am arriving to Singapore not by air but by train, coach or car?

Due to changes in the visa-free transit regulation in January 2013, visa-free transit through Singapore is not allowed when entering the country not only by air but also by land and water.

14. What is the difference between visa’s validity and the maximum allowed stay in Singapore?

Issued visa allows multiple entries into the country during its period of validity* (9 weeks), which begins from the date of issue of the visa. Please bear in mind that the duration of each stay in Singapore cannot exceed 30 days, i.e. every time you are entering the country your passport will be accordingly stamped allowing to remain for (usually) 30 days.

15. Can I exercise the visa-free transit through Singapore if I am staying in the country for more than 96 hours?

In accordance with the ICA, visa-free transit is only allowed if your stay in the country does not exceed 96 hours. The stay in the country is measured from the time the plane arriving to Singapore lands to the scheduled departure time. We strongly recommend you to apply for a Singapore visa.

16. How can I check the validity of the issued visa?

If you have already received your electronic visa in the PDF format, you will be able to independently verify the authenticity of the visa on the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority website.

17. What can be a possible reason for refusal of a visa?

Refusals by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority are quite rare. In our several years of experience, refusals happen in about 1-3 cases per thousand applications. Reasons for refusals are never given unless a representative from the organisation that applied for the visa visits the ICA in person. As far as we are aware, some of the main reasons for refusal can be if:
  • the applicant has done something wrong during their previous stay in Singapore;
  • the applicant has abused the visa regime or overstayed the permitted time during their previous stay;
  • the applicant has another currently valid visa to Singapore;
  • the applicant has already been refused visa recently;
  • the applicant has already applied for a visa with another agency;
  • the photograph is not sharp or bright enough.

18. Is entry to Singapore guaranteed if I have a visa?

The final decision on granting and the validity of the visa is made by the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoint Authority. Similar to any visa to any other country, possession of a valid visa does not entitle a foreign national to enter Singapore automatically. Granting of a visit pass to foreign visitors is determined by the officer of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority at the Singapore checkpoints and each case is considered on its own merits.