Citizens of some countries need not apply for a visa for Singapore if they intend to stay for less than 30 or 90 days, depending on their nationalities. Listed countries can be found on the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website. Expats from non-eligible countries will need to apply for their visa in advance, either online or at their nearest Singaporean embassy.
It's worth noting that, regardless of nationality, all expats would need an Employment Pass to work in Singapore or a Study Pass to study there. Expats will need to begin by finding employment or gaining acceptance to an educational institution to qualify.
All travellers, including Singapore citizens, expats and visitors, must submit an SG Arrival Card within three days of travelling to the country. This will assist them with immigration clearance, but expats should note that this is not a visa, and they will still need the relevant visa to enter Singapore. The SG Arrival Card can be filled in and submitted on the official website or via their mobile app. It includes personal information, trip details and a health declaration.
The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is a good source of information for expats researching visa requirements.
- Check the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website for the list of visa-exempt countries.
- Submit your SG Arrival Card on the official SG Arrival Card website.
- Learn more about visa requirements on the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Short-term visit pass for Singapore
Travellers allowed visa-free entry into Singapore may be allowed to enter the city-state for either 30 days or 90 days – the length of entry permitted depends on one's country of citizenship.
When arriving at the border, visitors will generally need a passport valid for six months beyond the date of entry, proof of onward/return travel and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the visit.
If needing to stay in Singapore beyond the allotted time, visitors must apply for an extension of stay. This must be done before the expiry of the original length of entry.
All other countries
Citizens who are not from a visa-exempt country must apply for a visa at least 30 days before their intended departure date. Singapore has categorised countries whose citizens need a visa to enter the city-state into two categories: Assessment Level I Countries and Assessment Level II Countries. Application steps and processing times for each of these will differ slightly.
Citizens of certain countries may apply online for an e-Visa, while others will have to apply in person at their nearest Singaporean embassy or consulate.
When applying for an Entry Visa, a Letter of Introduction (LOI) from a citizen or permanent resident in Singapore will have to be submitted in addition to other documents, which include a valid passport, travel itinerary and return flight ticket. Citizens of some African and South American countries will also need proof of yellow fever vaccination.
Long-term visit pass for Singapore
Foreigners with a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore may apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP), which is issued by either the Singapore Immigrant and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) or the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The LTVP issued by the ICA acts an extension to the short-stay visa for applicants who have family ties to Singapore citizens or private residents, those who studied in Singapore and want to look for a job in the city-state and those who want to give birth in Singapore. The one issued by the MOM is granted to spouses or dependants of foreign workers in Singapore.
Expat spouses who have a child in Singapore or have lived in the city-state for more than three years may be eligible for the LTVP+. The LTVP+ allows the holder longer periods of residency, as well as other healthcare and employment benefits.
Employment pass for Singapore
If wanting to work in Singapore, it's necessary to find work so that the employer can apply for an Employment Pass (EP) on the applicant's behalf. The EP is the equivalent of a work visa or work permit in other destinations.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice, and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
What do expats say about the visa process in Singapore?
"The visa process cannot be tackled yourself in Singapore. As an expat you need to accept a job offer before applying for a work permit – something your employer has to process on your behalf. There are minimum salary requirements for expats too." Matt, a South African expat, tells us about his experience living and working in Singapore in his interview.
►Work Permits for Singapore provides more details on Employment Passes in Singapore
Are you an expat living in Singapore?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Singapore. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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