What is the change? Australia has made its SmartGate automated border processing system available to Singapore nationals.

What does the change mean? Singapore nationals holding an ePassport will be able to self-process through passport control.

  • Implementation timeframe: Feb. 24.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: Singapore nationals, aged 16 and older, holding an ePassport.
  • Impact on processing times: Faster border processing at airport gates.

Background: Australian Immigration and Border Protection passed Immigration Instrument 13/158 on Feb. 7, adding Singapore to the list of countries whose citizens can self-process at Australian airports.

SmartGate uses facial recognition technology to match a traveler’s facial features to a digital chip with biometric data that is embedded in his or her ePassport. A traveler using SmartGate will first self-check at a kiosk to confirm eligibility, after which SmartGate will perform the identity check and clearance. Travelers must hold an ePassport and be at least 16 years old.

Singapore is the sixth country to be eligible for SmartGate, which is currently used by nationals of Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Please note that U.S. passport holders must be enrolled in the U.S. government’s Global Entry program to be eligible for SmartGate access.

BAL Analysis: The expansion of SmartGate is expected to reduce airport queues and streamline border clearance by diverting more travelers from checks normally performed by Customs and Border Protection staff.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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