What is the change? Singapore has launched a trial version of its electronic arrival card.

What does the change mean? International visitors entering Singapore via selected air, bus and ferry operators may complete their arrival card electronically by submitting their personal information and trip details via web or mobile app up to 14 days prior to arrival. This will replace the paper disembarkation/embarkation card.

  • Implementation time frame: The trial system was launched on Aug. 14.
  • Documents affected: Paper disembarkation/embarkation cards.
  • Business impact: The paperless procedure should speed up immigration clearance for international visitors to Singapore, as they will only need to show their passport to border officers who will be able to access their electronic forms.
  • Next steps: Eligible travelers may use the SG Arrival Card e-service via the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website or by downloading the mobile app. Mobile app users may scan their passport bio page rather than typing in their information.

Background: The first trial of the electronic arrival card was launched October 2018, and current trials aim to move Singapore towards a paperless system that streamlines processes, reduces paper forms and retains passenger information within government databases. The electronic arrival card requires information such as the traveler’s name, local address, and travel document number. Information submitted electronically can be retrieved for future trips.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, foreigners who have been issued In-Principle Approval letters for their work and related pass applications will not be eligible for the trial and must complete paper disembarkation/embarkation cards.

Additionally, the change does not affect Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders (e.g., students and workers) who are returning to Singapore, as they do not need to submit any disembarkation/embarkation card.

The below table lists the selected air, bus and ferry operators that are eligible for the program:

Selected transport operators:

Airlines Bus Ferries
AirAsia Transtar Travel Batamfast Ferries
Jetstar Asia Bintan Resort Ferries
Cathay Pacific Horizon Fast Ferry
Singapore Airlines Majestic Fast Ferry

Analysis & Comments: The move toward a paperless immigration clearance system is good news for many travelers because it eliminates the need to carry and present the paper disembarkation/embarkation card to border officers. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority plans to expand the program to all travelers by 2021.

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