How To Apply For and Renew Your Visa in Singapore

Travellers waiting in queue at arrival immigration of Changi International Airport in Singapore
Travellers waiting in queue at arrival immigration of Changi International Airport in Singapore | © parinoi/Shutterstock

For visitors, Singapore can be a relatively smooth place to visit due to its visa-free regimes with a myriad of countries. That being said, if you plan on staying longer than the stated visa-free period, understanding the procedure for applying and renewing your visa will go a long way in making your trip much more satisfying.

An overview of the Singaporean visa

The first thing to do is check whether you’re from one of the nations that qualify under the visa-free regime. If your plan is purely sightseeing or tourism then you’re set to go. If you need a visa, then head to your local Singaporean mission website to find the list of authorised agents. The agents themselves will provide you with the forms or you can print it on your own from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA)’s website. After completing them and attaching the required documents, it is then a process of waiting somewhere between three to seven days.

Important to note is that your passport should have a six-month validity period left before it expires and you possess two passport-sized colour photographs taken not more than three months ago. There are two sets of nations that are not visa-free and for those that are under Assessment Level II, there is an additional form required called the V39A, which requires a level of introduction from a Singaporean contact.

Singapore entry visa on an European passport

Applying for the right visa

Visitor Visa

Types of Visa: Single Double & Multiple Entry

The cost of any visa application is around SGD $30 and this does not include the agent’s fee, which differs from country to country. For an accurate rate, check the respective Singaporean embassy or mission website. The payment is done directly to the agent, the embassy itself does not accept visa applications or any form of payment.

To apply for a visa, you need:

One or two passport-sized colour photos taken within the last three months;

A passport with a validity of up to six months on the day of entry to Singapore;

Completed Form 14A and V39A if you fall under Assessment Level II countries for the latter;

Proof of funds that will allow you to stay in Singapore;

A valid return ticket or documents to their next destination;

For certain countries, and in the event you just visited such countries, you will have to get a yellow fever vaccination.

Business Visa

A passport with a valid entry of up to six months on the day of entry to Singapore and at least one single blank page;

A single passport-sized colour photograph taken within the last three months on a white background;

Completed Form 14A and V39A if you fall under Assessment Level II countries for the latter;

An ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) printout of the Singapore registered company business profile from ACRA dated not more than six months from the date of application;

These are to be directly submitted or through a legitimate proxy to the embassy or local mission. An alternative is through a visa agent but courier companies are not allowed;

If invited by the Singapore government or its associations and universities or in the event you are attending a conference, a V39A and ACRA form is not required and you only need a letter by the organisation or event.

The Singapore airport terminal 3.

Study Permits

Applications are all done online via Student’s Pass OnLine Application & Registration+ (SOLAR+) system here.

For those under 19, ICA will do the processing, for those older than 19, there might be a need for an interview at the local embassy or mission.

The processing fee is around SGD $30 and you will need a security deposit of SGD $5000 if you are successful, which is in the form of a Banker’s Guarantee or a Cashier’s Order.

For those who are called to attend an interview, remember to bring these documents:

Original, notarised and a photocopy of your birth certificate, highest educational certificate, highest academic results certificate and financial or bank statements. The financial statements can be your or your parents’ or guardians’ or even a combination of both;

Overseas study plan that has to be signed and dated by the applicant;

Originals and photocopies of the following documents of the applicant, his or her parents/guardian and spouses: identity card, household register, employment statement and letter from present employer, if applicable, monthly salary record for a three-month period before interview, and business registration certificates if self-employed;

Applicant’s passport and photocopy of front page of the passport;

In the event of either one of the parent, guardian or spouse being a Singaporean or a permanent resident, you will also need to bring an original copy and notarised copy of their or your own marriage certificate;

Total waiting period varies but can take up to four months.

Temporary employment permits

There are three types of passes for this, one is the Employment Pass for more skilled educated personnel, the other is the Personalised Employment Pass for executives and high earners and which gives the holder more flexibility as compared to the Employment Pass in the sense you are not tied to any employer. The last one is called the S Pass for foreign labourers and medium-skilled manpower, which is subject to a quota.

For applying for this visa, you will need the aid of a local employer or an employment agent. This can be found in your home country or online. This is important to note as the Singaporean company must advertise what it needs before they’re approved to hire foreign workers.

For different countries, the requirement varies but a lot of times, originals and photocopies of educational and work transcripts, academic qualification and identification documents will be needed. For specific skillsets, such as nurses and doctors, you will need approval from the Singaporean representative of those jobs to approve your status and qualifications.

It’s important to note that for employment permits, a lot of the work is done by the employer and the you will have to send documents as and when they ask so it’s best to consult with the agent or prospective employer on what they need.

The Singapore city skyline

Important points

Remember to vaccinate. Always check in advance if you need to be vaccinated, especially for yellow fever, as you can be denied entry in case of non-vaccination.

Make sure to have sufficient funds for your stay and be prepared to show proof of such at immigration.

Plan your accommodation in advance. Singapore can be daunting and without accommodation, it can be a frustrating experience and journey.

Check the weather before any plans. Singapore’s environment can be very fickle, being extremely hot and humid in one second and then rainy the next. So always check to make sure your plans can proceed without any fuss or hassle.

Other tips

Singaporeans tend to be overtly efficient so try not to be late for whatever you are planning to attend or do. They tend to be unwilling to wait so punctuality and promptness are essential.

Besides airports, you might consider entering through Johor in Malaysia, which is fairly common as well. Johor is the southernmost tip of the of mainland Eurasia, which encompasses nations from France, Greece, all the way to China and, of course, Malaysia. Singapore is where it breaks in the southernmost part.

Useful links

Countries that need visa and what level they are in assessment
For immigration enquiries or information
Visa form 14A
Visa form V39A

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