Departure Immigration zone at Changi terminal 4, Passengers can self check immigration verification by themself at the auto-gate. (Image by MMXeon / Shutterstock)

ICA allows more tourists to Singapore to submit e-arrival cards on selected transport operators

Those who are planning to visit Singapore can now pass through the immigration checkpoints quickly as they will be able to submit an electronic arrival card online or via their mobile phones up to 14 days ahead of their arrival to the city-state, as part of an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) trial.

This means that tourists will only need to show their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival, instead of filling out paper arrival cards. This is because their details will already be in ICA’s system.

Announcing this in a statement on Wednesday (14 August), ICA revealed it would launch a beta version of the SG Arrival Card e-service on its website and mobile application, as an extension to a trial on e-arrival cards since October 2018.

Prior to this, TODAY reported that only visitors approached by ICA officers in person upon arrival were given the chance to fill in the e-arrival card.

The trial will only be applicable to visitors travelling to Singapore on airlines AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, on coach service Transtar Travel, and ferry operators BatamFast Ferries, Bintan Resort Ferries, Horizon Fast Ferry and Majestic Fast Ferry.

Other tourists on different operators are still required to complete the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation cards.

This group of visitors include anyone who is arriving at sea checkpoints on cruise liners, land checkpoints via trains, cars, motorcycles and lorries, as well as those arriving with work pass status.

“The implementation of the electronic arrival card is part of ICA’s efforts to enhance the immigration process for foreign visitors to Singapore, and is significant step towards ICA’s vision of paperless immigration clearance,” the authority said.

It added, “By 2021, the electronic arrival card will completely replace the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card.”

For those who ask how they apply for the e-arrival card, the SG Arrival Card e-service can be accessed on the ICA’s website or downloaded as a free mobile application on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Users of the mobile application will also have the option of scanning their passport biodata pages, and enjoy the convenience of not needing to manually key in the information, ICA said.

They can also save previously submitted information for use on subsequent trips to Singapore.

ICA also added that it will study the results of this trial and slowly extend the SG Arrival Card facility to all foreign visitors since it plans to go completely paperless by 2021.