According to the visa policy of Singapore, citizens of some countries have to obtain a visa in advance. There is also a list of visa waiver eligible countries and territories which nationals can temporarily enter and stay in Singapore up to 30 or 90 days.
Before buying your tickets for holidays, check out if you need a visa to the Republic of Singapore if you are planning to visit this small but stunning state in East Asia.
It is worth keeping in mind that a Singaporean visa is a permit to travel to point-of-entry but it is not equivalent with a permit to stay. The document is every time checked by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers. This is the ICA officer who decides whether the traveller is allowed to enter into the country or not.
Read our article to know:
- Which countries are visa-free to Singapore?
- Who needs a visa to the Singaporean Republic?
- Who is eligible to obtain a Singaporean visa?
- Which documents are necessary to apply for a Singapore visa?
- How and where to apply for a visa?
- What is the Singapore tourist visa and what it allows to?
- What are other types of visas you may be interested in?
Visa-exemptions countries to Singapore
The nice thing is that the majority of people in the world can travel to Singapore visa-free. This city-state just off southern Malaysia is small but friendly and open for tourists which come here in millions every year.
If you are a national of one of the following countries, you do not need to apply for the visa before your trip and you can stay in Singapore for a maximum period of 90 days:
- All European Union states
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States of America
Assessment Level I and II Countries to Singapore (visa needed)
This is easier to indicate which countries’ citizens actually cannot enter Singapore visa-free than ones which can. If your country is on one of the following lists, you have to apply for a Singaporian visa.
Assessment Level I Countries
Citizens of countries from the list Assessment Level I who hold ordinary passports may get a visa to Singapore online or apply in person. Nationals and holders of non-ordinary passports issued by one of these countries - except North Korean - are visa-exemptions.
The Assessment Level I Countries whose nationals need a Singapore visa are:
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- The People’s Republic of China
Assessment Level II Countries
If your country is on the list below, you must apply for a visa to Singapore in advance. Application online is not available here.
The Assessment Level II Countries are:
- Saudi Arabia
The rest of the world
All citizens from any country - not from the Assessments Level I or II list are allowed a maximum stay of 30 days without a visa in Singapore.
Eligibility for a Singapore visa
If you want to visit Singapore, you must meet certain requirements regardless if you need a visa or not. Check what documents are needed once entering this country. They are as following:
- passport or a travel document valid for more than 6 months at the time of departure
- return or onward ticket
- proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay in Singapore
Additionally, if it applies to your situation you have to present the visa to your next destination and a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you come from a country which is a subject of this obligation.
Naturally, if you are from a non-visa-exempt country, you have to show your visa at the point-of-entry. It is highly recommended to submit in advance an electronic SG Arrival Card. You can do it online or in a booth at the airport. With the SG Arrival Card submitted you can avoid unnecessary queues at the point of entry.
Remember that even if you are eligible, the Singaporean authorities may decide not to issue a visa to you and as well that a visa is only a pre-entry permission. The final decision about allowing you the entrance or not will be taken by an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer in the point-of-entry. If you meet the entry requirements and you are granted the entrance, you will receive a Pass authorising you to enter Singapore and stay until the Pass’s expiration date. Usually, this is a period of 30 days.
Documents required to apply for a Singapore visa
Naturally, the most important document you must have is a travel document (passport). It has to be valid for at least six months after your planned exit from Singapore. Copy the passport’s page with your personal data and submit it in an A4 format. You also have to submit a completed and signed Singapore Visa Application Form. Another necessary documents are:
- a passport-style photograph of yourself, meeting the requirements
- a photocopy of booked airline ticket or travel itinerary
- a letter of introduction from your Singaporean contact providing the information about the character of your relationship, reason why you want to visit Singapore and how long you will stay with them
- VISA or MasterCard credit card
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate (only if up to 6 days before coming to Singapore you have been to the countries of the risk of Yellow Fever)
Note: these are some countries in South America and Africa which are on the list you can check on governmental websites.
- completed and signed Singapore Visa application form. You have to answer questions regarding your personal information, marital status, where in Singapore you will be staying, your address in your home country, the purpose of your visit, your intended stay, and so on. You must sign the document yourself. When you arrive at the entry port in Singapore, the ICU could ask you to submit it.
Application for a visa to Singapore
Conditions and the process of your Singapore visa application depend on your citizenship. If you are a national of a country of the Assessment Level I list and you hold an ordinary passport - your visa will be issued in 1 working day, and you can travel with a printout of the e-visa.
If you hold a passport of one of the Assessment Level II countries, you have to apply for your visa in advance and a visa vignette must be affixed in your passport. For this reason, you must apply in person and leave your passport for max. 3 days to affix the visa in it. You can apply and obtain a visa online through:
- your local Singaporean contact
- a strategic partner in Singapore
- the nearest Singaporean diplomatic mission in your home country
- one of the authorized visa agents outside Singapore.
The best idea is to apply for a Singapore visa at least 30 days before your planned entrance to Singapore.
Singaporean tourist visa
A Singapore tourist visa is dedicated to visitors who want to travel to Singapore for tourism purposes such as:
- sightseeing and explore
- holidays and rest
- socializing - attending family and friends reunions
- participate in concerts, sport or cultural events
If you intend to work in Singapore, you must have a valid pass (commonly known as a work visa) before you start work. If you take a paid job without a work visa, you will be punished, so make sure not to do so.
You can have a single entry or a multiple-entries visa according to the purpose of your travel. In any case, do not overstay your visa. If you want to experience more of Singaporean atmosphere and stay there longer - apply for a Singapore tourist visa extension before your current visa’s expiration date. You can do it online on Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
website or in person at their offices in Singapore.
With the Singapore tourist visa, you cannot study there.
Other types of visas to Singapore
If you want to have a paid job in Singapore, consider to apply for one of following types of Singapore Work Passes and Visas:
- Employment Pass
- Entrepreneur Pass
- Personalised Employment Pass
- S Pass
- Work Permit for foreign worker
- Work Permit for foreign domestic worker
Another option might be a short-term work pass such as the Work Holiday Programme permit, Training Employment Pass, and Training Work Permit.
If you want to study at one of the universities of the Republic of Singapore, apply for a Singapore Student Pass.
You can also choose Dependant’s Pass for legally-married spouses and unmarried or legally adopted children under 21 years old and Long Term Visit Pass if you are eligible.
The most common reasons for Singapore visa rejection
If you have the idea to go to Singapore, don’t wait longer. Check out if you need a visa and if so, start the application process. If you are eligible and have required documents, it is enough to submit the completed and signed visa application form and a passport-style photo.
Check what can get in your way to obtaining your Singapore visa fast and easily. The most common reason for Singaporean visa refusal are:
- Presenting a damaged or invalid passport. Make sure your passport has two pages and is valid for at least six months from the date of return from Singapore!
- Applying for a Singapore visa while still having a previous valid visa. In such a situation, wait for your visa to expire.
- Missing documents. Make sure to provide all the required documents and check twice before you submit them.
- Not signed or not completed correctly application form. Again: check twice, because sometimes a silly mistake can cost you an unwanted delay in your trip.
- Failure to prove your intention of returning back to your home country. You need to have your flight tickets onward or back and complete the itinerary.
- The criminal record. If you have involved yourself in any illegal activities in your home country or while traveling, it can affect your future visa approvals, not only to Singapore.
- Wrong visa photo. Make sure that the photograph you submit together with your visa application satisfies all standards. You do not need to take it professionally. Check below how to create a perfect Singapore visa photo on your own!
Do you know that now you are able to get your Singapore visa photo online?
It is easy and takes only a couple of seconds! You do not need to track down photo booths or a professional photography studio - you can arrange a private atelier at your home. But, to be honest, you don’t even need to do it! All you need to do is take a picture of yourself according to Singapore visa photo requirements and upload it to the Passport and Visa Photo Editor. In just 3 seconds you will have your photo correctly resized and cropped even if you have no idea what are the demanded dimensions of the image dedicated to the Singapore visa.
Moreover, this smart Photo Tool based on artificial intelligence will automatically remove any kind of the background from your picture and replace it in a plain, spotless one in a required color. Does it sound good? It is even better because at the end, this Visa Photo Validator will verify if your picture is 100% correct. Once you order it and receive it on your email address, the photo saved in JPEG format is ready to print or send via the Internet.
Keep in mind that wrong visa photos are a common reason for visa applications refusals. Make sure that your photograph dedicated to Singapore visa is perfect and don’t risk a rejection or a delay of processing your application.
What to do in Singapore?
Singapore is special in every way. This city-state offers a breathtaking mix of the history and modernity. Here the old meld with the new, fascinating architecture is adjacent to amazing gardens, shopping streets, museums and art galleries. You can see there an astonishing
performance, go to the experimental theater, watch the sport events or experience a magic during a huge concert of some world-class star. This fascinating melding of cultures is incredibly rich in art pieces. Did you know that National Gallery Singapore owns the largest public collection of modern art in Southeast Asia?
If you are a nature lover, you will be amazed by Lion City which is home to the world's largest rooftop infinity pool. Take your chance to go to safari park for nocturnal animals and visit Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or the island Pulau Ubin known for its granite quarries.
Do you like history and exotic architecture? Singapore is famous for its temples. You will be fascinated byTianfu Temple - Singaporean oldest Buddhist temple which was built without using a single nail!
Singapore is a small point on the map (with an area of only 278.6 square miles (721.5 square km and an estimated 5.6 million inhabitants) but you can be sure that you will be surprised by a range of activities, adventures and experiences you can live there. If you go on the southern coast of Singapore, you will find such tourist attractions as Universal Studios Singapore, the S.E.A. Aquarium, and the Tiger Sky Tower observatory. This place is also famous for its beaches, zip line at Mega Adventure Park and golf clubs.
Singapore has something for everyone!