Citizens of some countries need not apply for a visa for Singapore if they intend to stay for less than 30 or 90 days, depending on their nationalities. Listed countries can be found on the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website. Expats from non-eligible countries will need to apply for their visa in advance, either online or at their nearest Singaporean embassy.
It's worth noting that, regardless of nationality, all expats would need an Employment Pass to work in Singapore or a Study Pass to study there. Expats will need to begin by finding employment or gaining acceptance to an educational institution to qualify.
All travellers, including Singapore citizens, expats and visitors, must submit an SG Arrival Card within three days of travelling to the country. This will assist them with immigration clearance, but expats should note that this is a not a visa and they will still need the relevant visa to enter Singapore. The SG Arrival Card can be filled in and submitted on the official website or via their mobile app. It includes personal information, trip details and a health declaration.
The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is a good source of information for expats researching visa requirements.
Short-term visit pass for Singapore
Travellers allowed visa-free entry into Singapore may be allowed to enter the city-state for either 30 days or 90 days – the length of entry permitted depends on one's country of citizenship.
When arriving at the border, visitors will generally need a passport valid for six months beyond the date of entry, proof of onward/return travel and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the visit
If needing to stay in Singapore beyond the allotted time, visitors must apply for an extension of stay. This must be done before the expiry of the original length of entry.
All other countries
Citizens not from a visa-exempt country will need to apply for a visa ahead of time. Citizens of certain countries may apply online for an e-Visa, while others will need to apply in person at their nearest Singaporean embassy or consulate.
When applying for an Entry Visa, a Letter of Introduction (LOI) from a citizen or permanent resident in Singapore will have to be submitted in addition to other documents.
Long-term visit pass for Singapore
Foreigners with a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore may apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP). Expat spouses who have a child in Singapore or have been living in the city-state for more than three years may be eligible for the LTVP+, which allows the holder longer periods of residency as well as other healthcare and employment benefits.
Employment pass for Singapore
If wanting to work in Singapore, it's necessary to find work so the employer can apply for an Employment Pass (EP) on the applicant's behalf. The EP is the equivalent of a work visa or work permit in other destinations.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►Work Permits for Singapore provides more details on Employment Passes in Singapore
"The visa process cannot be tackled yourself in Singapore. As an expat you need to accept a job offer before applying for a work permit – something your employer has to process on your behalf. There are minimum salary requirements for expats too." Matt, a South African expat, tells us about his experience living and working in Singapore in his interview.
Are you an expat living in Singapore?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Singapore. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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