Visitors from a select few countries are required to obtain a visa before entering Singapore. These countries are clubbed into two categories: 1. Assessment Level I Countries/Regions and 2. Assessment Level II countries/Regions (list of these counties later in this page). That means if your country is not listed in either of these two categories, you do not need a prior visa to travel to Singapore. The visa requirements and procedure is practically the same for both categories except that it takes longer (8 to 10 days) for a visa to get approved for an applicant from an Assessment Level II country. Certain specific requirements need to be met for "Business" and "Social" (Tourist, etc.) visits. These requirements are given in detail in the website of Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority but there are a few additional details that become known to you when you start the process of applying for a Singapore visa. In this page, I will try to cover those additional details too. Keep reading...
|Singapore e-Visa Certificate|
A Singapore tourist/business visit visa is usually granted for 2 months multiple entry (30 days stay in each visit) or 2 years multiple entry (30 days stay in each visit) depending on the country/region/state/province you apply from and the mode of submitting your application. The decision of Singapore authorities as to 2 months or 2 years visa depends mostly on factors known only to them.
Countries/Regions that Require Visa for Entering Singapore
Assessment Level I Countries
Peoples' Republic of China
Assessment Level II Countries
Temporary Passports issued by UAE and Refugee Travel Documents issued by Middle-Eastern countries.
Procedure to Apply for Singapore Tourist/Business Visit Visa
Applications for Singapore tourist visa in Singapore can be made online through a local contact who has a SingPass account or a strategic partner in Singapore However, visa applications at Singapore's Overseas Missions are accepted through authorized visa agents only. Visa agents offer both offline (physical documents required) and online (physical documents not required) modes of submitting visa applications but the online mode costs more than double the usual cost and results in a visa with a lesser validity. Still, online mode is more convenient and may be very useful in certain circumstances. You will read more about the online mode later in this page. Singapore visa once approved is required to be downloaded from their online system called SAVE (Submission of Application for Visa Electronically).
Singapore Tourist/Business Visit Visa Fee
The official fee to be paid for a Singapore tourist visa is 30 Singapore Dollars (SGD). In addition, the visa agent is entitled to charge a service fee which is declared by Singapore's local missions in their websites for different countries. Despite that you will find visa agents charging service fees higher than those prescribed by Singapore Government missions. The visa fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application.
Documents Required for Singapore Business Visit and Tourist Visa
(a) Common for both Business and Tourist Visits
i) Completed Visa Application Form 14A (original)
ii) One recent passport-sized color photograph 35x45mm (to be pasted on the top right-hand corner of (Form 14A) which meets the following requirements:
- Image must be taken within the last 3 months
- Photograph should be in color, must be taken against a white background with a matt or semi-matt finish
- Image must show the full face and without headgear (headgear worn in accordance with religious or racial customs is acceptable but must not hide the facial features)
iii) Photocopy of the applicant's passport bio-data page. Passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry
iv) Completed Form V39A (Letter of Introduction for Visa Application)*
In addition to the above, your visa agent may advise you to attach a "covering letter" to your visa application, your bank statements for the past few months (if you are applying for Singapore visa for the first time), and a letter of "no-objection" from your employer.
* The last requirement of a Letter of Introduction is listed on the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website as a "must" but practically speaking, tourist visa applications are accepted without this "Letter of Introduction" in many countries. Do check with your visa agent about the prevailing practice in your country.
Specific Singapore Visa Requirement for Business Visitors Attending Business Negotiation/Discussion
(i) Computer printout of the Singapore registered business entity’s detailed business profile (showing the names of all the directors / shareholders) from the Instant Information Service, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and printed within the last 3 months .
(ii) Letter of introduction in Form V39A which may be issued by a local contact in Singapore. For visa applicants attending business negotiation / discussion in Singapore, the local contact must be a Singapore registered business entity . The person acting on behalf of the business entity must be a Singapore Citizen / Singapore Permanent Resident who is at least 21 years old . If the applicant is not able to furnish a LOI from a local contact, he/she may approach their Embassy to issue a LOI to support the visa application.
Singapore Visa Application Form 14A
Letter of Introduction V39A for Singapore Visa
Visa for Single Female Travelers
Single Female passengers may be asked to produce employment proof, ID card copy, and an additional covering letter stating the purpose of visit in addition to the usual requirements.
100% Online Singapore Visa
If you do a Google search "Singapore Online Visa", you will see a bunch of websites offering 100% online Singapore visa to applicants located anywhere in the world. Typically, the documents that need to be submitted for such a visa are:
(i) Color scan copies of bio-data and address pages of your passport
(ii) A color digital photo in 400x514 pixel with file size of up to 60 KB.
(iii) A basic particulars form (MS Word) to be filled up.
(Please check with your online Singapore visa agent for their specific requirements)
Once these documents are mailed to the online visa agent and the agent's fee is paid, they apply for the visa on your behalf. No original document is required to be submitted for 100% online Singapore visa. It usually takes 3-5 days for the online visa to arrive. Visa obtained through 100% online mode is always for 2 months' validity and allows multiple entries within the validity.
Fee for 100% Online Visa
The leading online Singapore visa website will charge 68 USD (including 30 SGD official fee) for Assessment Level I countries and 85 USD (including 30 SGD official fee) for Assessment Level II countries. Time taken for Assessment Level II countries can be between 9 and 12 days. The leading online visa agent also offers Express Processing for Assessment level I countries at a total of 112 USD. No doubt this online visa service is very expensive. However, it is possible to cut this cost if you are able to find a local online visa agent operating in your country. For example, the Online Singapore Visa Service in India costs approximately 57 USD. To find a local online visa agent, do a Google search like this: "Online Singapore Visa in Hong Kong".
One shortcoming of 100% online Singapore visa is that it is never going to be valid for longer than 2 months. On the other hand, a visa obtained after submitting original documents is not only cheaper but is most of the times issued for 2 years validity with multiple entries allowed. So if you have time on your side, better apply for Singapore visa offline.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|