Immigration & Checkpoints Authority will increase the current five years validity period of the Singapore passport to 10 years for Singapore citizens 16 years old and above. This is in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s recommendation. That’s if you submit your passport application on or after 1 October 2021. The passport application fee remains at S$70. However, the validity of passports for children below 16 years old will remain at five years because children’s facial features change more rapidly.
In April 2005, the validity period of the Singapore passport was reduced from 10 yeas to five. This coincided with the introduction of the biometric passport which incorporated an embedded microchip. This microchip contains the passport holder’s biometric information. This information includes the facial and fingerprint identifier. The reduction of the validity period then was to allow ICA to monitor the stability of the technology and incorporate enhancements when necessary. 15 years later, immigration authorities around the world use biometrics screening technology to validate travellers’ identify and detect stolen and forged passports. The technology has stabilised and the use of forged or stolen passports to gain illegal entry has been increasingly difficult. Singapore follows United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea and Australia that previously issued five-year passports and have moved to a 10-year passport.
The application process for a passport remains unchanged. Singapore Citizens can apply for a new passport online via ‘Apply for Passport’ (go.gov.sg/passport) or MyICA. Those with no access to the Internet may visit the Citizen Connect Centres located at Our Tampines Hub and selected Community Centres or Clubs islandwide. They can have free access to the Internet-enabled computing devices. The last resort is to visit ICA for assistance. If you are overseas, an equivalent of S$80 in foreign currency will be charged for applications submitted in person at Singapore’s Overseas Missions.