A Comprehensive Guide to Singapore Visas

Goh Jun Cheng

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With its ease of travel and centralized location in Southeast Asia, Singapore continues to rise in popularity as a tourist destination. But foreign nationals need to understand the visa requirements to enter and travel within the country.

This guide will cover the range of visas for both short term and long term stays in Singapore.

Singapore is a popular destination for tourists, students, and workers looking for opportunities in Southeast Asia. With its developed economy, low crime rates, and cultural diversity, it’s no wonder so many foreigners are interested in visiting or relocating to Singapore. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the different types of visas available in Singapore.

Short-Term Visit Passes

For short-term stays of less than 90 days, visitors can apply for one of several passes depending on the purpose of their trip:

Tourist Visa

A tourist visa allows for either single entry or multiple entries into Singapore valid for 30 days. This can be extended another 30 days for a maximum stay of 60 days. Requirements include having a valid passport, proof of financial means, and onward travel ticket.

Transit Visa

For travelers with layovers in Singapore, a 96-hour transit visa allows passing through Singapore en route to another destination. You must have an onward ticket and confirmed seat to final destination.

Social Visit Pass

Citizens of certain countries are eligible for a 30-day Social Visit Pass on arrival in Singapore. Check the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website for the latest list of eligible nationalities.

Long-Term Passes

For stays longer than 90 days, foreigners will need to apply for a long-term pass depending on the purpose of their visit:

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals, managers, and executives seeking to work in Singapore. Applicants must have acceptable qualifications, earn at least S$4,500 per month, and be sponsored by a Singapore company.


The EntrePass is for eligible entrepreneurs looking to start and operate a new business in Singapore. Applicants must meet certain financial criteria related to business capital and revenue.

S Pass

The S Pass is for mid-level skilled workers who earn at least S$2,500 per month and have relevant qualifications and work experience. Applicants must be sponsored by an employer.

Dependent’s Pass

Spouses and children under 21 years of age of EP, EntrePass, and S Pass holders can apply for a Dependent’s Pass. This allows dependents to stay in Singapore for the duration of the visa holder’s pass.

Student Pass

International students studying full-time in Singapore need to obtain a Student Pass. You must be accepted into an approved institution and provide proof of financial ability.

Permanent Residence

Foreigners who have lived in Singapore for an extended period may apply for Permanent Residence (PR) status. This allows you to live, work, and study in Singapore indefinitely. The key requirements are minimum periods of legal residence and ability to support yourself financially.

Singapore’s visa and permit options allow travelers, workers, students, and business owners to enter and reside in Singapore both temporarily and permanently. Understanding the requirements for the various passes allows you to choose the most suitable one based on your particular situation and purpose for visiting Singapore.

What are the different types of visas available for Singapore?

The main types of visas for Singapore are:

  • Short-term visit passes like tourist visa, transit visa, and social visit pass
  • Long-term passes like employment pass, entrepass, S pass, dependent’s pass, and student pass
  • Permanent residence for extended stays


What nationalities don’t need to apply for a Singapore visa?

Here are some nationalities that do not need to apply for a visa prior to traveling to Singapore:

Citizens of ASEAN Member States

Citizens of the following ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states can enter Singapore without a visa for visits up to 30 days:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

However, citizens of ASEAN countries will need to apply for the proper visa if they wish to work, study, or remain in Singapore beyond 30 days.

Citizens of Specific Countries/Regions

Nationals of the following countries/regions are eligible to enter Singapore without a visa under certain conditions:

  • European Union countries – up to 90 days
  • United States – up to 90 days
  • Switzerland – up to 90 days
  • Iceland & Norway – up to 90 days
  • South Korea – up to 30 days
  • Israel – up to 30 days
  • New Zealand – up to 30 days
  • Japan – up to 30 days

The duration listed indicates the maximum allowed visit on a visa-free entry. Restrictions may apply in some cases so be sure to check current visa rules for your nationality.

Transiting Through Singapore

Citizens of India, China and some other countries can enter Singapore without a visa solely for transit purposes for up to 96 hours.

So in summary, ASEAN citizens and nationals of selected countries can visit Singapore visa-free but are subject to restrictions on duration of stay and activities allowed.

Are Singapore visas free?

The short answer is it depends. The long answer is here.

How long can I stay in Singapore on a tourist visa?

You can stay for up to 30 days on a single entry tourist visa, which can be extended by another 30 days for a maximum of 60 days.

What documents do I need to apply for a Singapore tourist visa?

You’ll need a valid passport, proof of finances, onward or return ticket, and completed application form. Some nationalities can apply online.

Can I work in Singapore on a tourist visa?

No, a tourist visa does not allow you to work in Singapore. You must apply for the proper work visa like an employment pass or S pass to legally work.

Do I need a visa to transit through Singapore?

Yes, you need to apply for a 96-hour transit visa if passing through Singapore to another destination. Eligible travelers can get this on arrival.

What is the difference between an employment pass and S pass?

The EP is for managers and executives earning at least S$4,500/month while the S pass is for mid-level skilled staff on at least S$2,500/month.

My spouse is working in Singapore on EP. What visa do I need?

As the dependent of an EP holder, you can apply for a dependent’s pass which allows you to reside in Singapore too.

How long can I stay in Singapore on a student pass?

The student pass allows you to stay as long as you are enrolled full-time in an approved education institution in Singapore.

What are the benefits of getting Singapore PR status?

PR status allows you to permanently reside and work in Singapore without renewal. You also get access to healthcare, education, and ability to own property.

How long do I need to live in Singapore to qualify for PR?

You generally need at least 2 years of legal residence in Singapore over the last 5 years to meet the PR qualifying period.


Ministry of Manpower – https://www.mom.gov.sg

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority – https://www.ica.gov.sg

Ministry of Education – https://www.moe.gov.sg

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