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Is the Singapore visa free for UAE residents?

Goh Jun Cheng

Introduction

Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have close bilateral relations and agreements that allow passport holders from each country to enter the other without a visa under certain conditions.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a detailed overview of the visa policies and requirements for UAE residents traveling to Singapore.

Background on Singapore-UAE Relations

Singapore and the UAE established diplomatic relations in 1984 and have since built strong economic, political, and cultural ties. Some key facts about the relationship:

  • The UAE is Singapore’s largest trading partner in the Middle East. Total trade reached S$20 billion in 2021 [1].
  • There are over 200 weekly flights connecting Singapore and the UAE [2].
  • The two countries signed important agreements like the Singapore-United Arab Emirates Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement in 2003 [3].
  • The UAE has an embassy in Singapore and Singapore has an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate-general in Dubai.

This close relationship has led to mutually beneficial visa policies allowing short-term visa-free entry for citizens of each country.

Visa Requirements for UAE Residents Entering Singapore

UAE residents, defined as foreign nationals holding valid UAE residency visas (not citizens), can enter Singapore without a visa for up to 30 days if they fulfill certain criteria:

Eligibility

  • Hold a valid UAE residence visa in a valid UAE-issued passport or travel document
  • Have a confirmed return ticket or onward journey to another country within 30 days
  • Have sufficient funds to cover expenses in Singapore

Ineligible Categories

Some categories of UAE residents require a visa to enter Singapore:

  • Holders of temporary visit passes or visas
  • Those traveling on a refugee travel document issued by the UAE
  • Former Singapore citizens or permanent residents who renounced citizenship

Length of Stay

Eligible UAE residents can stay in Singapore for up to 30 days. Any stay beyond 30 days requires applying for proper long-term immigration passes like employment passes.

Permitted Activities

Visa-free entry allows eligible UAE residents to engage in tourism and business activities like:

  • Leisure travel
  • Visiting friends/family
  • Making business or professional inquiries
  • Attending conferences, events, etc.

Any formal employment or study requires additional passes.

Long-Term Visa Options for UAE Residents

While the 30-day visa-free entry is convenient for short trips, UAE residents who want to stay longer in Singapore need to apply for long-term passes:

Employment Pass

For skilled professionals wishing to work in Singapore, this pass allows 1-2 years of stay subject to qualifications like suitable job offer, minimum salary levels, qualifications, etc. Families can be sponsored on dependent passes.

EntrePass

For foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start and operate a business in Singapore. Subject to business plan viability, innovation criteria, investment levels, etc.

S Pass

For mid-level skilled staff. Salary requirements are lower than Employment Pass. Maximum 2 years stay.

Training Employment Pass

For professional training assignments in Singapore up to 1 year. Requires sponsorship from a Singapore entity.

Personalized Employment Pass

For high-earning existing Employment Pass holders earning at least S$18,000 per month. Allows more flexibility to switch jobs. Valid up to 3 years.

Conclusion

UAE residents holding valid UAE residency visas can enter Singapore for up to 30 days visa-free for tourism, business, and social purposes. Longer-term stays require applying for proper work or immigration passes depending on the purpose. The visa-free entry reflects the strong bilateral ties between the two countries.

References

[1] Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore. (2021). UAE-Singapore bilateral relations. https://www.mfa.gov.sg/Countries-Regions/M/Middle-East/UAE-Singapore-Bilateral-Relations

[2] Singapore Airlines. Flight schedules. https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/us/plan-travel/schedules/

[3] Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. (2022). Singapore’s Tax Treaties. https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Quick-Links/International-Tax/Singapore’s-Tax-Treaties/

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