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Is There a Singapore Visa On Arrival? Everything You Need To Know

Goh Jun Cheng

Singapore is a popular travel destination known for its stunning architecture, diverse cultures, mouthwatering cuisine, and reputation as one of the safest and cleanest cities in the world. Many travelers wonder if they can get a visa on arrival when landing in Singapore, or if they need to apply for a visa beforehand.

In this in-depth blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about getting a Singapore visa on arrival versus applying for a visa beforehand.

Overview of Singapore Visa Requirements

In general, citizens of most countries need to obtain a visa before traveling to Singapore. There are a few exceptions where travelers can obtain a visa on arrival, which we will cover in the next section. Singapore has three main types of visas:

  • Tourist visa – For short-term leisure travel of up to 30 days.
  • Business visa – For business trips, corporate events, seminars, etc. Valid up to 3 months.
  • Work visa – For foreigners seeking employment in Singapore. Typically valid 1-2 years.

The visa application process entails filling out an online form, providing supporting documents, paying a visa fee, and in some cases attending an in-person interview at the Singapore embassy. Processing times range from 1 week to 1 month depending on nationality.

Countries That Qualify for Visa On Arrival

Citizens from the following countries can obtain a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in Singapore:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Most European countries
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

In addition, citizens of the following countries can get a 90-day tourist visa on arrival with prior approval obtained online:

  • India
  • China
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia

The visa on arrival is only valid if traveling by air and entering Singapore through Changi Airport. Travelers who enter by land from Malaysia or elsewhere must get a visa before arrival.

How to Get Singapore Visa On Arrival

If you qualify for a visa on arrival based on your nationality, the process is straightforward:

Step 1: Check Eligibility

Double check the government website to confirm your nationality is eligible for on-arrival visa before your trip. Eligibility can change periodically.

Step 2: Have Documents Ready

You will need to provide your valid passport, a printed return ticket or onward journey ticket, and sufficient funds to cover your stay.

Step 3: Complete Disembarkation/Embarkation Card

This arrival card will be distributed during your flight – fill it out completely before landing.

Step 4: Get Stamped

Proceed to the designated visa on arrival lane after disembarking the plane. Queue up and when it’s your turn, submit your arrival card and passport to the immigration officer. They will review your documents and stamp your passport with entry permit valid for 30 or 90 days from arrival. The whole process takes only a few minutes if you have all your papers ready!

Why Get Visa Beforehand Instead?

While the visa on arrival option is great for its convenience, there are a few reasons you may want to consider arranging your Singapore visa beforehand:

  • Pre-approval – With a visa issued ahead of time, there is no risk when you land that you will be denied entry for any reason.
  • More validity – Visas issued by consulates are often valid for longer, such as 6 month tourist or 1 year business visas.
  • Multiple entry – Pre-issued visas often permit multiple entries, while on-arrival visas are single entry.
  • Save time – Get through immigration faster by having visa ready to go in passport versus having to wait in visa-on-arrival line.
  • Documentation – Applying beforehand gives you more time to get any required documents translated or notarized if needed.
  • Trip prep – Take care of visa early so it’s not something to worry about right before traveling.

So while the Singapore visa on arrival is great for short term or last minute trips, applying in advance has some advantages for many travelers.

Bottom Line

Citizens from the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, NZ and several other countries can indeed get a tourist visa on arrival when entering Singapore by air through Changi airport. For travelers from other nations, or those looking to stay longer than 30 days on their first entry, applying for the necessary Singapore visa ahead of time is required.

Hopefully this guide has provided you with clarity on whether you can get a visa on arrival for your upcoming Singapore trip.

References

Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, “Countries/Regions With Visa Exemption”, https://www.ica.gov.sg/visit-pass/visitor-visa/visa-requirement-for-foreign-visitors

Singapore Tourism Board, “Do You Need a Visa for Singapore?”, https://www.visitsingapore.com/travel-guide-tips/getting-to-around-singapore/do-you-need-a-visa-for-singapore/

1 thought on “Is There a Singapore Visa On Arrival? Everything You Need To Know”

  1. OK when I arrive at Changi.
    However, what do I do when I come back by Ferry Boat
    from Batam Island (Indonesia) to catch my flight back to the U.S. ?
    Thank you for the info.
    Paul R.

    Reply

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