Singapore has today (4 October 2018) commenced trials of a new electronic arrival card for nationals of foreign countries entering the country, with the view to eventually replace the existing paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card that are currently required to submit on arrival.
The change will enable visitors to submit their personal information (flight details and where they intend to stay) online with Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), either on its website or via a mobile device.
“Travellers will then only need to produce their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival. The electronic arrival card, which they had filled up in advance, will then be called up by ICA’s immigration system,” the authority said.
Available in various foreign languages, foreign visitors travelling with their family or a small group have the option to file a one-time group submission, with all supplied intel applied to the entire party.
“The mobile application will also allow travellers to save the information submitted from previous trips for use for their next trip to Singapore. These traveller-friendly features will make the process of providing the required information much easier and more convenient.”
The electronic arrival card will operate for a three-month trial at most air, land and sea checkpoints in Singapore. Those locations included Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, Changi Airport, and the four cruise/ferry terminals (Singapore Cruise Centre, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Changi Point Ferry Terminal and Changi Ferry Terminal). Foreign visitors who arrive at these checkpoints but have not yet completed the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card may be approached by ICA officers to participate in the trial, and to provide feedback. ICA will use the feedback to fine-tune the system and processes and achieve a better user experience.
ICA said the e-arrival card will enhance operational efficiency: “[This] is a significant step towards ICA’s vision of paperless immigration clearance, and [will] save up to 48 million paper-based disembarkation/embarkation cards a year.”