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ICA’s move towards paperless immigration clearance highlights use of electronic arrival card

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Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority () announced on Wednesday (Aug 14) that it will launch a beta version of the SG Arrival Card e-service. This is an extension of the trial for electronic arrival cards conducted last October 2018.

With these e-cards, tourists and visitors travelling with selected transport operators will submit their electronic arrival cards instead of the paper-based on disembarkation/embarkation cards at checkpoints. The services are available up to 14 days prior to their arrival in Singapore.

According to an ICA personnel, these arrival e-cards signifies greater convenience for travellers as they will only produce their passports for immigration clearance because the ICA’s immigration system already have the details on their electronic arrival cards which is submitted in advance.

Visitors who will enjoy this implementation are those travelling to Singapore on airlines specific airlines, including AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, or on coach service Transtar Travel, and ferry operators BatamFast Ferries, Bintan Resort Ferries, Horizon Fast Ferry and Majestic Fast Ferry.

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All other visitors are still required to complete the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation cards.

This group of visitors include those arriving at sea checkpoints on cruise liners, land checkpoints via trains, cars, motorcycles and lorries, and those arriving with work pass status.

The SG Arrival Card e-service can be accessed through the agency’s website or can be downloaded as a free mobile application on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Those who use the mobile app can scan their passport biodata pages without keying in the information manually. They can also save previously submitted information for use on subsequent trips to Singapore.

In its statement, the ICA said that implementing the electronic arrival card is in line with its move towards paperless immigration clearance.

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The electronic arrival card is expected to replace the paper-based cards by 2021.

According to the agency, “ICA will study the results of this trial and progressively extend the SG Arrival Card facility to all foreign visitors.”

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