If you’ve ever flown on an international flight, you’re probably familiar with filling out a card to be presented at the immigration counters upon landing or before departure at any airport around the world. As travel processes are becoming digitized, this is one of the aspects of travel where we still need to have a pen ready. If you're planning to head to Singapore in the near future, that will soon change.
Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced it will take a step to eliminate paper disembarkation/embarkation cards with a trial of electronic arrival cards. For the next three months, foreign visitors to Singapore will be able to fill out personal information and trip details on the ICA website or mobile app – before arriving in Singapore. Travelers will still have to present their passport upon arrival at any port of entry to Singapore.
Image from the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
While Changi Airport is the prominent port of entry to the Red Dot, the trial will be available for travelers arriving at the city-state via the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, Singapore Cruise Centre, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Changi Point Ferry Terminal, and Changi Ferry Terminal. Upon arriving, ICA officers may approach travelers who haven’t completed the paper form and ask if they would want to participate in the trial.
According to a tweet from the ICA, the electronic arrival card will be provided in multiple languages, and one declaration can be made for a family or group. For those who frequently visits Singapore for business or family, you could save your information on the app for future use.
While it will help speed up immigration processing and reduce paper usage, some concerns could be how the data will be used and who would be able to access it. Other than that, if you want some added convenience when arriving in Singapore it might be worth trying out.