FAQ: Planning to travel? Here's what you need to know about renewing your Singapore passport

1 month ago 31

SINGAPORE: The minimum processing time for the renewal of Singaporean passports has risen to six weeks, with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) citing an "overwhelming" number of applications for the delay. 

Since Singapore eased travel restrictions at the end of April, ICA said the number of passport applications has "spiked" to more than 7,000 per day, with 14,000 applications received in a day at its peak. In contrast, about 2,000 applications were made per day before the COVID-19 pandemic.

To handle the high demand of applications, ICA said its officers are working longer hours during this period, with more passport counters and additional queue areas set up at the ICA building. 

If you are planning an overseas trip and your passport is expiring soon, here are some tips to ensure the renewal goes smoothly.

Q: When should you renew my passport?

You do not have to renew your passport if you are currently in Singapore and have no plans to travel for the next six months, said ICA. 

"The Singapore passport is not a mandatory identity document and there is no penalty for not renewing passports which have expired," said the authority. 

Singaporeans travelling overseas need to make sure their passport is valid for at least six months before departure.

According to ICA, you should apply for a passport online if it is your first time applying for one, your passport is running out of pages, if it has expired or is expiring in nine months or less.

Q: What do you need to renew your passport?

A passport-sized, digital, colour photo taken within the last three months is required for your passport application.

The photo must meet ICA's passport photo requirements, which are based on specifications by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Printed photos must be on a matte or semi-matte finish.

For photos uploaded via e-Services for online applications, the recommended dimension is 400 pixels by 514 pixels. They should be uploaded in jpg, jpeg or png format and have a file size of no more than 2MB, said ICA. 

If you are taking a photo using your mobile phone, ICA recommends that you download and use mobile apps that are specifically designe...

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