The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore said on Wednesday that foreign visitors to the south-east Asian country will not have to fill up paper arrival cards, as they will be launching an electronic arrival card. The three-month trial for this new card will begin from Thursday, October 4 at most of the air, land and sea checkpoints.
The foreign visitors are supposed to submit the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation version on their arrival that contains information such as traveller's flight number as well as their address in Singapore. But, as told by ICA, while using the new electronic cards, they can submit all the required information prior to the trip via ICA's website or through a mobile application.
ICA clarified that once travellers have done all the pre-submission process, they will only need to show their passports for the immigration clearance after arriving Singapore and the electronic cards will be then checked by ICA's immigration system.
The ICA stated that the electronic cards will be made available in several languages and foreign travellers, who will be visiting Singapore with their families or in a small group will have the option of making a one-time group submission. The information about the trip, such as flight details, last port of embarkation, expected date of arrival and departure, as well as address in Singapore will be automatically replicated for all persons in the group.
The mobile application will allow the travellers to save the information, submitted from previous trips for use for their next trip to the country.
The three-month-long trial process will be conducted at the Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints, Changi Airport and Singapore's four cruise/ferry terminals. Any visitor, who have not yet completed the paper arrival cards, may be approached by the concerned ICA officers to participate in the trial program and to provide feedback. ICA claimed that these electronic cards will be extremely travelling friendly and will make the entire process much easier and convenient.
However, this trial will not affect the Singaporeans, permanent residents, long-term pass holders as well as students and works who are returning to the country, as they do not need to submit any arrival cards.
"The electronic arrival card will enhance operational efficiency and is a significant step towards ICA's vision of paperless immigration clearance, and save up to 48 million paper-based disembarkation/embarkation cards a year," ICA said, adding that further information about the implementation of the electronic arrival card will be announced after the completion of the trial process.