The Singapore passport is among the most highly sought after, thanks to the extent of travel freedom it gives its holders. Largely due to our country’s excellent diplomatic ties with others, owning one grants you access to a multitude of countries across the world. In many cases, Singapore citizens may not even have to apply for a visa to enter certain destinations all over the world. While this passport is only available to citizens, successfully obtaining your status as a permanent resident means that you will one step closer to owning one. Many Singapore permanent residents eventually move on to become citizens with time, thus earning themselves the right to apply for a Singapore passport. Should you meet the set requirements, you may be able to apply for citizenship and a passport one day, too. Curious as to what makes our passport such a highly coveted one? Read on for a brief guide to one of the most powerful passports in the world.
What Can You Do With A Singapore Passport?
As a result of our effective foreign policy and inclusive diplomatic relations, the Singapore passport boasts a visa-free score of 165 as of 2019. This allows all Singapore passport holders the right to travel to numerous destinations worldwide without having to go through the hassle of applying for a visa. Although many countries require over a week of processing time to approve visa applications, owning a Singapore passport gives you the power to bypass the entire lengthy and, at times, costly process altogether. Some of these destinations include the United Kingdom, neighbouring countries Malaysia and Indonesia, and even China.
With a Singapore passport, no longer would you have to constantly factor in processing time of a visa application into your travel plans. Additionally, Singaporeans can apply for visas at a lower fee to most other countries that do still require one. For instance, as of 2019, Singapore citizens only have to pay approximately 75€ while applying for a visa to Iran, compared to New Zealand passport holders who have to pay 100€. This makes our passport an excellent tool to have, particularly if your line of business involves a great deal of travel. In fact, this also makes Singapore the ideal country to retire in, since the passport would enable you to travel to your heart’s desire without having to apply for visas in numerous countries worldwide.
World Class Security Features
The incumbent Singapore government has also taken extensive measures to ensure that counterfeiting the Singapore passport is impossible. One such security feature is the utilisation of the biometric system that helps eliminate the possibility of abuse or forgery of our passports. This particular system requires every citizen who wishes to apply for a passport to report to the Immigration and Customs Authority for scans of their thumbprints as well as the iris. In fact, the government’s move to adopt the biometric system is also a major reason why Singapore citizens no longer need to apply for a visa while travelling to the United States of America. The system is one of the requirements of the country’s Visa Waiver Program. Since the passport does comply with the programme’s set requirements, Singapore is included among the list of countries with citizens who are allowed to enter the country without a visa.
The passport also includes multiple other security features in its design that further prevents it from being subject to counterfeit. A Multiple Laser Image (MLI) of the outline of the Singapore island, as seen on a world map, on the front page makes it difficult for forgers to replicate the passport. There is also a Diffractive Optically Variable Image Device (DOVID) in the shape of a lion’s head that has an achromatic effect when tilted in various angles. This DOVID image overlays an embedded picture of the passport holder in its bottom right-hand corner.
In addition, the same image of the passport holder is embedded as a window lock on the biometric passport. When viewed and tilted under a transmitted light source, this window lock can be seen as either a negative or positive portrait. The passport also features an embossed tactile design of five stars, which is a direct reference to the stars from Singapore’s national flag. There is also a surface transformation of a Vanda Miss Joaquim, which is Singapore’s national flower and one of the many plants found in Singapore. The flower appears to move when the passport is viewed from different anles, and is also light reflective. The combination of all these security measures makes the Singapore passport incredibly difficult to counterfeit.
How To Apply For A Singapore Passport
If you are keen to find out how an application for a Singapore passport is carried out, you may visit the official website of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority for more details. The website also provides prospective applicants with a list of documents required as well as the necessary steps that must be taken.