With the government’s on-going initiative to digitize procedures and to phase out the paper forms in the country, the ICA has also announced that it will be implementing new procedures when it comes to processing their immigration documents upon leaving the country.
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Such efforts will complement the country’s latest innovations in terms of immigration documentation and processing known as the BioScreen system which is used upon entry in the country. This will better facilitate movement in heavily peopled areas such as airports among others and promote better services or faster transactions ultimately.
ICA Renounces Requirement of Passport Stamps for Foreigners Leaving Singapore
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Wednesday (April 17) announced that foreigners leaving the country will no longer be required to have their passports stamped starting April 22 (Monday), as shared in a report by the Straits Times.
According to the announcement, the ICA would “cease the issuance of departure immigration endorsements.” This means that stamps of departure dates on travel documents of foreigners leaving the country will no longer be part of the requirements, as they have been in the past.
Since September 2016, foreign travellers whose fingerprints have been enrolled via the BioScreen system upon arrival in Singapore have been able to access automated lanes when they exit the country. In essence, these travellers do not receive stamps on their passports at the port of exit in Singapore.
However, before this decision has been pushed to effect, all foreigners leaving Singapore were required to have their passports stamped with the date of their departure by immigration officers at manned counters.
In line with this decision, the ICA also explained that it would be coordinating with foreign authorities of its move to cease immigration endorsement for foreigners.
Once this has been rolled out into full effect, not only will there be faster transactions and processing of travel documents from the ground (points of exit), but the ICA can also fully build on its digital system to use electronic information (i.e. fingerprints) to let travellers enter and exit the country with ease.
This should be good news not only for foreign travellers, but also for locals who use the services offered by the immigration, as the system will only get better from this point on towards the country’s goal of digitizing its services for all of its citizens as well as stakeholders.