SINGAPORE — More Singapore citizens will be able to get their first passports free of charge, following a review of the eligibility criteria by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
In a media release on Tuesday (15 October), the ICA said that the waiver of the first passport’s application fee – which applied to citizens born on or after 1 January 2020 – will now include all applications submitted before 1 January next year, as long as the application is submitted on or before the child’s first birthday.
This means that the waiver will benefit Singapore citizens born in 2019 and applying for their first passport in 2020. It will be applicable only for online applications submitted through the ICA website.
This waiver comes as part of the marriage and parenthood package announced in August, and is meant to be a small token to celebrate the birth of a new citizen, said ICA.
From Tuesday, parents who are collecting their child’s birth certificate from the hospital or at the ICA Building will be notified of the revised eligibility criteria. And from 1 January next year, parents who have an eligible child will receive an electronic notification about the waiver on their personal dashboards of the MyICA portal.
Parents can click on that notification to directly access the passport application process, to apply for their child’s passport, without having to pay the application fee. They can also log on directly to ICA’s passport e-Service to apply for their child’s first passport, and will similarly receive an electronic notification about the waiver upon entering their child’s birth certificate number.
From 1 January 2020, children below six years old will no longer need to be physically present for the collection of their passports.
Parents can make an appointment to collect their child’s passport at the ICA Building after they have completed the application process and received an email notification or pink card from ICA.
Older children aged six and above must still be physically present for the collection of their passports, as their biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints and iris images, will be enrolled at the point of collection. This will allow them to use the automated lanes for immigration clearance at the checkpoints.
Credit : yahoo.com