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ICA’s New Electronic Arrival Card For Foreign Visitors

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be launching a new electronic arrival card for foreign visitors to Singapore, which will slowly replace the existing paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card that foreign visitors are currently required to submit on arrival.

How the Electronic Arrival Card Works

  1. Currently, foreign travelers to Singapore fill up a paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card upon arrival. The card contains information pertinent to the travelers, such as their flight to Singapore, and where they are staying in Singapore.
  2. With the electronic arrival card, travelers can submit their personal information and trip details through the ICA website or via a mobile application before arriving in Singapore. Travelers will then only need to produce their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival. The electronic arrival card which they had filled up in advance, will then be called up by ICA’s immigration system.

Traveler-Friendly Features

3. The electronic arrival card will be made available in various foreign languages. Foreign visitors travelling with their families or in small groups will have the option of making a one-time group submission. Trip information 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 also allow travelers to save the information submitted from previous trips for use for their next trip to Singapore. These traveler-friendly features will make the process of providing the required information much easier and more convenient.

Trial of Electronic Arrival Card

4.         To ensure the smooth implementation of the new electronic arrival card, a trial for foreign visitors to Singapore will be conducted for three months from 4 October 2018. This trial will not affect Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders (e.g. students and workers) who are returning to Singapore, as they do not need to submit any disembarkation/embarkation card.

5.         The trial will be conducted at most of the air, land and sea checkpoints, namely Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, Changi Airport, and the four cruise/ferry terminals (i.e. Singapore Cruise Centre, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Changi Point Ferry Terminal and Changi Ferry Terminal). Foreign visitors who arrive at these checkpoints but have not yet completed the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card may be approached by ICA officers to participate in the trial, and to provide feedback. ICA will use the feedback to fine-tune the system and processes and achieve a better user experience.

Towards A Paperless Immigration Clearance Process

6.         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. More details of the implementation of the electronic arrival card will be announced at a later date, after completion of the trial.


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Key to Reaping Full Socio-economic Benefits of Tourism

United Nations is marking this year’s World Tourism Day by exploring how technological advances such as big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms can contribute to the way people travel and foster innovation in the tourism industry.

During the celebration of the World Tourism day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out how technological innovation and digital transformation could reduce the ecological burden of tourism and bring the benefits of tourism to all.

“Yet, tourism needs innovation in technology to realize its potential contributions.  Its benefits need to flow to host communities.  Governments can help to connect start-ups with investors to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, employment and a truly inclusive tourism sector.”, he said.

According to the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism has become one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world with international tourist arrivals having grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.3 billion today. The sector represents an estimated 10% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 1 in 10 jobs globally.

UNWTO expects that tourism will continue to grow at an average of 3 per cent annually until 2030, as more people have access to travel, thanks to the decline in the price of transport, especially air transport, and growing middle classes worldwide.







Japan eases visa requirements for Filipino business travelers, cultural or intellectual figures

MANILA, Philippines — Japan has eased the visa requirements for Filipinos traveling for business, cultural or intellectual purposes to promote people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

The Japanese Embassy in Manila, in a statement, said the number of applicants eligible for multiple entry visas for short term stay has been expanded. Filipinos who will visit Japan for business and those who are cultural and intellectual figures are covered by the relaxed policy.

The validity period of the visas has been also extended to 10 years from the previous five years.