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Clearance of Travellers through Customs (important)


Travellers to declare currency or bearer negotiable instruments over S$30,000

From 1 November 2007 onwards, persons who move into or out of Singapore physical currency1 or bearer negotiable instruments2 (CBNI) the total value of which exceeds SGD 30,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) will be required to give a report by filling up a form and submitting it to the authorities.
The form is available at all checkpoints, police establishments, Singapore Visitors Centres and branches of Singapore Post...



     Maps for Tourists

To get free copies of maps & brochures on Singapore, including Singapore Official Guide, please click HERE.

Not illegal for security guards to hold NRIC

Foreigners to get no subsidy at polyclinics from 2006

New 10 VEP-free days scheme & shorter VEP operating hours

Foreign-registered cars need not have in-vehicle unit from Sep 2003

Easing of visa requirements for citizens of China from 1 Nov 2003


Amendments to the Immigration Act

" 2003, ICA repatriated more than 11,800 foreigners who had either entered Singapore illegally or violated the conditions set out in their immigration passes.

To enable swifter repatriation of these undesirable foreigners, clause 16 will empower the Controller to seize monies found in possession of any prohibited immigrant to cover any expenses incurred by the Government in connection with his or his dependents' detention, maintenance, medical treatment and removal from Singapore.



     VISA FREE entry into Singapore is available for the following:

       - citizens of the British Commonwealth (except India and Pakistan)

The following are members of the British Commonwealth - Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji Islands, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India (need visa), Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan (need visa), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe

      - citizens of Australia, Belgium, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, South Korea, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States


ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption
Kuala Lumpur, 25 July 2006

The Governments of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), hereinafter referred to individually as “Member Country” and collectively as “Member Countries”...

Member Countries, where applicable, shall exempt citizens of any other Member Countries holding valid national passports from visa requirement for a period of stay of up to 14 (fourteen) days from the date of entry, provided that such stay shall not be used for purposes other than visit. Citizens of Member Countries who enter another Member Countries for other purposes or for a stay exceeding the days allowed under the laws and regulations of the host countries are required to apply for appropriate visas or passes...



      They are allowed entry into Singapore for 30 days automatically. However, they must meet these requirements or the length of stay may be shortened:

      - validity of passport must be at least 6 months or longer

      - must have cash of S$600 or equivalent in other currencies (to ensure visitor has sufficient means, just in case)

      - must have return ticket

      They must apply for a Social Visit Pass if they wish to stay longer than 30 days. Application forms may be obtained from:

                      SIR Building   4th storey Information/Queue Ticket Counter

      Of course, if the visitor, before expiry of his 30-day visit pass, goes over to Johore Baru and then comes into Singapore again, that visitor will get a fresh 14 to 30-day visit pass. Less hassle, really.

      Tourists who have come into Singapore and then gone over to visit Malaysia for a short while will get a 14-day tourist visa when they re-enter Singapore at the Johore checkpoint. If they need a longer-term tourist visa, they can explain their situation to the Immigration Officer at Johore checkpoint to try to obtain a longer-term tourist visa of up to 30 days. However, if the Immigration Officer is unwilling to grant such a visa, the tourist should:

          1. first obtain the standard tourist visa of 14 days stay

          2. visit Singapore Immigration & Registration (SIR) HQ at 10 Kallang Rd Singapore to get an extension. This should be done about 3 - 4 days before departure from Singapore. The tourist has to bring along a local sponsor. But, if the tourist has no local sponsor, he/she has to declare that fact to the Immigration Officer processing the extension. The whole process - from application to approval - takes only about two hours.

      There is a fee of S$40 for any extension of pass accumulating to a period of 3 months or more from the date of entry and for every subsequent extension accumulating to 3 months or more. The issue of a visa is S$20, where applicable.

Citizens of Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam

From 10 Nov 2003, citizens of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam holding ordinary passports will not need a visa to visit Singapore if they stay in Singapore for not more than 30 days. Those who wish to work or study in Singapore are still required to apply for the appropriate work passes or student's pass.

Source: ICA Press Release 6 Nov 2003

       ENTRY VISAs are required for visitors from the following countries:

Foreigners holding travel documents issued by the following countries will require a visa to enter Singapore:

  • Afghanistan

  • Algeria

  • Bangladesh (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Commonwealth of Independent States* (Except Diplomatic/Official/Service passport holders for a stay of up to 30 days )

    • Armenia

    • Azerbaijan

    • Belarus

    • Georgia

    • Kazakhstan

    • Kyrgyzstan

    • Moldova

    • Russia

    • Tajikistan

    • Turkmenistan

    • Ukraine

    • Uzbekistan

  • Egypt

  • India (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Jordan (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Lebanon

  • Libya

  • Morocco

  • Myanmar (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • People's Republic of China (Except Diplomatic/Service/Public Affairs passport holders for a stay of up to 30 days)

  • Pakistan

  • Saudi Arabia (Except Diplomatic passport holders)

  • Somalia

  • Sudan

  • Syria

  • Tunisia (Except Diplomatic/Official passport holders)

  • Yemen

In addition, visitors holding Hong Kong Document of Identity, Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Travel Permit, Palestinian Authority Passport, Refugee Travel Document issued by the Middle-East countries and Temporary Passport issued by United Arab Emirates will also require a visa to enter Singapore.

* Nationals of the Commonwealth Independent States may be granted entry into Singapore without visas if they are on transit to a third country. However, they are required to fulfil the following conditions:-

  • They are in transit to a third country;

  • They hold a valid passport, a confirmed onward air-ticket, entry facilities (including visa) to the third country and have sufficient funds for the period of stay in Singapore;

  • They continue their journey to the third country within the 96-hour visa free period granted; and

  • They satisfy Singapore's entry requirements. As in all arrivals, the grant of the social visit passes to travellers will be determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officers at the Singapore Checkpoints.

Updated: 29 Jan 2007

Source: Immigration & Checkpoints Authority


Imposition of visa requirements for Nigerian Ordinary Passport holders

With effect from 1 December 2008, Nigerian nationals who are holders of Nigerian Ordinary Passports will require visas to enter Singapore.


       Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has a 24-hour hotline at Tel: (65) 6391 6100. Please remember this is an automatic-answering service which means you will be listening to a computer if you call after their office hours and you may not get the type of information you need.

      Their office hours:    Mon - Fri       8.00 am to 5.00 pm

                                    Sat              8.00 am to 1.00 pm

       When I need urgent information during odd hours, especially for replies in response to queries from website visitors, I usually call Immigration & Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) airport phone line at Tel: (65) 6542 1122. That way, I get to speak to someone, not a computer and I get answers straightaway..

       If that method is inconvenient because you are overseas, please e-mail your request to us. We will get the information for you as soon as we can.


Excerpt of a letter dated 5 Jul 2000 to Forum, The Straits Times by Sharon Wong, Deputy Head, Publicity & Media Relations, Singapore Immigration & Registration.

  Singapore welcomes all foreign visitors and SIR would, as far as possible, facilitate the entry and stay of bona fide visitors.

  Multiple-journey visas are meant for foreigners who need to travel in and out of Singapore frequently, such as businessmen, those working here on valid work passes or staying with family on long-term social-visit passes.

  Those who wish to visit neighbouring countries from Singapore can also apply for the appropriate visas by providing their itinerary at the point of application.

  Other bona fide visitors are granted a 30-day visit pass at the entry point if they meet our immigration requirements.

  For most visitors, the period of stay granted is sufficient for their purpose. Those who need to remain beyond the validity of their visit passes may apply for an extension of stay at the Visitor Services Centre, SIR Building. Applications are normally processed in the same day, if submitted before 3pm.

For more information, click HERE!


     - Check your eligibility for Singapore PR or citizenship online

     - Use of MyKad & cancellation of Malaysian restricted passports

     - Workplace Safety and Health Act replaces Factories Act

     - Food items individual travellers may bring into Singapore

     - Student Protection Scheme for international students

     - Guidelines on employment of foreign students

     - Illegal employment/deployment of foreign domestic workers





Imposition of visa requirements for Nigerian Ordinary Passport holders

With effect from 1 December 2008, Nigerian nationals who are holders of Nigerian Ordinary Passports will require visas to enter Singapore.



MOH to recognise more foreign dental degrees

From 1 January 2008, all dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association will be added to the Schedule of the Dental Registration Act.
The addition of 48 American dental schools and 7 Canadian dental schools will increase the number of recognised foreign dental schools in the Schedule from the current 34 to 89. The list of new and current dental schools can be found in Annex A...




     -  Singapore welcomes 10 millionth visitor


Singapore Labour Market 3rd quarter 2007

Total employment expanded by 58,600 in Q3 07, up substantially from the increase of 43,000 in Q3 06, making it the second highest quarterly increase after the 64,400 recorded in Q2 07...
1,827 workers were retrenched in Q3 07, an improvement from 2,472 in Q3 06 and 1,918 in Q2 07[2]. This brings the total number retrenched in the first nine months of 2007 to 5,709, much lower than 9,388 in the same period last year...




Reduced hospital subsidies for non-citizens

From January 1, 2008, non-PR foreigners will not receive any healthcare subsidy. PRs will continue to be subsidised for hospital services, but at 5 percentage points less than citizens.
From July 1, 2008, another 5 percentage-point reduction will be applied...



New foreign workforce measures to meet strong market demand

With effect from 1 January 2008, the S Pass quota for all sectors will be increased from 15% to 25%. The new S Pass quota will come entirely from companies' Work Permit quota which will be increased for all sectors. Companies can therefore employ more S Pass holders, in lieu of Work Permit holders, hence improving the quality of their foreign workforce...
To strengthen our global talent attraction and retention efforts, refinements will be made to the PEP scheme. Foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least S$7,000 will be eligible for a PEP. The PEP will also be granted to former P1 Employment Pass holders upon application.
These changes will take effect from 1 March 2008. Existing and new P1 pass holders working in Singapore that apply for the PEP ahead of the 2-year requirement will be accorded in-principle approval. They can apply to take up the PEP at the end of 2 years on their current P1 pass...



Singapore Workforce 2007

The continued tightening of the labour market this year has also led to significant gains in income and a reduction in the number and share of low wage workers...
Excluding the extreme age bands, the employment rate for those aged 25 to 64 edged up to a new record of 76.5% from 75.5% a year ago. Supported by efforts to improve employability of older workers, the employment rate of older residents aged 55 to 64 rose by 2.5%-points over the year to 56.2% in June 2007..



HIV cases on the rise in 2007

Out of the164 Singaporeans detected to be HIV infected in the first six months, about 93% of the new cases detected this year were males and 7% were females.
Sexual transmission remains the main mode of HIV transmission among Singaporeans.  Of the 164 cases reported in the first 6 months of 2007, 155 cases acquired the infection through the sexual route, with heterosexual transmission accounting for 67% of infections, homosexual transmission 24% and bisexual transmission 3%.  Intravenous drug use (4 cases) accounted for 2%...



Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2007

Employment continued to grow strongly as the economy maintained its rapid expansion. Preliminary estimates show that employment grew by 57,600 in the third quarter of 2007...
Services continued to lead the employment gains, adding 34,500 workers in the third quarter of 2007. Manufacturing posted gains of 11,800. Driven by the growth in building activities, construction increased its workforce by 10,800, continuing the rapid increase of the previous quarter...



Singapore population in 1990, 2000 and 2006

Total Population by Residential Status for 1990, 2000 and 2006 (Mid-Year Estimates)[1]
Total Population
Singapore Citizens
2,623,700 (86.1%)
2,985,900 (74.1%)
3,145,800 (70.2%)
Permanent Residents  
112,100 (3.7%)
287,500 (7.1%)
462,700 (10.3%)
311,300 (10.2%)
754,500 (18.7%)
875,500 (19.5%)



Travellers to declare currency or bearer negotiable instruments over S$30,000

From 1 November 2007 onwards, persons who move into or out of Singapore physical currency1 or bearer negotiable instruments2 (CBNI) the total value of which exceeds SGD 30,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) will be required to give a report by filling up a form and submitting it to the authorities.
The form is available at all checkpoints, police establishments, Singapore Visitors Centres and branches of Singapore Post...



The Penal Code (Amendment) Bill passed

The new section 376C (Commercial sex with minor under 18 outside Singapore) will have extra-territorial effect so that it would be an offence for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents to solicit or engage in commercial sex with minors under 18 in other countries...
Feedback received highlighted concerns over female sexual abuse of male minors. On further consideration, we accept that these younger male children could be exploited by older women. Consequently, we have decided to make it an offence for a woman to engage in penile penetrative sexual acts with a male minor under 16 and to have commercial sex with a male minor under 18...
Whilst prostitution per se is not an offence, new section 376B (Commercial sex with minor under 18) will make it an offence for a person to solicit, communicate or obtain sexual services from a minor under 18 years of age...



159 Foreign Medical Schools recognised in Singapore

The Ministry of Health and the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) will be including an additional 19 leading international medical schools to the Schedule of the Medical Registration Act with effect from 1st October 2007...
Included are 6 medical schools from China, 4 from India, 4 from Japan, 2 from Taiwan and 1 from South Korea. 2 more medical schools from Europe have also been added...
Singaporeans graduating from any of the 159 international medical schools can also come back to Singapore, to supplement the number graduating from our own medical schools...



Cancellation of licence for public lecture by Prof Emeritus Douglas Sanders

Our laws are an expression and reflection of the values of our society and any public discourse in Singapore on such matters should be reserved for Singaporeans.
Foreigners will not be allowed to interfere in our domestic political scene, whether in support of the gay cause or against it.



Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act passed

Clause 11 of the Bill makes it mandatory for anyone physically carrying currency and bearer negotiable instruments or CBNI, above S$30,000, into or out of Singapore, to declare this to the authorities at the checkpoints...

The threshold amount of S$30,000 is based on the recommendation by the FATF, and includes not only currency in circulation, but also bearer negotiable instruments such as travellers cheques, money orders, cheques, bonds and promissory notes...
Hence, for clarity, a crossed cheque made payable to a specific person with the word “bearer” deleted is not considered a bearer negotiable instrument because only the person named on the cheque can receive the amount stated on it.
The new measure would be non-discriminatory and will be imposed on all travellers, including citizens, residents and foreigners, entering and exiting the country.
The penalties for non-declaration and false declaration are a maximum fine of S$50,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years or both...



Employer-financed insurance for medical expenses of foreign workers

The Ministry of Manpower will require employers to purchase and maintain insurance for the medical expenses of foreign workers from 1 January 2008.
This requirement is being implemented in tandem with the withdrawal of healthcare subsidies for foreigners1, which was previously announced by the Ministry of Health. The requirement will apply to:
  • All new and existing foreign workers on Work Permit or S Pass from 1 January 2008.
  • All new foreign domestic workers, and existing foreign domestic workers when employers renew their Work Permits, from 1 January 2008.



Police investigating illegal Myanmese assembly at Orchard MRT Station

"On 25 Aug 2007, a group of Myanmese dressed in similar white attire had assembled around Orchard MRT Station.
"The intent of the assembly, which did not have a police permit, was to show support for fellow Myanmese who had been protesting back in Myanmar...



Singapore conducts major multi-agency maritime security exercise

"Led by the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Coastal Command (COSCOM), this annual exercise involves some 2,000 personnel from the RSN, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Army, as well as the Police Coast Guard (PCG), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)..."



Sleight Of hand culprit nabbed

On 19 August 2007 at about 3.15pm, an Iranian man was arrested for an offence of theft by sleight of hand. The man had earlier managed to steal money from foreigners by asking to see their foreign currency.



New dog licensing rules from 1 Sep 2007

"All licensed dogs must be microchipped with an ISO compliant microchip.
"Dogs that were licensed before 1 Sep 07 will be exempted from the requirement. However, owners of such dogs are strongly encouraged to have their dogs microchipped for better traceability...
"Under the new Rules1, the annual licence fee for all unsterilised dogs (both male and female) is $70 while the licence fee for sterilised dogs is $14..."




Employment situation in 2nd Quarter 2007

"Preliminary estimates show that total employment grew by a record quarterly high of 61,900 in the second quarter of 2007, as the economy continued its strong growth...

"Employment grew in all the major sectors, led by services which added 33,600 workers. Manufacturing posted gains of 16,600, higher than earlier quarters..."



Iconic Hotel Phoenix closes on 1 August 2007

"In line with the major construction that is happening on our neighbouring sites, the owners of Hotel Phoenix Singapore will be discontinuing operations at the Hotel on 1 August 2007 for a refurbishment.

"While we are sad to do so after 35 years of operations, we believe the refurbishment of Hotel Phoenix will add value to the rejuvenation of Orchard Road and contribute to the Government's vision of strengthening Orchard Road's appeal as a major retail, commercial and entertainment belt..."



Rehabilitation regime for first and second-time abusers of cannabis and cocaine

"The aim of the treatment and rehabilitation regime is to give first and second time abusers a chance at rehabilitation without the stigmatisation of a criminal record...

"Recalcitrant abusers with two previous records for consumption of cannabis or cocaine or that of opiates, synthetic drugs or buprenorphine who are arrested again for the consumption of any of these drugs would be liable for long term imprisonment under the Long Term (LT) Imprisonment Regime, if convicted..."



Minister answers questions on Singapore permanent residents

"In 2006, about 57,000 persons were granted permanent residency status in Singapore. These new permanent residents (PRs) came predominantly from Asian and South-East Asian countries...

"In 2006, about 13,000 persons were granted Singapore Citizenship (SC). These new SCs came predominantly from Asian and South-East Asian countries..."



Passports (Amendment) Bill passed

"Thus, this Bill repeals the existing Act, and re-enacts a new Passports Act which introduces measures against the abuse and misuse of Singapore passports and travel documents, as well as foreign travel documents...

"Clause 45 of the Bill makes it compulsory for Singaporeans, or a person who has parental responsibility for a Singaporean aged 16 and below, to report the loss or theft of a passport within 14 days when he first knows of the fact...

"Clause 23 of the Bill allows the Controller to refuse passports to persons for law enforcement reasons, such as to persons who have been placed under supervision under the Misuse of Drugs Act. This will ensure that they do not indulge in drug-related activities overseas. Others who may be refused passports include those who are the subject of warrants of arrest issued for seizeable offences...

"A person who is found guilty of giving away his Singapore passport or travel document and is reckless as to whether it will be misused by another person for travel or for identification purposes will face a fine of up to $5,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both..."



Five Vietnamese nationals arrested for stealing spree

"Police arrested two men and three women, aged 22 - 37 at the airport yesterday after they were found with nine pieces of luggage containing more than 350 pieces of new garments...

"Preliminary investigations revealed that about 30 of the items in their possession were found to be stolen from shops in the Orchard area..."



New Woodlands mini checkpoint for motorcyclists opens

"Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will open an additional clearance zone for motorcyclists with effect from 5 July 2007.

"This new mini checkpoint will be an extension of the existing Woodlands Checkpoint, and will operate up to five hours daily from 5am to 10am..."


     - Apple Scam Cheats Nabbed


Phasing out of temporary registered doctors for service provision

"Only temporary medical registration for service provision is being phased out by 31 Dec 2007.

"Existing temporary registered doctors brought in as service providers before 1 Jan 2008 can still continue to work here until they either become conditionally registered (acquired recognized postgraduate qualifications) or they have completed their 4-6 years of service in Singapore..."



Tightening of security of Non-Biometric Passports

"ICA will be tightening the security of non-biometric passports by adopting the same security measures as those implemented on the Singapore biometric passport (BioPass).

"Hence, with effect from 1 September 2007 (Saturday), photo update services for non-biometric passports will no longer be available. Non-biometric passport holders who no longer resemble their passport photo are advised to update their photos before 1 September 2007...



Changi Airport's Terminal 3 to start operations on 9 Jan 2008

"Airlines, airport agencies, ground handlers, shop tenants and other airport business partners operating at Changi Airport's new Terminal 3 can start to move in and set up their offices and systems to prepare for operations...
"Terminal 3 and its associated works cost S$1.75 billion. It will have a handling capacity of 22 million passengers per year, bringing the total annual passenger handling capacity of Changi Airport to about 70 million..."



36,000 persons granted permanent residence in Singapore yearly

"Over the last ten years i.e. from 1997 to 2006, an average of about 36,000 persons were granted permanent residence (PR) in Singapore annually...
"Over the last ten years, an average of about 8,500 Singapore Permanent Residents became Singapore Citizens annually..."




Changes to childcare subsidies for PRs

"From 1 January 2008, PR children aged 2 months to below 7 years will only be eligible for half the current amount of centre-based child care subsidy.
"From January 2009, such children will not be eligible for the subsidy..."


     - Singapore Public Holidays 2008


New restrictions for hand-carry luggage on flights departing Singapore

"Singapore will be implementing new aviation security measures for hand-carry luggage on flights departing Singapore from 8 May 2007 (Tuesday), 1200hrs..."



Two policemen die in boat collision while pursuing illegal immigrants

"Two Police Coast Guard (PCG) officers had been killed and an unknown number of illegal immigrants gone missing after the boats which the PCG officers and the illegal immigrants were in respectively collided at the sea off Tuas last night...

"Two other fellow crew mates on board the same PCG boat had been rescued. Three illegal immigrants had also been rescued, together with the recovery of a body of a fourth illegal immigrant..."


     - 140 Foreign Medical Schools recognised in Singapore


Singapore Labour Market 2006

"Total employment creation for the whole of 2006 rose to an all-time high of 176,000, surpassing the previous year’s gains of 113,300. This brought the total number employed to 2,495,900 persons as at December 06...
"On average, 67,500 residents were unemployed in 2006, down from 74,900 in 2005 and the high of 91,200 in 2003..."



Check your eligibility for Singapore PR or citizenship online

"The Naturalisation Eligibility Tool is a free online self-assessment system, to assist foreigners working and staying in Singapore to assess if they are eligible for either Singapore Permanent Residence (SPR) or Singapore Citizenship (SC)...
"Overseas foreigners are also able to use the system although theirs will only be a hypothetical assessment. These overseas foreigners are given the option to provide their contact particulars to enable ICA to contact them if necessary..."



Alcoholic beverages consumption in foreign workers' dormitories

"In a pilot test, Police has allowed beer to be sold in four dormitories1, and where the beer is then consumed at designated social areas inside the dormitories...
"Police is now conducting a review to assess if the sale and consumption of beer can be extended to other dormitories..."



Report on labour force in Singapore in 2006

"76% of the resident population aged 25 to 64 were employed, the highest since the data was first compiled in 1991, up from 73% in 1996...
"12% or 172,000 of resident employees were engaged on term contracts in June 2006 while the remaining 88% were permanent employees3. On average, employees on term contract drew lower pay than those on permanent appointments...
"The share of degree holders almost doubled to 23% from 12% a decade ago..."



About 200,000 new Singapore PRs in the next 5 years

"From 2001-2004, an average of 35,250 new permanent residents (PR) and 7,130 new Singapore citizens (SC) were granted per annum. In 2005, about 52,300 new PRs and 12,900 new SCs were granted.
"The average numbers of new PRs and SCs are 38,700 and 8,300 respectively, for the period 2001-2005.
"We could expect to add about 200,000 new PRs and 40,000 new SCs in the next 5 years if we get the same numbers of new PRs and SCs as in the last 5 years..."



Easing of Visa Requirements

With effect from 1 January 2007, citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holding Diplomatic passports will not need a visa to visit Singapore.
All other types of passport holder are still required to obtain the appropriate visas for entry into Singapore.
The changes to the visa requirements are part of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority's on-going review to facilitate the entry and stay of bona fide visitors.


Immigration & Checkpoints Authority 29 December 2006

Source: News Release 29 Dec 2006



Higher school fees for PRs and foreign students

"From January 2007, PR in Government and Government-aided schools, junior colleges (JCs) and the centralised institute (CI) will pay about 20% more for school fees. They currently pay the same fees as citizens at the secondary and pre-university levels.
"FS, whose fees are already higher than those for citizens and PR, will have their fees increased by about 30%. The new fees for FS will take effect two years from now (2009 ), to give time for them to decide if they wish to apply to become permanent residents..."



Revision of hospital subsidy for foreigners

"From October 2007, PRs will continue to be subsidised for hospital services, but at 5 percentage-points less than Singapore citizens.
"From October 2008, another 5 percentage-point reduction will be applied. This way, Singapore citizens will enjoy greater subsidy than PRs, by a total of 10 percentage- points.
"As for the other foreigners, there will be no more healthcare subsidy from October 2007. ..."


     - Genting International and Star Cruises wins Sentosa IR bid


     - Three years of free Wi-Fi for Singapore from 1 Dec 2006

     - Singapore ranks 5th in 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index

     - Police bust foreign housebreaking syndicate

     - Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2006

     - 15 sleight-of-hand cases reported since January 2006



Option for foreign maids to have salary paid into their bank account

"To ensure prompt salary payment, FDWs can ask for their salaries to be paid into their bank accounts in Singapore.

"Effective 1 November 2006, MOM will introduce this as a new work permit condition for employers to comply..."


     - Police bust foreign syndicate using cloned ATM cards

     - Singapore Labour Market Report for 2nd Quarter 2006

     - Police may not allow some IMF/WB civil society representatives to enter Singapore

     - Singapore tightens security ahead of IMF/World Bank meetings


New personalised employment pass not tied to any employer

The Ministry of Manpower will introduce a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) from 1 January 2007 to help us better attract and retain global talent...

The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities. This helps us to retain selected global talent who would otherwise have to leave Singapore...

The PEP will be issued only once with a validity of 5 years. It will be nonrenewable. A PEP holder will retain the dependant privileges of his original EP type and the minimum annual basic salary requirement of S$30,000 will continue to apply throughout the 5-year duration...



Singapore needs 60,000 babies yearly but gets 35,500 only

"Owing to our declining fertility rate, we are not able to replace ourselves, let alone augment our population. To replace ourselves and maintain our current population size, we need to have 60,000 babies every year and we have only about 35,500 today. We need to therefore attract more immigrants into Singapore..."


     - Police arrest Malaysian for smuggling counterfeit S$1 coins


Subutex a Class A Controlled Drug from 14 Aug 2006

"From 14 August 2006, doctors will not be permitted to prescribe and dispense any take-home dosages for existing patients.

"All patients who require Subutex will have to consume their medication under direct visual observation of the pharmacist, doctor and/or his treatment team on a daily basis1 ..."


     - Number of recognised foreign medical schools increased to 120


Exit permit rules relaxed for National Servicemen from 1 Aug 2006

"Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) will henceforth be exempted from applying for exit permits for short overseas trips of less than 3 months...

"NSmen who have completed their Operationally-Ready National Service Training Cycle and have been phased into the MINDEF Reserve (MR) will no longer be required to notify the MNC of their overseas trips of more than 24 hours and less than 6 months..."



New Singapore biometric passports from 15 Aug 2006

"To facilitate a smooth transition to the BioPass system, ICA will have to close some of its passport application services counters from 9 Aug 2006...

"This will allow ICA to install and test the BioPass systems before its actual launch. As such, only limited passport application avenues will be available from 10 to 14 August 2006..."


     - Police bust Orchard Underpass counterfeit syndicates


Foreign domestic maids get one-day off in new standard contract

"This contract is designed to help smoothen employer/employee relationships from the onset, by minimising any ambiguities on the employment terms.

"For example, the contract will include the stipulation of the minimum of one day-off entitlement for the Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs). However, if the day-off is not taken, the employer will have to compensate the FDW in cash..."



Singapore salaries increasing, candidates receiving multiple job offers

"Continued hiring increases means good news for Singapore's workforce, while increased optimism continues to fuel increasing economic growth...

This optimism is reflected in planned salary increases and 7% of employers expecting to pay 15% or more, the highest figure for any market surveyed in Asia...."



 Singapore to hold large-scale flu pandemic exercise

21-22 Jul 2006

"This large scale exercise will involve over 1,000 personnel from MOH, the Ministry of Education (MOE), home-front and related agencies such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA), Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and the People's Association..."


     - Foreign Worker Levy and S-Pass quota to go up

     - Police arrest 77 foreigners illegally working as masseuses


Smoking ban in eating places starts today (1 Jul 2006)

Food outlets such as hawker centres, coffeeshops, cafes and fast food restaurants will be smoke-free from 1st July. To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, smokers are reminded to light up only at designated smoking corners.

Under this new regulation, smoking is banned within the indoor refreshment areas (IRA) of all foodshops (Eg. Coffeeshops, Cafes, Restaurants). They can designate up to 20% of the floor area in their outdoor refreshment areas (ORA) as a smoking corner upon NEA’s approval....



Singapore as A Leading Wealth Management Hub

Mr Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director, MAS

"Rising wealth in Asia, and the focus on Asian growth prospects have seen total assets under management in Singapore's fund management industry grow from about S$280 billion in 2000 to much more than S$600 billion now.

"Growth in private banking assets under management has also been strong, with anecdotal feedback suggesting Singapore private banking AUM averaging 20% per annum over the past few years to about US$200 billion currently...
"Our reputation for high standards of regulation and supervision and a robust legal and judicial framework, is trusted by financial intermediaries and clients alike to conduct wealth management activities..."



Changes To Conditions For Massage Establishments

Under the new requirements, establishments administering foot-reflexology, physiotherapy, traditional massage or curative massage must ensure that the massage services are conducted in full view of the public and satisfy the following new requirements before they are exempted from the provisions of the Act...

To safeguard public health and safety, masseuses, therapists and reflexologists who are working or will be working in licensed massage establishments may be required to undergo and pass a medical health screening before they can be allowed to work for any licensed establishment for massage...


     - Chinese national found murdered in Ang Mo Kio salon


Hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes prepare for smoking ban

Smoking ban will be extended to hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes come 1st July.

To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, foodshop operators can set up smoking corners for those who want to light up. To date, close to half of the affected outlets have decided to set up smoking corners in their outdoor refreshment areas...



Employment grew strongly by 45,000 in first quarter 2006

All the major sectors registered increases in employment. The bulk of the employment gains continued to come from the services sector (28,000)...

Some 10,100 residents or 18% of the unemployed residents have been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in Mar 06, about half the 20,200 or 30% a year ago...


     - Use of MyKad & cancellation of Malaysian restricted passports

     - Six foreigners arrested for theft from ATMs; S$370,000 cash seized

     - Inaugural Changi Airline Awards


The Challenge Posed by HIV/ AIDS to Singapore Businesses

In Singapore, the number of HIV-positive people has climbed steadily from the first case detected here in 1985 to 2,641 by December 2005. Three out of four (74.77%) who are infected are actively employed...

In 2005, out of the 255 new cases reported, a great majority (87%) comprised the age group of 20 - 59 years old, with those aged 20 - 49 years accounting for as much as 70% of all new cases...


     - Polling Day 6 May 2006 is a public holiday


Retrenchment & re-employment 2005

Amid favourable economic conditions, the incidence of retrenchment dropped to a twelve-year low in 2005...

The incidence of retrenchment for professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) dropped to an eight-year low of 8.0 per 1,000 and a thirteen-year low of 4.8 per 1,000 for clerical, sales & service workers...

In 2005, on average 61% of local2 retrenched workers found re-employment within 6 months of their retrenchment, slightly higher than 59% in 2004. The improvement was more pronounced for the better educated workers...


     - Expat survey shows Singapore best place in the world for Asians to live


Amended Enlistment Act requires males 13 years & older to get exit permits

MINDEF will require pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16½ to apply for Exit Permits if they intend to be away from Singapore for 3 months or more...

Those who require Exit Permits of 2 years or more will be required to furnish a bond...

The penalty regime for Exit Permit offences for those aged 13 to 16˝ will be only a fine of up to $2,000, with no custodial sentences...

We will thus be introducing a new offence in the Enlistment Act under which parents and guardians can be made liable for the Exit Permit offences of their children or wards of ages 13 to 16½ so that the penalty can be imposed on their parents or guardians when the circumstances warrant it. The penalty regime for the offence will also be a fine of up to $2,000.




     - ICA raid in 2 HDB blocks nets 33 immigration offenders

     - Workplace Safety and Health Act replaces Factories Act

     - Expatriate fined for verbally abusing immigration officers

     - Food items individual travellers may bring into Singapore

     - Five illegal immigrants nabbed entering Singapore by sea

     - Singapore Employment Situation in 4th Quarter 2005

     - Singapore and US begin testing of e-Passports


"Tailor-maid for the elderly" The Straits Times 11 Jan 2006 (4)

"...According to the Ministry of Manpower, there are 150,000 foreign domestic workers in Singapore. But it was unable to say how many were hired specifically to look after the elderly.

"Maid agencies interviewed estimate that 30 per cent of the 150,000 figure - or 45,000 - are engaged for that purpose, with employers generally preferring Indonesians..."

     - $45-million Budget Terminal for low-cost carriers completed

     News - 2005

     News - 2004

     News - 2003

     News - 2002


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