Singapore’s Latest Immigration Policy

The Singapore Government announced on 24 March that the Vaccinated Travellers Framework (VTL) will replace the Vaccinated Travellers Corridor (VTC) from 1 April.

Singapore’s three main gateways, by land, sea and air, will then be almost fully open, making it easier for Singaporeans and travelers alike to enter and leave the country.

Full opening of the Singapore-Malaysia land route

Firstly, the most important issue for the people of Singapore and Malaysia is the Singapore-Malaysia border crossing.

The governments of Singapore and Malaysia announced on April 1 that all vaccinated persons and unvaccinated children under 12 years of age will be able to travel between the two countries through the land border without quarantine and testing.

Simplification of Airline Policy

In addition to the above announcement on the Singapore-Malaysia land border crossing, Singapore will also open up quarantine-free entry for inoculated air passengers from April 1.

There are several points to note for air passengers.

1. VTL is officially a part of history

From 1 April, the current VTL scheme will be completely abolished and airlines and other operators will no longer offer VTL flights.

Simply put, as long as you have the means to buy a ticket into Singapore and have completed your vaccinations (or for children aged 12 and below who have not yet been vaccinated), you will be exempted from quarantine entry.

This also means that there will no longer be a daily limit on the number of passengers allowed to enter Singapore without quarantine.

2. VTP and ATP are no longer required

With effect from April 1, apart from Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who are free to return to Singapore, short-term visitors from foreign countries no longer need to apply for a VTP or ATP to enter Singapore.

However, travelers from visa-requiring countries will still need to apply for a visa to enter the country as they did before the outbreak.

3. Check which category your country falls into before entering Singapore

In the future, Singapore will differentiate between countries and regions by the General Travel and Restricted Category.

Only vaccinated persons entering Singapore from countries in the General Travel category, or children aged 12 and below who have not yet completed their vaccinations, will be exempted from quarantine.

Currently, no countries are included in the Restricted Category.

4. Testing is still required before departure

Unlike at the Singapore-Malaysia land border, nationalities and travelers entering Singapore by air or boat are still required to be tested for coronary artery disease within two days prior to departure, but not after entry.

The relevant coronary disease test can be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a rapid antigen (ART) test conducted by a dedicated person, or a self-administered ART test done by a dedicated person under remote supervision.

To avoid the dilemma of not being able to find a place for pre-travel testing abroad, the authorities have approved local operators to offer remotely supervised ART testing for specific countries.

5. No more medical expenses

Under the new framework, all vaccinated Singapore citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders returning to Singapore from a “General Category” country will no longer be responsible for the medical costs associated with a diagnosis of coronary artery disease within 14 days of entry into Singapore.

However, vaccinated Singapore citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders who return to Singapore from a “restricted category” country and are diagnosed with coronary artery disease within 7 days of entry will still be responsible for their own medical expenses.

6. Check if your destination requires quarantine first

Just because you are exempt from quarantine upon return to Singapore does not mean that you do not have to go to other countries.

At present, a few countries or regions, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, still have strict quarantine policies on entry.