Planning to travel at the end of the year? Renew passports now, Singaporeans told


The ICA advisory comes after a surge in passport applications earlier this year, when travel resumed after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. - ST FILE

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Singaporeans with year-end travel plans should apply for new passports now if they are holding passports with fewer than six months' validity or expired ones.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in an advisory on Thursday (Aug 18) that doing so will help to avoid another surge in applications for passports towards the end of the year.

"(This will) provide sufficient time for ICA to meet the demand for year-end travels," added ICA. "Singaporeans who submit their applications late will risk not being able to collect their passport in time for their travel."

The ICA advisory comes after a surge in passport applications earlier this year, when travel resumed after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At that time, Singaporeans had to wait for at least six weeks for their new passports to be ready.

In May, ICA said the number of passport applications had increased to more than 7,000 a day, compared with 2,000 daily before the pandemic.

With additional manpower, ICA is now able to produce 6,500 new passports daily.

Applicants can submit their application online via the ICA website or the MyICA Mobile app.

Applicants who would like to check their passport application status can do so by logging on to the MyICA website or the mobile app.

Dos and don’ts when submitting photos for the application:

Dos:

- Photos must be taken with equal brightness

- Photos must be taken within the last three months

- Facial expression should be neutral with the mouth closed

- The applicant’s shoulders and hair must be fully visible

- Photo background must be white in colour

Don’ts:

- File size should be no more than 2MB

- Photos must not be distorted or flipped

- There should be no reflection or glare on the applicant’s spectacles

- Digital photos should not be altered using computer software or mobile applications

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