Singapore’s ICA (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority) is going to introduce the arrival e-card for foreign tourists coming to Singapore. They are going to have a trial period for three months, starting from the 4th of October. Is it going to be successful? Or will the new system prove to be better than the old way?
About the Electronic Cards
Before this electronic cards, foreign tourists coming to Singapore have to fill up an arrival card (made by paper) known as the embarkation/disembarkation card.
When these tourists arrive in Singapore, they will have to submit the cards containing detailed information like flight numbers, address while staying in Singapore, and such a thing.
The problem with this paper-based card is that it creates a long line of people filling up the cards and submitting them. ICA is hoping that they can reduce the long line by replacing the traditional cards with the electronic ones.
Moreover, the electronic cards will reduce the hassle of the paper-based system. ICA is expecting a more advanced paperless system by introducing a new system. They are going to observe it for the next 3 months and then determine the next step based on the observation.
How the Electronic Cards Work
With the electronic cards, travellers only need to log into the ICA’s website and fill in their trip details (as well as personal info) before coming to Singapore.
They can also manage it through the mobile application and submission. Later, when they are coming to Singapore, they only need to present their passport. The immigration officers will then check the system and clear out the travellers.
Electronic cards are only applicable to foreign travellers. They aren’t applicable to permanent residents, Singaporeans, and also long-term pass holders. Workers and students returning to Singapore aren’t required to submit the arrival e-card.
The Benefits of Electronic Cards
Besides reducing the long line of paper-based filling up cards, there are many friendly (and also useful) features to expect from the electronic cards. The benefits include:
• The cards are available in many different languages, so foreign travellers won’t have any difficulty in producing and fill up the cards.
• The cards make group submission easier and more efficient, especially when you are going with a small group of people or with families.
• You won’t have to deal with repeated information because everything will replicate automatically for every individual. It includes the address in Singapore, flight details, and such thing alike.
• The mobile application will make the filling up and subscription process easier. It can automatically save up information from the previous trip for your future trip.
The Expected Result
Besides the reduction of long lines of embarkation/disembarkation fill up the process, ICA expects to reduce the operational costs. If they don’t have to produce 48 millions of cards on a yearly basis, they can definitely save a lot of money for the operation. Hopefully, the implementation of the new electronic cards can run smoothly. When the 3 months trial period is over, they will be fully ready for the new system.
Moreover, with this electronic system, travellers don’t have to deal with the manual paper fill up process anymore – and they certainly don’t have to go frantically looking for a pen for such a thing!
The system is expected to apply on all checkpoints and means of transportations, not only the airports. This pilot project will cover lands, sea, and also air checkpoints, including:
• Changi Ferry terminal
• Changi ferry point terminal
• Changi Airport
• Tuas checkpoints
• Tanah Merah ferry terminal
• Woodland checkpoints
• Singapore Cruise centre
If you are planning on going to Singapore, this is your chance to test the new system. You can compare it to the old paper-based one, and see whether the new system is truly effective. If you are looking for cheap flights , go to Airpaz and manage your flight. Happy traveling.