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Singapore Student Visa - How To Apply, Checklist, Processing Time

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

First and foremost step a candidate has to take is, make an application to the respective university where they want to study. The university then, after assessing the application, including the past academic record of the candidate, will issue a soft copy of in- principle approval (IPA) letter to the selected candidates via email.

In addition to the IPA letter, the candidate will also be given an entry visa, so the candidate need not apply for the visa separately. This is a one-time visa that will be required for entering in Singapore.

Do you even need a Visa?

For giving out visas, all the countries are divided into two categories. A candidate, while applying, has to check in which category does their country fall, depending on which the requirement of visa will be decided. 

Singapore Student Pass

After receiving IPA letter, a candidate will be required to apply for a Student Pass. Candidates applying in the following type of higher education institutions will require to have a Student Pass:

  • Approved Private Education Organisation
  • Institute of Technical Education
  • Institute of Higher Learning – Local Universities, Polytechnic and Offshore colleges

How to register for a Student Pass?

The candidate has to register for a Student Pass through ICA's Student's Pass Online Application and Registration (SOLAR) system, by filling eForm 16. This student pass will be issued by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority from

It is mandatory for any international student who wants to study in a Singapore University (Private/State-Funded/Polytechnic/ITE) under a full-time course, to have a Student’s Pass.

Non – Eligibility

  • Part-time courses
  • Courses on weekends/ evening will not be eligible for Student Pass


  • Processing Fee - $21.74 (non – refundable)
  • Successful issuance of Student Pass - $43.48

Form submission

  • At least one month before

  • Not more than 2 months before the beginning of the course

Time Duration for processing the application form

  • 5 working days – for foreign candidates who don’t require a visa to enter Singapore
  • 10 working days – for foreign candidates who require a visa to enter Singapore

Documents required while applying for a Student Pass

To study in Singapore, Student Pass is a mandatory document. Following is a list of documents to be submitted.

  • A valid travel document
  • A Letter of Offer from the Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore, which has accepted you for the course you want to take up.
  • A notification you must have received from IHL, informing you about how to apply for online Student Pass.
  • 4 passport size colour photographs.
  • Residential address and contact details in Singapore.
  • Email ID.
  • Personal information involving list of previously resided countries, academic record, employment record and financial support.
  • Travel document biodata page.
  • Personal information of the parents (if required)

Local Sponsor for Student Pass

While applying for a Student Pass, the candidate also needs to have a local sponsor. Local Sponsor can be anyone who is a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Residence who is above 21 years of age.

Requirement of having a local sponsor will be under 2 cases:

  1. When applying for govt. institutions/ schools
  2. Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

In case, applying to foreign universities, there is no requirement to have a local sponsor.

Collection of the Student Pass

The candidate has to collect the Student Pass in person from the Visitor Services Centre, ICA with the required travel documents from the given address. Issuance of the Student Pass will not be done before one month of the course commencement date, so plan your visit in the due time only.

Correspondence Address

Visitor Services Centre
Immigration& Checkpoints Authority
ICA Building 
10 Kallang Road 
Singapore 208718

Exemption from Obtaining Student Pass

  • If you have a Dependent Pass (DP)
  • If you have Immigration Exemption Order by ICA
  • Short Time Social Visit Pass holder for a short course

Disembarkation/ Embarkation Card

Upon arrival at the Singapore Airport, the candidate will be required to submit 3 things - passport, original copy of IPA and Disembarkation/ Embarkation card. This D/E card will be given to you on the plane, copy of which will also be available at the Immigration checkpoint at Singapore Changi Airport.

Following are the types of passes a student has to obtain for working in Singapore under various categories:

Categories for type of PassFor
Training Employment PassRequired by foreign professionals for undergoing practical training. They must earn at least $3,000/ month.
Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Programme)Required by students and graduates of the age 18 to 25 who would want to work and holiday both at the same time for 6 months.
Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Programme)Required by Australian students and graduates of age 18 to 30 who would want to work and holiday both at the same time in Singapore for 1 year.
Training Work PermitRequired by semi-skilled foreign trainees or students who are undergoing practical training in Singapore for up to 6 months.

Study Work Permit

Under following conditions, a student can work in Singapore while studying even if he/she doesn’t have work pass:

  • You are a full-time registered study in one of the approved institutions.
  • You have a Student Pass issued by ICA.

Also, you should fall under one of the following situations (to work without work pass):

  • If it is only for a maximum of 16 hours per week.
  • If it is attached to the industrial program conducted by your university or educational institution. The work undertaken can be either compulsory or elective but it must add on to your course requirements.

Note: Different universities have different additional requirements that have to be fulfilled before an international student can take the admission. Please check the specific university website for that.

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