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

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    Sugandhi Sood

    Study Abroad Expert


    Conforming to the Immigration Regulations, international students need to acquire a student visa to pursue studies in Singapore. To make the process for Singapore student visa aka Student Pass uncomplicated, ICA (Immigration and checkpoints Authority) has divided the requirements into six categories, depending upon the type of institution:

    • Approved Private Education Organisation
    • Institute of Technical Education
    • Institute of Higher Learning
    • Foreign System Schools
    • Government/Govt.-Aided/Independent Schools
    • Childcare Centres

    Of these, Institutes of Higher Learning includes all 34 Singapore universities that international students, especially Indian students, wish to study in. Candidates applying for Singapore student visa must have received their acceptance to a full-time program in Singapore. Once you have the confirmation, begin your Student VISA application process maximum of two months before your traveling time. For Indian students, the cost of the Singapore student visa is somewhere around S$90 (4,910 INR) as they need to submit S$30 (1635 INR) at the time of application and S$ 60 (3,275 INR) at the time of issuance.

    Covid 19 Update

    International students who have Student Pass will be allowed to enter Singapore only if they have obtained permission from the ICA and MOE (Ministry of Education Singapore), respectively. Also, students are asked to submit a health declaration via SG Arrival Card before traveling to pursue studies in SingaporeAny student failing to provide the permission letter or health declaration form will be asked to return to their home country.

    Documents Checklist for Singapore Student Visa

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

    • Biodata page of your passport
    • Offer Letter from the Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore
    • The notification you must have received from IHL, informing you about how to apply for an online Student Pass.
    • Four passport size color photographs.
    • Residential address and contact details in Singapore.
    • Personal information involving,
      • a list of previously resided countries,
      • academic records,
      • employment records
      • financial support
      • an email ID
    • Personal information of the parents (if required)

    Application Process for Singapore Student Visa

    To apply for the student visa to Singapore, international students are asked to submit the Student Pass application at least a month prior (also not more than two months) to the commencement of their chosen program. Applications are to be made via e-Service by following the guidelines mentioned below:

    Step I: Click on the “Foreign Students” icon and read the instructions given. Post that login by entering the details-

    • SOLAR Application Number
    • Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Sex
    • Nationality

    Step II: Click on the submit eForm 16” and complete the form by entering the required details such as

    • Travel Documents: Passport number and Expiry Date
    • Residential Address in Singapore: Complete address with postal code (not compulsory)
    • Travel History: List of countries where you have stayed for more than a year
    • Antecedent of Applicant: Answer the questions in Yes or No. Reasons for answers marked as Yes
      • Have you ever been refused entry into or deported from any country, including Singapore?
      • Have you ever been convicted in the law of court in any country, including Singapore?
      • Have you ever been prohibited from entering Singapore?
      • Have you ever entered Singapore using a different Passport of Name?

    Step III: Tick the box reading “I have read and agreed to the declaration” and click on “Next”.

    Step IV: Upload the photograph, guidelines for which are

    • Should be taken within 3 months
    • Facial features must be clearly visible and evident
    • File resolution must be 400X514 pixels
    • Should be JPEG format and not exceed 60 KB

    Once you have completed the application form, you can proceed to pay the application processing fee of 30 SGD (1,635 INR). Generally, the immigration office takes up to 10 working days to process your application for a Singapore student visa.

    Note: During the peak time in July and August, some applications take a longer time to process.

    Singapore Student Visa: Collection of Student Pass

    If your application for the Student Pass is accepted, then you will receive an ‘In-Principle Approval’ aka IPA Letteralong with an enclosed single entry visa to Singapore. 

    What’s an IPA Letter? And Why is it important?

    An IPA letter is an official document issued by the ICA through your chosen Singapore University. The letter confirms the approval of your Singapore student visa application. Without the IPA letter, no international student will be allowed to enter Singapore. 

    Since your IPA letter acts as your Visit visa, students can travel to Singapore. It is there that they will be issued the Student Pass. Once students have reached Singapore, they have to carry the documents listed IPA letter to the following address:

    Visitor Services Centre ICA Building
    10 Kallang Road, Level 4 (next to Lavender MRT Station)
    Singapore 208718

    Complete the formalities (within the visit visa duration) and collect Singapore student pass.

    Singapore Student Visa: Study Work Permit

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

    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, a 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:

    Type of Pass Required by
    Training Employment Pass foreign professionals for undergoing practical training. They must earn at least S$3,000/ month.
    Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Program) 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 Program) 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 Permit semi-skilled foreign trainees or students who are undergoing practical training in Singapore for up to 6 months.

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

    Singapore Student Visa: Cancellation of Student Pass

    Unlike other student visas, international students are required to cancel and return their Student Pass (STP) post completion of their program. While a few schools and institutions have the authority to apply for cancellation STP online, students are advised to complete the process themselves in person. For this, they have to report to the following address:

    Visitor Services Centre ICA Building
    10 Kallang Road, Level 4 (next to Lavender MRT Station)
    Singapore 208718

    Students must carry their completed STP Cancellation Form, Valid travel document, and STP card. Alternatively, they can also submit their Student Pass to the ICA authority on the airport when leaving Singapore.

    FAQs

    Ques. How long does it take to obtain Singapore student visa?

    Ans. Once you have submitted your application along with the required documents and processing fees of S$30, it takes up to 10 working days to get an answer. However, applications submitted in July and August may take a longer time to process.

    Ques. What is the cost of Singapore Student Pass?

    Ans. The overall cost of Singapore Student Visa or Student Pass is S$ 90. This includes S$ 30 which you have to pay at the time of visa application processing and S$60 which is required at the time of Student pass issuance.

    Ques. What is the minimum balance required to obtain Singapore Student Visa?

    Ans. While MOE doesn’t specify any minimum bank balance, it is advisable for Indian students to have at least 30,000 INR in their savings account.

    Ques. Can spouse and child travel with student to Singapore?

    Ans. Unfortunately, Singapore student visa doesn’t allow spouse and child to accompany the student. They can only join the student once he/she starts working after completion of studies. For that too, student needs to obtain an Employment pass.

    Ques. Can you work in Singapore with Student Pass/visa?

    Ans. As per Ministry of Education Singapore, international students are allowed to work a maximum of 16 hours per week (during semester) on their Singapore student pass.