Are you planning to study abroad in sunny Singapore? This tiny Southeast Asian country is like the mighty bird’s eye chili native to this region — small, but packs a lot of fire. The country’s education system is considered among the best in the world. Some of the best universities in Asia are based here. More than just the place “Crazy Rich Asians,” was filmed, this is where you’ll be able to experience some of the most efficient public transport, most enigmatic hawker centres and best (albeit expensive) bars in Asia.
If you’ve been accepted to a Singaporean university, congratulations! Luggage ready? Parents blessings sought? Now onto the next step, getting a Singapore Student’s Pass. Here’s what you need to know.
Do I need to apply for a Singapore Student Pass?
According to Singapore’s Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA), to apply for a Student’s Pass, you must be accepted into an approved full-time course in Singapore. Part-time courses and courses conducted in the evening or on weekends are not eligible.
What documents do I need?
ICA notes that you will need the following documents ready before you apply for a Student’s Pass online:
- The Registration Acknowledgement Letter from the school you plan to attend
- Your travel document biodata page
- Your personal information, including the list of countries you have previously resided in, your educational background, employment history and financial support
- Personal information of your parents, spouse, and siblings (if applicable)
- Your residential address and contact details in Singapore
- Your email address
- A passport-sized, digital, colour photograph (taken within the last three months)
How do you apply for a Singapore Student’s Pass?
Student’s Pass applications are done online via the Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration System (SOLAR), which can be done once you have been admitted into a Singaporean university. The application can be done once you’ve obtained the SOLAR application number on your acceptance letter.
You will need to log in to SOLAR with the registration details provided by your university. Once you have successfully logged in, you will need to fill up the eForm 16. Upon completion, attach a recent passport sized colour photograph.
Submit the eForm 16 along with a non-refundable 30 Singaporean dollars processing fee using a Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card, an American Express (AMEX) credit card or internet banking. You will need to print a copy of the eForm 16 after you have submitted it via SOLAR as you will need it later to complete the Student’s Pass formalities.
Take note that Chinese citizens above the age of 19 who wish to attend a language, commercial, vocational or fine arts non-graduate or postgraduate degree course (including a University of London tuition programme) at an EduTrust-Provisional Educational Institution may be required to attend an interview at the Singapore Embassy in Beijing.
What happens next?
You will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter that will indicate whether you need to pay a security deposit if your Student’s Pass application is approved. The amount of the security deposit (if required) is as follows:
|Country / Region||Amount per person|
|Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and India||SG$5,000|
|Indonesia, The Philippines and Thailand||SG$1,000|
You are exempted from paying a security deposit if you are:
- A citizen of Malaysia or Brunei
- A holder of a valid Dependant’s Pass, Long-Term Visit Pass or Work Pass
- The child or spouse of a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)
- A foreign student attending a full-time course at an EduTrust-accredited PEO (Private Education Organisation)
- A foreign student attending a full-time university programme (graduate or postgraduate) with the exception of the University of London tuition programmes, at an EduTrust-provisional PEO
- Under 16 years old when you apply for your Student’s Pass
- The security deposit is refundable if you have departed Singapore and have not breached any of the conditions stated in the security bond
How long does it take to process a new application for a Singapore Student’s Pass?
ICA notes that the general processing time for a new Student’s Pass is about four weeks (two weeks for an EduTrust-accredited PEI) from the date they receive your completed application. Do note that some applications may take longer to process. You will be notified of your application outcome via the e-Service.
Collecting your Student’s Pass
If your application is successful, ICA will issue you an IPA letter. Your Student’s Pass will only be issued if you meet all the conditions stated in this letter. You will need to bring all the documents listed in your IPA letter to the ICA Building. Before you can do that, you will need to make an appointment with the ICA to collect your Student’s Pass.
ICA notes that you must be in Singapore on a valid immigration pass to collect your Student’s Pass. If you need a visa to enter Singapore for this purpose, the visa will be included in your IPA letter. You can enter Singapore by producing the IPA letter at the immigration checkpoint where you will be granted a Visit Pass.
Prepare SG$60 for the issuance of the Student’s Pass. For FAQs about Singapore’s Student’s Pass, click here.