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Singapore to launch electronic arrival card for visitors to country

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Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be launching an electronic arrival card that will eventually replace the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card that foreign visitors are currently required to submit on arrival, said the authority in a statement on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE'S Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be launching an electronic arrival card that will eventually replace the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card that foreign visitors are currently required to submit on arrival, said the authority in a statement on Wednesday.

To ensure smooth implementation of the new electronic arrival card, a trial will be conducted by the ICA for foreign visitors for three months from Thursday.

It will not affect Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders (such as students and workers) returning to Singapore, as they do not need to submit any disembarkation or embarkation card.

More details of the implementation of the system will be announced at a later date, after the trial is completed.

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"With the electronic arrival card, travellers can submit their personal information and trip details through the ICA website or via a mobile application before arriving in Singapore," said the statement.

The travellers will then need to produce only their passports for immigration clearance upon arrival.

Currently, the card contains information such as details of the traveller's flight to Singapore, his intended length of stay and where he will be staying. These details will still be required under the new electronic card.

The electronic arrival card will be available in various languages, and those travelling in families or small groups can choose to make a one-time group submission. Some information such as last port of embarkation as well as address in Singapore will be automatically replicated for all in the group.

The mobile app will also save information from previous trips for use during the next trip to Singapore.

The trial will be conducted at most of the air, land and sea checkpoints such as the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, Changi Airport and the four cruise/ferry terminals.

During the trial period, foreign visitors who arrive at these checkpoints but have not completed the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card may be approached by ICA officers to participate in the trial and provide feedback.

"The electronic arrival card will enhance operational efficiency and is a significant step towards ICA's vision of paperless immigration clearance, and save up to 48 million paper-based disembarkation/embarkation cards a year," said the authority.

THE STRAITS TIMES