Travel Visa Requirements For Singaporeans in 2023 and How To Apply

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 28 March, 2023

Travelling to these 13 popular holiday destinations? You’ll need to get a visa or permit first. Here’s how to go about applying, how much they cost, and how long they allow you to stay.

Singaporeans are blessed with the second-most powerful passports in the world (we’re tied with the South Koreans, while the Japanese are in first place), which grant us entry to several foreign countries without first requiring a visa.

However enjoyable and convenient this privilege is, it’s easy to overlook that there are still several countries that require a visa for entry. And some of them even happen to be holiday destinations beloved by Singaporeans!

In case you’re unfamiliar, here are 13 popular countries that require Singaporeans to get a visa (or a permit) for legal entry. Also, note that having a visa does not guarantee you entry into your host country – the final decision still lies with the border control officials at your port of entry.


Planning to visit these popular countries? You’ll need a visa and/or permit

Country

Visa or permit type

Australia

Electronic Travel Authority

Bhutan

Visa

Canada

Electronic Travel Authority

China

Visa

Egypt

Visa on arrival

India

eVisa

Maldives

Visa on arrival

Nepal

Visa on arrival

New Zealand

Electronic Travel Authority

Saudi Arabia

eVisa

South Korea

Electronic Travel Authority

Sri Lanka

Visa on arrival

United States

ESTA


What’s the difference between Visa, Visa on arrival, Electronic Travel Authority etc?

As you can see, there are a few different types of documents required for travelling to these 13 countries. Here’s a quick explanation on what each type means.

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Visa/eVisa

A visa is an official document authorising you to enter and stay in your host country (eVisas serve the same purpose, only they are in a digital format).

There are many different types of visas catering to different purposes (students, entrepreneurs, employees, relatives, etc), but for short-term holidays, you’ll be needing a visitor visa or tourist visit.

The thing to note about travel visas is that you will need to secure one before embarking on your trip. Hence, you should allocate sufficient time before your trip to apply for your visa – a process which can range from on-the-spot to several days, depending on the service standards and processes of the offices handling your application.

You can apply for a visa/eVisa at the relevant consular office, overseas mission or embassy – in many cases, you can submit your application online before going to collect your papers once approved.

It’s advisable to make an appointment beforehand, and do take note of any requirements and/or supporting documents that may be required.

Visa on arrival

Unlike a visa/eVisa, a visa on arrival does not require any preparation beforehand.

Instead, as their name suggests, such visas are granted when you arrive at the airport. After disembarking from the plane, you will be directed to the relevant section in the airport to apply for your visa.

You may be asked to pay the visa fee on the spot, so it’s a good idea to have some foreign currency or a payment card with you.

Electronic Travel Authority/ESTA

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) – known as Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) in the United States is not a visa. In fact several countries that implement this system – including South Korea and the US –  actually offer visa-free entry to holders of Singapore passports.

Instead, think of ETA/ESTA as a digital platform that provides a permit for travel for Singaporean visitors. You’ll need to apply for your ETA before your trip, and you can do so quickly and conveniently via the relevant websites.

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How to apply for a visa, ETA or travel permit?

Countries that offer visa/eVisa

Bhutan

On top of the visa fee, which costs US$40, all visitors have to pay the Sustainable Development Fee of US$200 per night. The length of your visa is equal to the number of nights paid for SDF – which means your visa can get pretty pricey if you’re planning a long visit.


China

As of time of writing, the 15-day visa-free entry for tourism purposes in China remains suspended. This means you’ll need to apply for a visa if you’re planning to take a holiday on the Chinese mainland.

Fees vary from S$85 to S$235, depending on urgency, number of entries, etc.

India

You can apply for an eVisa up to 4 days before your trip. Once granted, your eVisa is valid for a maximum duration of 30 days. Each individual is only allowed to apply for eVisas twice in a calendar year.

Saudi Arabia

Once granted, your eVisa is valid for 365 days from the date of issuance. You are allowed multiple entries on one eVisa, with a maximum of 90 days per visit.

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Countries that offer visa on arrival

If you’re visiting Egypt, Maldives, Nepal, or Sri Lanka, you do not need to apply for a visa beforehand.

As explained earlier, simply proceed to the relevant counter at the airport to get your visa processed on the spot.

Here’s how much each visa costs, as well as its duration:

  • Egypt: USD 25 (approx. S$33), 30 days

  • Maldives: Free, 30 days

  • Nepal: USD 30 (approx. S$40), 15 days; USD 50 (approx. S$67, 30 days; USD 125 (approx. S$167), 90 days

  • Sri Lanka: Free, 30 days


Countries that require ETA/ESTA

Australia

You can stay in Australia for up to a maximum of 3 months. You will also need to download the app to submit your application.

Canada

Using an ETA to enter Canada will grant you up to 6 months of temporary residence.

New Zealand

You can stay up to 90 days in New Zealand per visit. Your ETA is valid for 2 years, and multiple visits are allowed.

South Korea

Once approved, your ETA is valid for up to two years, allowing you multiple visits to the country. You can stay up to 90 days per visit.

United States

There are two fees to be paid when applying for an ESTA required for travel to the US – USD 4 for applying, and a further UD 14 for processing once your application is approved. Singaporeans are allowed to stay up to 90 days in the US with a valid ESTA.


Read these next:

What Is the Best Travel Insurance for Your Age?
When Is It Too Late to Get Travel Insurance?
What Happens if You Catch COVID-19 Overseas on a Holiday?
Best Travel Insurance In Singapore (2023)

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

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