A new bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Singapore will benefit citizens and frequent travelers of these two countries as they are now eligible to register for U.S. Global Entry and the Singaporean eIACS.
Enrolling in these programs can save plenty of time while clearing the immigration facilities for either of the two countries as it’s being done at the kiosk instead of waiting in line for an officer.
Global Entry has been available for quite some time now to some foreign nations including Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. The Singaporean eIACS so far hasn’t been available to Visitors at all and required an employment pass for foreigners.
You can find details on the Singapore ICA Website here.
The United States of America – Singapore Trusted Traveller Programme (TTP) is a bilateral initiative which allows citizens of Singapore and the United States of America (U.S.) to enjoy convenient immigration clearance via automated clearance facilities at their respective major traveller checkpoints.
Under the TTP, U.S. passport holders who are existing members of the U.S. Global Entry Programme (GEP) can submit an online application for the use of ICA’s enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS) if they meet the following eligibility criteria at the point of enrolment :
- Passport validity of more than 6 months;
- Visited Singapore at least three times in last 12 months; and
- Aged 6 and above.
- Parent or legal guardian of applicants who are below the age of 18 are required to be present during enrolment. The original copy of the applicant’s birth certificate and the passport of the accompanying parent or legal guardian should also be provided for verification of identity. In the event the applicant is accompanied by a legal guardian, the original copy of the legal authorisation letter or court order must also be furnished.
Applicants who have been granted in-principle approval (IPA) can approach any of the eIACS enrolment centres for completion of formalities .
Both of these programs require online enrollment and subsequently an in-person interview at a designated Customs and Immigration representation.
Singapore’s Straits Times (see here) reported that these interviews can be scheduled at the U.S. Embassy as well.
Singapore passport holders who meet the eligibility criteria may apply online via the GEP website at www.cbp.gov.
After an application has been submitted and processed, successful applicants will receive a notification to schedule an in-person interview at a Global Entry Enrolment Centre.
They can schedule the interview on Wednesdays at the US Embassy here.
US passport holders will be eligible to apply for the use of automated clearance immigration clearance facilities in Singapore.
US passport holders aged six and above who meet eligibility criteria may apply online at the ICA website.
The advantage for Singaporeans to use this option is probably bigger than for U.S. citizens since the immigration at Changi Airport is usually very efficient. I have never waited longer than a few minutes in the past 10 years while at U.S. Airports the immigration can range from great (nobody in line) to absolute hell with several international flights arriving at the same time.
I have been using Global Entry for 4 years now and it’s life changing. I can recommend every Singaporean who frequently travels to the U.S. to enroll in the Global Entry program. It costs 100$ but will be a life altering experience and is valid for 5 years.