You do not need to apply for Electronic Arrival Cards before entering Singapore

Posted:  October 7, 2018   By:    7 comments   

Singapore Electronic Arrival Card

You’ve probably heard that Singapore is introducing electronic arrival cards for foreign visitors. This will eventually replace the paper cards that you’re required to fill up when you enter Singapore. A couple of “viral news” sites have “reported” the move with headlines such as “Starting Today, You’ll Need To Apply For An Electronic Arrival Card If You’re Travelling To Singapore” and “You Need To Apply For Electronic Arrival Cards Before Traveling To Singapore Starting October 4.”

You might be wondering… Do you need to fill up your particulars online? or do you need to download an app before entering the country? Despite the numbers of shares you see on Facebook and WhatsApp, you shouldn’t worry about this electronic arrival card feature when you visit our southern neighbour for the time being.

According to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore, they are conducting trials on the new electronic arrival card for foreign visitors that enter the country by air, land and sea checkpoints. This will reduce the use of paper and could potentially save up to 48 million cards each year.

If the system is implemented, visitors to Singapore can submit their personal and trip details online before traveling and all they will need is to produce a passport during immigration clearance. There will be multiple language options and it also caters for family and small groups that are travelling together. The system also saves your previous information which can be retrieved for future trips, which is great.

However, this isn’t mandatory at the moment and they are running this as a trial for 3 months from 4 October 2018. The trial will be conducted at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints, Changi Airport and at cruise or ferry terminals. According to their website, “Foreign visitors who arrive at these checkpoints but have not yet completed the paper-based disembarkation/embarkation card may be approached by ICA officers to participate in the trial, and to provide feedback.”

So in short, the paper arrival cards are still there and you’ll be invited to try out their electronic arrival card system only if you’re approached by one of their officers. Our colleague Vernon Chan had visited Singapore on Thursday and he still needs to fill up the paper card upon arrival.

Don’t believe us? The ICA have even posted on Facebook that the trial is still on going and they have clarified that the website link for the electronic arrival card is NOT AVAILABLE YET. ICA states that more details of the implementation of the electronic arrival card will be announced at a later date, after completion of the trial.

As always, don’t share if you’re not sure. It is always recommended to check with reputable news sites or from the source itself. Know someone who’s convinced that electronic travel cards are mandatory in Singapore? Feel free to send this link to them.

Here’s an infographic from ICA on the new paperless process:

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7 Comments for You do not need to apply for Electronic Arrival Cards before entering Singapore

Joe Hafiz

aigoo ,, paper required to fill up in flight kinda bullsh*t,, hopefully when i travel to europe again,, they use electronic arrival cards 4 foreign visitors..

nice info thou ;))

    Foong Chee Meng

    High time you do this. Filling up paper forms is so Third World & so out of touch with today’s world.

      Rock scissor

      Easy to say but think of senior citizen, people not having internet and phone ran out of battery. Not to mention system down and privacy concerns if system hacked. Paper is full proof. Look at US electronic voting system and you will know.


This system would be good and efficient. I had always tense about the embarkation card whenever going to Singapore as missed out twice and last minute fill up was uneasy. For those prefer the old fashion system and for the old non computer savvy individual can retain the old card option as a choice. I'm sure those below 40 prefer the electronic system. For those privacy concern and data protection breach happens everywhere be in electronic and no electronics. I applied housing loan and all done and within the next few days started receiving all sort of loan related message and calls from unknown telemarketers. Now how did my personal data leaked? by the bank? the greedy bankers? Called bank and asked and they denied. Privacy is getting thin as the society get bigger with lots of business and services and we can only stay maximum protected if not using any type of modern gadgets and stay away from cities.


How to get the paper card in advance? I have to fill at the booth whenever I travel there. It's time consuming & normally cars behind me will switch lane


    Get extra from the booth next time.

Budak kampung sawah padi

Asean counterparts of Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines ditched arrival card for some time. I just dont get it why singapore still requires it.

Its hugely inconvenient, inefficient and highly bureaucratic and it doesnt improves security if thats what they aiming for.