SINGAPORE: More Singaporean children will get their first passport free, after a scheme to waive passport application fees was expanded, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced on Tuesday (Oct 15).
In August, the Government announced that it will waive application fees for the first passport of Singapore citizens born on or after Jan 1, 2020, as part of a marriage and parenthood package.
The current passport application fee is S$70.
Following appeals to review the eligibility criteria, the fee waiver will include all applications submitted from Jan 1, as long as it is made on or before the child's first birthday.
“This change will benefit Singapore citizens who are born in 2019 and who are applying for their first passport in 2020,” ICA said.
The fee waiver will apply only for online submissions through the ICA website.
Parents collecting their child’s birth certificate from a hospital or at the ICA building will be notified of the revised criteria.
From Jan 1 next year, parents with eligible children will receive an electronic notification on MyICA about the waiver. They can then click on that notification to access the application process and apply for their child’s passport without having to pay the fee.
Alternatively, parents can log on to ICA’s passport e-service to submit their applications and enter their child’s birth certificate number to receive an electronic notification.
ICA also announced on Tuesday that starting Jan 1, children below the age of six will no longer need to be physically present to collect their passports.
“Parents can make an appointment to collect their child’s passport at the ICA building after they have completed the application process and received an email notification or pink card from ICA,” the agency said.
However, children above six years old will have to be present upon collection, as they will have their biometric identifiers enrolled at this time.