Government proposes tighter immigration laws

Government proposes tighter immigration laws

The government on Monday proposed amendments to the Immigration Act that tightens regulation of immigration in four main areas.

SINGAPORE: The government on Monday proposed amendments to the Immigration Act that tightens regulation of immigration in four main areas.

The changes will criminalise marriages of convenience by anyone in order to obtain immigration facility, including those trying to get entry visas, permanent residency or long-term passes.

It will also be expanded to include middlemen and criminal syndicates who facilitate such illicit practices.

Offenders will face a maximum fine of S$10,000, imprisonment of up to 10 years, or both.

The proposed amendments, revealed in Parliament, also makes it an offence to manufacture, traffic and possess paraphernalia used to forge immigration documents.

Under the proposed changes, it will be assumed that those who posess forgery equipment have the intent to commit forgery, unless proven otherwise.

If convicted, one can be fined up to S$8,000, jailed up to five years, or both.

The proposed amendments also gives the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) the power to cancel the re-entry permit of Singapore Permanent Residents who have contravened any law.

This means they will lose their PR status if they travel out of Singapore or remain abroad without a valid re-entry permit.

The proposed changes also enable ICA to impose, vary or set additional conditions for the validity of the permit.

In addition, the proposed changes ICA empowers to collect passenger and crew information on inbound persons prior to arrival.

This move is aimed at tightening the ICA's checkpoint security measures.

The Ministry of Home Affairs says many other countries have already implemented a system of advance passenger information for security risk management purposes.

The last major amendment to the Immigrations Act was in 2004.

Source: CNA/wm

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