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Processes reviewed at ICA Building after surge in passport demand; walk-ins allowed only for certain applicants

Those who need to travel urgently can only submit an appeal online.

Processes reviewed at ICA Building after surge in passport demand; walk-ins allowed only for certain applicants

A photo of the queue at the ICA building on May 7, 2022. (Photo: Facebook/Dewi Azlyn)

SINGAPORE: The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will from Monday (Jun 13) only accept walk-ins at the ICA Building from passport applicants who have been notified to collect their passports, provide supporting documents or resubmit photographs.

This follows the agency's review of its processes in response to a surge in passport applications since March.

More than 5,000 passports are currently issued daily, almost three times the number pre-pandemic in 2019, said ICA in a media release on Saturday, adding that it has been producing and issuing passports at an "unprecedented rate".

"To meet the increased demand, more officers have been redeployed to process and produce passports, and they are doing so round the clock," said ICA.

From Jun 13, ICA will only accept walk-ins for applicants who have been notified to collect their passports, submit supporting documents or resubmit their photographs. 

Applicants who need to travel urgently can only submit an appeal online at https://go.gov.sg/passportrequest to expedite the processing of their passport.

Previously, Singaporeans who needed to travel urgently were allowed to produce supporting documents in person at the ICA Building for assessment on a case-by-case basis. 

For those who want to check on their application status, they can do so by logging in to MyICA.

"Those who are unable to perform the above themselves and do not have proxies to assist them may visit ICA Building for assistance on submitting their passport-related appeals online," said ICA.

OFFICERS REDEPLOYED

The agency noted that the number of people visiting the ICA Building for passport collections and other enquiries has increased. These include visits to check on the status of their applications, as well as requests to expedite passport applications or collections. 

ICA said this has resulted in long queues, which required additional officers for crowd management and other services. 

"ICA has thus reviewed our processes to facilitate passport issuance," it added.

"The current resources committed to manage the long queues and on-site requests will be redeployed to expedite the processing and issuance of passports."

APPLICANTS COLLECTING PASSPORTS ADVISED TO DO SO ALONE

To be allowed entry into the ICA Building, passport applicants must show one or more of the following supporting documents.

For passport collection:

  • E-appointment booking for passport collection at the ICA Building
  • Manual collection slips for passport collection; or
  • Online notification or pink notification card stating that passport is ready for collection 

For submission or resubmission of documents or photographs: 

  • Email notification to submit supporting documents; or
  • Online notification to re-submit photographs

Applicants who need to collect their passports at the ICA Building are advised to do so alone, to reduce crowds. Children, the elderly and those who require special assistance may be accompanied by one other person. 

Eligible applicants are also encouraged to collect their passports at one of the 27 post offices in Singapore, with no additional fee.

"ICA officers are working hard to process the passport applications," said the agency. "We seek Singaporeans’ understanding on our revised process to only allow walk-in for specific passport matters during this period."

Source: CNA/lk(gs)

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