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Passport and NRIC applications must be done online from 2020

Passport and NRIC applications must be done online from 2020

File photo of a Singapore passport. (Photo: Alvin Chong)

SINGAPORE: By 2020, paper forms to apply for Singapore passports and NRICs will be phased out and all applications will have to be done online, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said.

All 15 electronic services by the ICA are now available on its MyICA website, the authority said on Thursday (Dec 20).

Besides passport and NRIC applications, these services include applications for long-term visit passes, re-entry permits, permanent residency and citizenship, and requests for birth or death extracts.

Last year, 88 per cent of more than 5.5 million applications at the ICA were submitted online. The majority of those submitted in paper were for passports and NRICs, and they were submitted in person or mailed.

READ: Singapore to replace paper arrival cards for foreign visitors with electronic version

For members of the public who are not familiar with online transactions, ICA said it has taken measures to help them. 

An online tutorial will be available for first-time users of MyICA. A step-by-step video guide in English and other languages will also be made available on ICA's website and Facebook page.

Applications made by the elderly can be made by family members and friends on their behalf, ICA said.

Those unable to access the Internet, or whose family and friends are unable to assist them, can use the self-service kiosks at the ICA building, where ICA staff will be on hand to help them.

ICA said it can also make arrangements to assist those who are unable to leave their homes due to medical reasons.

READ: Multi-biometrics screening to be introduced at checkpoints from April 2019

"The move towards 100% online applications by 2020 supports Singapore’s Smart Nation goals. This will benefit both our customers and officers," ICA said.

It has also gathered feedback and suggestions from the public to fine-tune and improve the MyICA website, it said. 

Members of the public can provide feedback on ICA's processes and services via the ePoll function of the MyICA app.

Source: CNA/ic(cy)


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