Singapore is a fascinating city-state in Southeast Asia, which will delight you with its modern skyline, green parks and cultural diversity. So that nothing stands in the way of your vacation in this exciting metropolis, you will find detailed information on the entry requirements for Singapore below.
You can also find out about customs regulations, vaccinations, the import of pets and the exact procedure for entry.
What documents do German citizens need to enter Singapore?
German nationals need a passport valid for at least six months to enter Singapore. A temporary passport is also sufficient. Children need their own identity document, such as a child passport. A child entry in the parents’ passport is not enough.
If you are planning to stay in Singapore for tourist purposes, you do not need a visa unless your holiday lasts longer than 90 days. In this case, you will get a residence permit in the form of a stamp issued in the passport upon entry. No visa is required even for a short business trip.
However, if you would like to take on a job or do an internship in Singapore, you must apply for an Employment Pass. For a paid internship, this is the Training Employment Pass, for an unpaid, the Training Work Permit.
If you are planning to study in Singapore, you can apply for a student’s pass. Furthermore, you should be able to present a return or onward travel ticket upon entry. On the plane, you will also be given an entry/exit card, in English Embarkation / Disembarkation Card, which you must fill in and present at passport control.
Entry requirements for citizens from other countries
Citizens of other EU countries and Switzerland have the same entry requirements for Singapore as for Germans. Accordingly, you can stay in Singapore for a maximum of 90 days of visa-free travel. The same applies to citizens from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and South Korea.
Citizens of another group of countries are allowed to spend a maximum of 30 days without a visa in the South Asian city-state. These include Turkey, Canada and Japan as well as numerous Central and South American, African and Southeast Asian countries.
Citizens from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, India and various North African and Near-Asian states are subject to visas. It is recommended that you consult the applicable regulations with the Foreign Office of your home country.
What should you pay attention to when taking animals with you?
If you want to travel with your pet to Singapore, there are some things to consider. All dogs and cats need an electronic microchip, otherwise, entry is prohibited. According to the entry requirements, the four-legged friends are divided into four categories, depending on the country in which they spent the last six months before departure.
Category 1 are animals from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Category 2 concerns animals from Denmark, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.
Category 3 includes dogs and cats from Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Slovakia, Malaysia, Canada and the USA.
Four-legged friends from all other nations fall into category 4.
Dogs and cats of category 3 must be quarantined for ten days, and four-legged animals of category four must have 30 days.
The quarantine will take place at the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station and must be registered at least three months in advance. In addition, a health certificate is required to confirm that your pet is healthy and has no infectious diseases. This certificate may have been issued a maximum of one week before departure.
You should also take your pet’s international vaccination certificate with you. Dogs imported into Singapore must be vaccinated against hepatitis, parvovirus and distemper, cats against cat flu and cat disease. All animals in categories 2, 3 and 4 also require a rabies vaccine and proof of titres. Also, you must at least 30 days before your trip to Singapore at the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority AVA apply for an import permit for your four-legged friend.
Which vaccinations are recommended for trips to Singapore?
According to the entry requirements for Singapore, no vaccinations are mandatory. Only if you come from a yellow fever epidemic, you need proof of yellow fever vaccination. Basically, it is advisable to check the vaccination status of the Robert Koch Institute recommended vaccinations for Germany and possibly refresh.
These include pneumococci, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and mumps, measles and rubella. Meaningful travel vaccinations are immunizations against hepatitis A, with special exposure also hepatitis B, typhus and rabies.
It is also advisable to ensure adequate mosquito repellent. For example, there are some mosquito-borne diseases in Singapore with Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. There is no malaria in the city-state.
Customs regulations for Singapore
The customs regulations are very strict. The import of endangered animal and plant species, weapons, lighters in the form of weapons, obscene articles, illegal narcotics, chewing tobacco and chewing gum is absolutely prohibited. The latter may only be imported if it is a medical product. For prescription drugs, you need a medical certificate in English.
Please note, however, that the import of some active substances is generally prohibited. If you have been out of the country for longer than 48 hours and do not enter Malaysia, you may bring gifts up to a value of 600 Singapore dollars duty-free. If the value is higher, an import tax of 7% is due.
If you were outside the city for less than 48 hours, the merchandise value must not exceed 150 Singapore Dollars. There are no tax exemptions for cigarettes; each must be declared and taxed individually. The importation of food such as fish, meat, fruits and vegetables as well as plants and animals require a permit.
You can take unlimited cash with you and up to 30,000 Singapore Dollars even tax-free. It is recommended that you carefully read and adhere to Singapore’s customs regulations, as controls are strict and penalties for non-compliance can be drastic.
Can the entry to Singapore be denied?
There may be problems with entry if you spend a few days in Malaysia and want to return to Singapore after your stay in Singapore. This is not welcomed by the control officers as tourists try to get a new residence permit. The entry permit can also be refused if the identity documents are worn out or if you cannot show a return or onward ticket.
Similarly, vacationers who carry forbidden items with them do not come to town. Criminal records are generally not an obstacle to entering Singapore. You do not have to provide any information on the embarkation/disembarkation card.
What languages are spoken in Singapore?
In Singapore, people from many cultures and religions live together. You will, therefore, come across different languages in the city-state. The four official languages are English, Chinese, Tamil and Malay. In business and official affairs, English is usually spoken, which is the language of instruction at school.
This is to facilitate communication between the different ethnic groups. As a rule, you can easily communicate in English throughout your trip to Singapore.
Procedure and challenges when entering the country
Most passengers arriving by plane from Singapore land at Changi Airport, which is 12km east of the city centre. In general, you will receive the embarkation/disembarkation card from the flight attendants before you land. It is best to pack a pen in your hand luggage to fill out the entry/exit card in peace on the plane.
Additional maps and multilingual instructions on how to fill them incorrectly can be found in the Immigration Hall at Changi Airport. You will be asked for your personal data, passport and flight number, the address of your hotel and the duration of the planned stay.
It also asks if you’ve been to Africa or South America in the past six days, whether you have ever entered Singapore under a different name and whether you have been denied entry to Singapore before. You must show this embarkation/disembarkation card completely filled out together with your passport at the counter of the passport control.
The thumbprints are also digitally scanned when entering and leaving the country. This applies to both people who have a visa and those who enter without a visa. Only children under the age of six do not have to give fingerprints.
Next, you can pick up your bags at the baggage claim. It follows the customs control. If you have nothing to declare, leave the terminal via the green exit. However, there are random baggage checks even there. If you have taxable items in your luggage or are not sure, you should choose the red exit.
Show the items to be cleared or checked, along with the appropriate import permit. Similar checks also take place when travelling overland. In this case, you come from Malaysia and can get to Singapore at the border crossings at Woodlands in the north and Tuas in the west.
Both checkpoints are open around the clock.
Another alternative is the arrival by boat or cruise ship. The two major cruise terminals are the Singapore Cruise Centre and the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. The entry requirements are the same as when you arrive by plane.
As mentioned, the entry requirements for Singapore are very strict. You should, therefore, inform yourself in advance about current formalities, customs regulations, vaccination recommendations and regulations for taking animals with you, so that you are well prepared and everything runs smoothly on arrival. In general, the processes at Changi Airport and the other border crossings are very well structured and usually do not take long, so that you can soon immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of this breath-taking metropolis with its futuristic ambience.