MORE Singaporean infants will get their first passports free of charge.
In August this year, the Government announced that Singaporean babies born in or after January next year will not need to pay the S$70 application fee for their first passport. The move was part of a broader package to encourage more Singaporeans to get married and have babies.
On Tuesday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it will extend the fee waiver to those who are born this year if they apply for their passports online next year on or before their first birthday.
ICA statistics show that passport applications are made for about four in five Singaporean children before they turn one.
Parents who collect their child’s birth certificate from the hospital or at the ICA building will be notified of the change from Tuesday.
From Jan 1 next year, parents who have an eligible child will receive an electronic notification via the MyICA portal about the waiver. By clicking on the notification, they can apply for their child’s passport without having to pay the application fee.
The ICA also announced that from Jan 1 next year, children below six years old do not need to be 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 e-mail or written notification from ICA.
Those six years and older must still be present to collect their passports. Their biometric identifiers such as iris images and fingerprints will be collected and they will be able to use the automated lanes for immigration clearance at the checkpoints, the ICA said.
THE STRAITS TIMES