Australian frequent travellers can now skip any immigration queues at Singapore’s Changi Airport in favour of strolling through the automated passport control lanes ordinarily reserved for Singapore locals.
After a brief fee-free registration process, you’ll have access to the eIACS (enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System) channel for two years from the date of approval, covering an unlimited number of trips to the Lion City.
Singapore eIACS fast track: what you’ll need
Before you can register you’ll need to satisfy three basic requirements:
- Must have entered and exited Singapore (not simply transited) at least three times in the previous 12 months using the same passport
- Provide a spare passport-style photograph, such as available from Australia Post
- Your passport is valid for at least six more months with at least one completely blank passport page
If you’re covered, look for the ‘eIACS Enrolment Centre’ signage and office in Changi’s Terminal 3 on weekdays between 8am and 5pm, located to your right immediately after clearing outbound passport control…
… or if flying through another terminal in Singapore – such as Terminal 1 with Qantas, Emirates or British Airways – take the free Skytrain to Terminal 3 if you’ve allowed enough time.
Singapore eIACS fast track: registration
Once inside the office you’ll need to complete the same multi-page application form as you would for a Singapore visa, including your address history for the past five years and your primary reason for visiting Singapore, and supply thumb prints electronically (without ink).
The process normally takes around 20 minutes per person but on our visit stretched to 45, so make this your first stop at Changi before heading to the lounge.
Travellers enrolled in the scheme don’t need to complete arrival or departure cards for Singapore, and after having their passport endorsed (as below) won’t receive any further Singapore stamps at the border.
The only time you’ll complete a card and join the standard queue for foreigners is if your visit to Singapore will last between 31 and 90 days – as normally allowed to Australian travellers under the Visa Waiver Program – as entering via eIACS comes with a 30-day limit per visit.
Singapore eIACS fast track: clearing passport control
At passport control, keep your eyes peeled for ‘eIACS’ or ‘Singapore residents’: often on the left of the manned queues.
As you would with SmartGate in Australia, simply slide your passport photo page into the eIACS reader, and when prompted, place your right thumb on the fingerprint scanner – making sure to press down firmly on the ball of the thumb, rather than the tip.
If it’s a match, you’ll be straight through to baggage claim or on your way to the departure lounge.
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