How to get fast-track passport clearance at Singapore's Changi Airport

How to get fast-track passport clearance at Singapore's Changi Airport

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.

Also read: How frequent flyers can get fast-lane access in Hong Kong

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

31 comments

  • NZFlyer

    NZFlyer

    22 Sep, 2015 12:42 pm

    Seems hardly worth it having to get photos done and enrol for it. Ive never found the immigration queues at SIN to be too bad anyway.

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  • David Flynn

    David

    22 Sep, 2015 01:33 pm

    I've always said that myself, until a few trips in the past year when I've hit a BIG queue and faced a wait of 20+ minutes – which I'd previously have said was unheard of for Changi, as it has this rep of being among the fastest major airport to exit. But it does seem to be the luck of the draw, so I'm probably going to sign up for this on my next visit to Singapore just in case...

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  • BeijingBogan

    BeijingBogan

    23 Sep, 2015 01:48 pm

    The immigration queues are one thing - it's the taxi rank queues that have me scratching my head.

    If you want a chrysler or mercedes benz (for which you pay a premium) - you are spoilt for choice.But if you want a regular true blue taxi - you're out of luck.

    I've been told it's because most of the regular taxi drivers are at the casino gambling. I'm not sure how true that is... but it's the rumour-du-jour making the rounds at the airport. 

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    28 Oct, 2015 09:08 pm

    Most of the taxi drivers in Singapore are Singaporeans. The last I heard, the govt discriminates access to the casinos for Singaporeans and PRs by imposing a charge/tax for entry - and people in the UK complain about a nanny state with a proposed Sugar Tax!

    Its highly unlikely they're gambling, unless it's some underground joint.

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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    1 Oct, 2015 09:08 pm

    You should try Heathrow if you truly want to see a long queue. My longest wait was 1h30m at T5

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  • watson374

    watson374

    28 Oct, 2015 11:35 am

    Apply for it anyway. I once had to wait 20+ minutes at T2 and I was traumatised.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    22 Sep, 2015 12:43 pm

    This is for good.

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  • Shoudy Chen

    Shoudy Chen

    22 Sep, 2015 01:21 pm

    Good choice here by Singapore Airport! 

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  • Jedinak K

    Jedinak K

    22 Sep, 2015 02:08 pm

    Just wondering if Singapore passport holders also have reciprocal access in Australian airports? 

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  • henrus

    henrus

    22 Sep, 2015 02:40 pm

    Yeh they can already use our Smartgate system

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  • moa999

    moa999

    22 Sep, 2015 02:54 pm

    Pity the requirement for visits, extra forms (and extra photo ID) - potentially for a card???  makes it harder.

    More like HK system - even that is just a sticker on passport.

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  • Rex Holyoake

    Rex Holyoake

    25 Sep, 2015 10:25 am

    Can any one confirm if Austarlian passport holders need to complte a Form 14? The on-line advice appears to suggest only Malaysian and HKG passport holders need to do that.

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    27 Nov, 2015 06:06 pm

    Yes you do...

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  • NBShone

    NBShone

    5 Oct, 2015 07:46 pm

    Most QF flights arrive at terminal 1 and around midnight. Taking a shuttle to terminal 3 to fill out forms is not worth it. Imergration at Singapore is so fast its not needed. I travel to Singapore 4 times a year and will not be signing up for the service. 

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  • Ian Jickell

    ianjickell

    15 Oct, 2015 03:30 pm

    I went downtown today (the Kallang Rd office) to register. A word to the wise to speed things up:

    have the application form already completed

    have a passport photo and photo copy of your passport photo/ info page.

    It took just on two hours and your passport is stamped (no additional cards) and fingerprints taken for access through the gates.

    Take a book or go for a walk for a coffee.

    Very easy really and when the queues are large, even whilst holding an APEC card, this will make life easier.

     

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    28 Oct, 2015 10:53 am

    Hey Ian - are you able to provide more details as to the location of the Kallang Rd office.  My times going through Singapore the office will not be open at the airport so this looks like a great option

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    28 Oct, 2015 10:38 am

    This news has made my day...  I travel to Singapore about 2 times a month.  The imigration lines can be very hit and miss.  Something there is no wait, but more and more there is a goot 20+ minute wait.  I guess it all depends on what time / day you arrive.  Will be in Singapore next week so am going to give this a go.  (also my passport is running short of pages so this will make it last a bit longer)

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    28 Oct, 2015 10:41 am

    of course I did mean "a GOOD 20+ minute wait"

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  • Agfox

    Agfox

    28 Oct, 2015 05:57 pm

    Earlier this year we landed at Terminal 2 late afternoon & the Immigration arrivals hall was packed & seemed relatively hot by the airport's standards. Accordingly, as we were overnighting in Singapore & only had carry-on, we caught the Skytrain to Terminal 3 where there were only 3 people waiting to be processed. I'm not sure how much time we saved but it was far more relaxing than standing around for what looked to be 30+ minutes in over-warm conditions.

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  • Ian Jickell

    ianjickell

    28 Oct, 2015 07:35 pm

    Hi Anthony, the office is at 10 Kallang Road Level 4. It's the ICA Building and its next to the Lavendar MRT station. Open 8-5 weekdays, 8-1 on Saturday 

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    29 Oct, 2015 07:09 am

    Fantastic - thanks Ian

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  • Roger Benson

    sharrkey

    28 Oct, 2015 10:55 pm

    I  have  experienced   some   long   queues   at  Changi  Airport,  that  they   don't  have  fast  track    counters    for   Business     and  First   class   passengers    came  as a  huge   surprise   to  me  ,  so  in  this  respect   they  are   behind a   lot   of  international   airports. Why  can't   they   just  allow   Autralian  passport  holders   to   use  the   smart   gate   instead  of   this    silly    process  of  registering. 

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    7 Nov, 2015 03:47 am

    Apparently there is another 'requirement' ... is that one must have stayed in Singapore for a minimum of 15 days total over the past three months. I tried applying today and was told that this rule was never announced and that they will need to update their website.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    7 Nov, 2015 10:08 am

    That wasn't the case when we went through last month? In my personal case I'd spent less than 24 hours in Singapore in the last 3 months (other visits were before then) and all was approved...

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  • Roger Benson

    sharrkey

    7 Nov, 2015 10:34 am

    Chris

    Is  Aus  Business  traveller   able   to  Lobby  the  Changi   Airports  Authority  and  possibly  Singapore  Airlines to  have   at  least  1  or   2  dedicated  Fast  track lanes    for   First   and  Business  Class   arrivals  into  Singapore  ?  It  is   astounding   that    this    does   not   exist   and  that  they  call  themselves   the   most  efficient   airport  in the   world. I   am    sure   all   business  travellers  from     Australia    and  Indeed worldwide   will   appreciate  it

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    7 Nov, 2015 02:21 pm

    Hi Roger, it's a great idea but one that's beyond our brief as frequent travellers now have access to the fast track lanes for locals as above, whether flying first class or economy.

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  • JJM

    JJM

    17 Nov, 2015 07:44 pm

    After some recent horrendous experiences waiting for Singapore immigration, I signed up for eIACS at Changi T3 this afternoon. From swinging the eIACS office door open to leaving with the stamp in my passport took exactly 22 minutes - which is much less than the 1 to 1.5 hours recently experienced at Changi T2. 

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    27 Nov, 2015 05:29 pm

    I did mine last week at Immigration and Customs building at 10 Kallang Road Level 4.  Was also a very simple process.  Had to stand in a queue to then get a queue number.  That was about 10 minutes.  My number was called almost straight away... process from there took about 20 minutes and I now can use the eGates for 5 years!!  I travel to Singapore almost every 2 week so this is going to be a HUGE time saver.  Thank you to ABT for this article and also to Ian who provided me with the address (I could not do it at the airport as my flight leaves at 1120pm)

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  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    27 Nov, 2015 05:52 pm

    also not mentioned in the article or on the websites you need to take a copy of your passport as well

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    28 Nov, 2015 01:15 am

    Interesting, we weren't asked for a copy when applying at Changi...

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  • jacobsleather

    jacobsleather

    5 Apr, 2018 02:54 pm

    For those finding this page by google, here is a Singapore Government site link that outlines the current situation and includes a list of places where you can register.


    As of this time the only place at the airport is in Terminal 3 Transit area. It would appear the easiest way is to do it at Lavender when you have a spare moment (but appointment is necessary).
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19 Nov, 2018 10:22 am

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