Last Updated: June 14, 2021
Singapore Student Visa
Singapore has always been an attractive destination not only for tourists but also for international students, planning to pursue their higher studies abroad. With its efficient healthcare system, well-developed transportation network, strong economical framework, and brilliant education system, Singapore guarantees a good lifestyle combined with a nurturing environment for students to prosper in their respective areas of study.
Choosing a Course
Before a candidate decides to apply for the visa application process, it is necessary to select a course and prepare a list of universities offering that particular course. The universities of Singapore offer a wide range of courses including diplomas, certificate courses, bachelor's and master's degree courses in diversified fields such as Business, Tourism and Healthcare, Information Technology, Education, and Psychology. Singapore with its extensive research environment and highly evolved education system gives birth to some of the best universities in Asia.
Types of Student Visas for International Students and their Validity
Note: Foreign students who have been issued an Immigration Exemption Order or a short-term visit pass to attend short-term courses are exempted from holding a student pass in Singapore.
- Student Pass The student visa most commonly called a ‘student pass’ in Singapore is usually granted for full-time courses. The student has to secure his/her admission to the desired university and accept the offer letter to become eligible to apply for the student visa. The validity of the student pass covers the entire duration of the course selected by the International student.
- Short-term visit pass It is also issued for students willing to take short-term courses in Singapore. However, the duration of the course must be 30 days and not more than that. Students pursuing short-term or part-time courses are not eligible to apply for the Singapore Student Pass.
Cost of Singapore Student Visa
The overall cost to procure a Singapore student pass can be broken down into two categories:
- Processing fee: The student is required to submit a processing fee amounting to S $30 while applying for the visa. Please note that all the payments made to the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) for the visa application process are non-refundable.
- Once the student pass is issued, the student is expected to make a payment of S $60 and an additional amount of S $30 in case the student wants to procure a multiple-entry visa.
The students are also required to pay a Security Deposit, indicated as per the IPA letter, which is refundable provided the applicant doesn't breach the conditions specified in the Security Bond. The applicant is exempted from paying the security deposit if:
- he/she is a citizen of Malaysia or Brunei
- he/she is a holder of a long-term visit pass or a work pass
- he/she is a foreign student enrolled in a full-time course in an EduTrust certified PEI
- he/she is a foreign student enrolled in a full-time study program in an EduTrust certified provisional PEI (except for the University of London)
- he/she is below 16 years of age at the time of application for the student pass
Steps to apply for a Singapore Student Visa
- A student can apply for the visa only after receiving an offer letter from the respective institute. An offer letter is an official document stating your purpose of visit and other additional information required to support your visa application process. After applying for the student pass, it is the responsibility of the concerned university to register the student to Singapore Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) and provide them with all the details related to the course, its commencement date, etc.
- Once the registration is over, the student will be provided with login information and a SOLAR reference number by the university to access the Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration (SOLAR) System and fill the e-Form 16 after signing in.
- A student will be asked to submit details related to passport and residential address in Singapore. (University’s address can be used if the applicant is not sure of the accommodation yet).
- Once the application fee is paid, the applicant is supposed to wait for the final approval and pay the issuance fee.
- The applicant receives an In-Principle Approval (IPA) which can be used as a confirmation of the visa approval. The IPA letter allows the student to travel to Singapore and it is only after entering the borders of the country that the student is granted a student pass/ student visa.
The student will be asked to submit his/her passport, original copy of the IPA letter, and Disembarkation/Embarkation card (given on a plane or can be found at the Immigration Checkpoint at the Airport) upon arrival.
The student needs to make an appointment and pay a visit to the Visitor’s Office of the ICA, Singapore along with the mentioned documents to procure the student pass. Please make sure to collect the student pass before the expiry date of the IPA letter.
The student pass application of a foreign student planning to study in a Private Education Institution (PEI) in Singapore is only accepted if the concerned PEI is EduTrust-certified.
Documents required to apply for Singapore Student Visa
The various documents required to carry out the visa application process are listed below:
- A valid passport
- Birth certificate (if applicable)
- Student Visa Application form (filled)
- Offer letter issued by the respective Institute of Higher Learning
- A passport size photograph
- Bank statement affirming your financial status
- Fixed Deposit receipts (if necessary)
- Personal information related to educational background, countries/places the applicant has previously resided in, etc
- Test scores related to TOEFL, GRF, GMAT, etc.
- Residential address and contact details in Singapore
- Email address
- Medical certificate (if applicable)
Please note that the student can be asked to produce additional documents during the interview with the Embassy.
All regional language documents should be translated to English before submission.
Applicants below 12 years of age need to provide their vaccination information to the Health Promotion Board (HPB).
Singapore Student Pass Renewal Process
The student pass can be renewed online using the e-service. However, if the student wants to pursue a different course of study in a different institution, then a fresh application should be made for the issuance of a new student pass.
The student can also apply for the replacement of the student pass in case he/she wants to update any details or their current pass is damaged/defaced due to some reasons. The replacement request shall be made within 7 days at the Visitor Services Centre, ICA Building, Singapore. The student must carry a valid travel document, a recent passport-sized photograph, a letter from the educational institution as proof of the student’s enrollment, and an original police report concerning the same.
Note: The student needs to cancel or surrender the student pass within 7 days once the course is completed or in case the student decides to terminate his/her studies. The same can be done by submitting the STP cancellation form along with a valid travel document and the STP card at the Visitor Services Centre, IPA Building, Singapore. Alternatively, the student can surrender the pass at the ICA office at the Checkpoint before exiting the country.
Working while studying in Singapore
The International students are allowed to work 16 hours per week and full time during the holidays. The Universities in Singapore also offer a variety of internships to foreign students attending full-time University Programmes (except for the University of London). There are different employment passes provided to students such as the Training Employment Pass, Work Holiday Pass, Training Work Permit, each demanding a specific set of criteria to be achieved.
In case the students want to work after the completion of the course, they can apply for a 1-year visit pass through the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore.
Some things to remember
- It normally takes around 2-6 weeks to process the visa application, so it is advisable to initiate the process 40-45 days before the travel date.
- Different universities have different additional requirements, so make sure to be familiar with the eligibility criteria before applying.
- The student has to apply for the cancellation and return the student pass after the completion of the course.
- The student pass holders must use the student pass holder lane and it is necessary to acquire approval before traveling to Singapore.
- Make sure that the medical certificate is valid and not older than three months.
- The student will not be allowed to enter Singapore without an IPA letter.
- Chewing gum and littering is a fineable offense in Singapore. The student needs to make sure not to violate any guidelines.
- Make sure to keep all the documents ready before applying to make it a quick hassle-free process.