SingaporeOfficial Name: Republic of Singapore
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
Two page requirement for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
30,000 Singapore Dollars
Embassies and Consulates
27 Napier Road
Telephone: +(65) 6476-9100
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(65) 6476-9100
Fax: +(65) 6476-9232
Singapore is a small, stable, highly developed country with an elected parliamentary system of government. Tourist facilities are modern and widely available. Singapore's resident population of over five million inhabitants comprises 75 percent Chinese, 14 percent Malay, 9 percent Indian, and 2 percent others. English is widely spoken. Criminal penalties are strict and law enforcement rigorous; see sections on Entry/Exit Requirements, Special Circumstances, and Criminal Penalties below for further details. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Singapore for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
To enter Singapore, you need a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended stay. If you plan on regional travel beyond Singapore, make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date you plan to enter such areas. You do not need a visa for tourist or business visits of up to 90 days. For further information concerning visas and entry requirements for Singapore, contact the Embassy of Singapore at 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel: (202) 537-3100.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Singapore.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
While Singapore is considered generally safe, extremist groups in Southeast Asia have launched attacks in neighboring countries. Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets, and U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Singapore and neighboring countries should therefore exercise caution and remain vigilant about their surroundings, particularly in areas where U.S. citizens and other Westerners live, work, congregate, shop, or visit.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Singapore on Twitter and visit the Embassy's website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: The crime rate in Singapore is generally low. Even so, you should exercise caution when in congested areas and pay particular attention to personal belongings while in crowded shopping malls and markets, at the airport, and while traveling on public transportation. To avoid credit card fraud, do not carry multiple credit cards on your person, do not allow credit cards to be removed from your sight, avoid giving credit card information over the phone, and use only secure Internet connections for financial transactions.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the U.S. Embassy. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Singapore is 999 for police response and 995 for fire/emergency response.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. While you are traveling in Singapore, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. If you break local laws in Singapore, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not in Singapore. In Singapore, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. Driving under the influence of alcohol could land you immediately in jail. You can be arrested for jaywalking, littering, or spitting. A 2014 law restricted the sale and public consumption of alcohol during overnight hours. Commercial disputes that may be handled as civil suits in the United States can escalate to criminal cases in Singapore and may result in heavy fines and prison sentences. There are also some things that might be legal in Singapore but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.
There are no jury trials in Singapore. Judges hear cases and decide sentencing. The Government of Singapore does not provide legal assistance except in capital cases; legal assistance may be available in some other cases through the Law Society. You can also retain private counsel in criminal cases. The Embassy maintains a list of attorneys who have expressed an interest in assisting U.S. citizens.
Mandatory Caning Sentences: Singapore has a mandatory caning sentence for vandalism offenses. Authorities in Singapore may also impose caning for immigration violations and other offenses. Singaporean authorities do impose these sentences on foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens. Males over the age of 50 and women are not subject to caning.
Outrage of Modesty: Singapore enforces strict laws pertaining to the propriety of behavior between people and the modesty of individuals. The Singaporean law “Outrage of Modesty” is defined as an assault or use of criminal force on any person with the intent to, or the knowledge that it may, outrage the modesty of that person. Penalties may include imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, caning, or a combination thereof. Men are sometimes accused of inappropriately touching other people, often women, resulting in their prosecution and punishment under this Singaporean law. Scams involving a claim of outrage of modesty are thought to exist, and male travelers should be very cautious when frequenting popular nightspots.
Narcotics Offenses: Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty for many offenses. In 2012, Singapore amended its law to exempt certain cases from the mandatory death sentence, giving judges discretion to impose less harsh sentences in some cases. Singapore police have the authority to compel both residents and non-residents to submit to random drug analysis. In applying local laws, the police do not distinguish between drugs consumed before or after entering Singapore. Detained U.S. citizens have been surprised when they were arrested for violations that would not have resulted in arrest in the United States.
Carrying Firearms: There are very strict penalties for those who possess or carry arms, or who commit crimes with arms. Singaporean authorities define “arm” as any firearm, air-gun, air-pistol, automatic gun, automatic pistol, and any other kind of gun or pistol from which any shot, bullet, or other projectiles can be discharged or from which noxious liquid, flame, or fumes can be emitted, and any component thereof. This definition also includes any bomb or grenade and any component thereof. The possession of any arm or ammunition, including a single bullet in your luggage as you transit the airport, could result in imprisonment and caning. If you are convicted of committing a crime with an arm, you could receive punishment which could result in the maximum penalty of imprisonment for life and caning.
Engaging in sexual conduct: In Singapore, local law prohibits causing or encouraging prostitution of, or engaging in sexual relations with, a female below the age of 18. An indecent assault against anyone, male or female, regardless of age, is also prohibited. If convicted of facilitating or abetting the prostitution of any woman or girl, you could be sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years and a fine, or both. If the crime involves a female below the age of 16, you face a longer sentence of imprisonment.
Arrest notifications in Singapore: If you are arrested in Singapore, authorities of Singapore are required to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned the Embassy may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the Embassy of your arrest.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Singapore customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning controlled items you might be carrying while transiting Singapore (temporary importation or exportation) such as: weapons, ammunition, illegal drugs, certain religious materials, pornographic material, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, and software. Singapore customs authorities’ definition of "weapon" is very broad, and, in addition to firearms and ammunition, (including a single bullet), includes many items which may not be considered to be weapons in the United States, such as dive knives, kitchen knives, handcuffs, and expended shell casings. You may be arrested for carrying any of these items without permission. All baggage is x-rayed at every port of entry, so checked baggage will also be inspected for regulated items.
Dutiable Goods: Generally, there are four types of dutiable goods in Singapore: alcoholic beverages, tobacco, gasoline, and motor vehicles. If you enter Singapore at any port of entry you must approach an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer at the "Red Channel" for payment of duty (e.g. alcohol and tobacco) and goods and services tax (GST) if your dutiable goods exceed the GST relief or duty-free concession. You will be liable to prosecution if you proceed to the "Green Channel" for customs clearance but have items that are subject to payment of duty and/or GST.
U.S. Customs officials encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. For additional information, please visit the U.S. Council for International Business website, and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol web page on Traveling with Samples.
Cash: Automated teller machines (ATMs) are plentiful in Singapore, and are the easiest method of obtaining cash. There are also money changing facilities at the airport and at many large commercial centers and shopping malls. Bank transfers generally take weeks, and surcharges are steep. Transfers from commercial services such as American Express and Western Union are generally efficient.
Surrendering Your Passport: Police officers, hotels, or your employer may ask you to surrender your passport in lieu of surety (guaranteed) bonds; you should carefully consider whether you wish to surrender your passport in lieu of another kind of surety, particularly to someone who is not a government official (e.g., an employer or hotel employee). However, at check-in, some hotels may legitimately ask to see the passport for identification/registration. In those cases, the passport is immediately returned to you.
Dual Nationality: Singapore does not recognize dual nationality beyond the age of 21, and it strictly enforces universal national service (NS) for all male citizens and permanent residents. If you are a male U.S. citizen who automatically acquired Singaporean citizenship at birth, you are liable for Singapore national service once you reach the age of 18. You may require Singaporean government approval for travel abroad as you approach national service age, and your travel may be restricted when you reach sixteen-and-a-half years of age.
You may renounce Singaporean citizenship only after you have completed at least two years of national service. U.S. citizens are subject to this law. To determine if you will have a national service obligation, you should contact the Ministry of Defense in Singapore. For additional information, please see our information on dual nationality and contact the Ministry of Defense Central Manpower Base (tel. 65-6373-3127), or visit Singapore’s National Service Pre-Enlistee information page (please note that a user account and log on are required for this site).
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals do not enjoy full rights in Singapore. The Penal Code criminalizes any “act of gross indecency” between two men and prescribes a sentence not exceeding two years for those found guilty under this law. While the Singapore government has stated that it will not enforce this section of the penal code, the law remains on the statute books. Singapore does not recognize same-sex unions. LGBT individuals may have difficulty gaining employment in certain sectors of the civil service. The LGBT community organizes closed-door events regularly. However, the government is wary of issuing permits for open air events that openly champion LGBT issues, except for events held at the Speakers’ Corner at Hong Lim Park. In general, the Ministry of Manpower does not issue dependent passes (work permits) to partners in lesbian and gay relationships, even if legally married in another country. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Singapore, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Singapore, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what they find in the United States. Singapore's Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and implementing programs and services in the disability sector. The country has established a comprehensive code of standards for barrier-free accessibility, including facilities for persons with physical disabilities, in all new buildings and has mandated the progressive upgrading of older structures. Singapore allows guide dogs, but not other service animals, for the blind in public places and on trains; however, the laws do not cover buses and taxis. Currently, 100 percent of public trains and 68 percent of buses are wheelchair accessible. More than 80 percent of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations have at least two barrier-free access routes. All major pedestrian thoroughfares have curb cuts. All primary and secondary schools in Singapore are equipped with basic facilities for persons with disabilities such as accessible toilets and first level wheelchair ramps.
Good medical care is widely available in Singapore. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate payment for health services by credit card or cash and generally do not accept U.S. health insurance. Hospitals may require a substantial deposit before admitting you into the hospital for any major medical treatment. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide a letter of guarantee for payment. Recipients of health care should be aware that Ministry of Health auditors in certain circumstances may be granted access to patient medical records without the consent of the patient, and in certain circumstances physicians may be required to provide information relating to the diagnosis or treatment without the patient's consent.
Despite vigorous mosquito eradication efforts, Singapore has had occasional outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted illnesses, such as dengue fever and the viral disease Chikungunya. For current health information regarding disease outbreaks in Singapore, visit the CDC’s website.
Please also visit Singapore's Ministry of Health website for the most up-to-date information on infectious diseases in Singapore.
During the summer months, Singapore frequently experiences haze and air pollution caused by forest fires and the burning of agricultural waste in neighboring countries. Air pollution during these periods can reach levels considered hazardous to health. Please visit the website of Singapore’s National Environment Agency for the latest information on air pollution level.
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Singapore, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference only and may not be completely accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Singapore has a highly developed and well-maintained road and highway network. Driving is done on the left-hand side of the road. Motorists should be particularly aware of motorcyclists, who often ignore lane markings. Public transportation and taxis are abundant, inexpensive, and reliable. All bus stops and trains have panels indicating all routes and stops. You should consider using these forms of transportation. The Automobile Association (AA) of Singapore provides roadside assistance, and the Land Transport Authority has rescue vehicles on the road at all hours. In addition, closed circuit cameras monitor all major roads. As with all laws in Singapore, those involving traffic rules, vehicle registration, and liability in case of accident are strictly enforced, and failure to follow them may result in criminal penalties.
For specific information concerning Singaporean driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). STB has two offices in the United States: New York - 1156 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 702, New York, NY 10036, tel: 1-212-302-4861, fax: 1-212-302-4801, or via e-mail; and Los Angeles - 5670 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550, Los Angeles, CA 90036, tel: 1-323-677-0808, fax: 1-323-677-0801, or via e-mail. For general visitor information, please visit STB’s website.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Singapore’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA safety assessment page.