Entry and Exit
Singaporeans can visit the UK without a visa. Passport must be valid for the duration of your stay (We recommend that travellers should have at least six months passport validity). If you're planning to visit the UK for more than six months, or for any purpose other than tourism, please refer to the UK Visas and Immigration website at https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration to ensure you apply for the appropriate visa.
As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the British High Commission in Singapore for up-to-date information.
The UK is not part of the Schengen area, and a passport is required to travel between the UK and other European countries, including Ireland.
From 20 May 19, Singaporeans are eligible to use eGates at 15 air and rail ports in the UK for quicker automated immigration clearance into the UK. However, not everyone should use the eGates. In this regard, please check the UK Visas and Immigration website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coming-to-the-uk/faster-travel-through-the-uk-border.
UK airports administer extensive security screening for passengers. If you are flying to the UK, allow extra time for extended screenings and luggage checks at your airport of departure. Check the UK Visas and Immigration website at https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/arriving-in-the-uk for further information on these measures and on current hand luggage restrictions at UK airports.
You must declare to Customs:
anything over your duty-free allowance
banned or restricted goods in the UK, e.g. meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries
goods that you plan to sell
more than €10,000 (or its equivalent) in cash, if you’re coming from outside the EU
Safety and Security
The UK faces a serious and sustained threat from terrorism, including from international groups, domestic extremists and Northern Ireland-related groups.
The current UK threat level for international terrorism is ‘severe’. This means an attack is highly likely but not imminent. The level of threat in Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-Related Terrorism (NIRT) is also ‘severe’, although in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) the threat level from NIRT is lower.
• On 15 September 2017, a terror attack on a Tube station in south-west London resulted in a number of injuries.
• On 19 June 2017, a vehicle collided with pedestrians outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, North London, causing a number of injuries.
• On 3 June 2017, an attack at London Bridge and Borough Market caused a number of deaths and injuries.
• On 22 May 2017, a suicide bomber caused an explosion at a concert in Manchester which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries.
• On 22 March 2017, a vehicle and stabbing attack along Westminster Bridge and outside Westminster Palace in London resulted in a number of deaths and injuries.
Violent far-right extremism is relatively infrequent in the UK but does happen. Such individuals and groups generally seek to target specific individuals, minorities and politically-affiliated groups rather than the wider public.
Threat levels: The level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5).
There are 5 levels of threat:
low - an attack is unlikely
moderate - an attack is possible but not likely
substantial - an attack is a strong possibility
severe - an attack is highly likely
critical - an attack is expected imminently
Threat levels do not have an expiry date. They can change at any time as different information becomes available to security agencies. For more information on the current threat level, please visit the Home Office website at www. www.gov.uk/terrorism-national-emergency
UK authorities have installed protective security barriers on London’s major bridges and increased the police presence at public events and on public transport and have urged members of the public to:
- be alert to the danger of terrorism
- look out for suspicious behaviour or unattended bags on public transport and in other public places
- look out for other signs of possible terrorist activity
- report suspicious behaviour and unattended bags to the police
- take heed of any official warnings
- follow the advice of local authorities
The Police Service, the British Transport Police and many partners in the UK and abroad work very hard to keep the public safe from threats. Attacks are infrequent but the simple ‘Run Hide Tell’ guidance offered by the National Police Chiefs’ Council is useful and relevant when you encounter a firearms and weapons attack, the video guidance for which can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUCW_mk35Xc
The phone number for police/fire/ambulance emergency services is 999 in the United Kingdom. You should also use this number to report security threats or suspicious packages.
Travellers and residents encounter petty crime, such as pickpocketing and mobile phone theft, across the UK, especially in crowded tourist locations.
- Be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
- Be vigilant, as pickpocketing, mugging and “snatch and grab” theft of mobile phones, watches and jewellery can occur.
- Do not leave bags unattended in restaurants, pubs, hotel lobbies, and parked cars.
- Be alert to other criminal schemes, such as impostors posing as undercover police officers and “fining” tourists for bogus minor offences. A legitimate London Metropolitan Police Services officer will never demand an immediate cash payment.
- Use only licensed Black Cabs or pre-ordered car services (minicabs). Unlicensed taxis or private cars posing as taxis may offer low fares, but in some instances, travellers have been robbed or sexually assaulted while using these cars. The Safer Travel at Night partnership among the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, and the Mayor of London maintains a website with additional information on cabs and car services at www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/taxis-and-minicabs
- Avoid using ATMs that look temporary in structure or location or are located in isolated areas – they may not be legitimate. Use ATMs located inside a bank branch.
- Scams: Financial crimes conducted over the internet have increased dramatically in the United Kingdom as scammers attempt to convince you to send them money. These fraudulent schemes can include:
- Online dating/social networking services
- Inheritance notices
- Work permits/job offers
- Bank overpayments
- Schemes that make it appear you are helping a loved one or a friend in trouble
Health: While medical services are widely available, free medical care under the National Health System (NHS) is extended only for UK residents, certain EU nationals, and some visa holders. Please refer to the NHS’s guidance on the way overseas visitors are charged for NHS hospital care.
Ensure that you have comprehensive travel insurance before you travel.
To locate your nearest GP surgery or hospital while in the UK, call the NHS on 111 or visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk. If you require urgent medical care, go to the nearest hospital.
Road Conditions and Safety: You can drive any small vehicle (e.g. car or motorcycle) listed on your full and valid licence for 12 months from when you last entered Great Britain (GB)
- Using a hand-held cell phones or similar device while driving is illegal in the United Kingdom. Only hands-free phones may be used. You will be fined, or in the case of an accident, arrested and serve time in prison.
- You will be detained and arrested if you cannot provide a UK address to receive a subpoena or are about to depart the United Kingdom and have to be brought to court quickly for a motoring offence.
- In Central London, a congestion charge is levied on all drivers who pass through the zone. You will be fined or arrested if you do not pay the charge. See Transport for London’s website www.tfl.gov.uk for more information about driving in London.
- Information on disruptions to London transportation services can be found on the Transport for London website at www.tfl.gov.uk
- Information about the status of National Rail Services can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website at www.nationalrail.co.uk
- Bus and train service information in Northern Ireland can be found on the Translink website at www.translink.co.uk
- Bus and train service information in Scotland can be found on the Traveline Scotland website at www.travelinescotland.com
- For specific information concerning UK driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please refer to the UK the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency website at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel - Be Safe and Be Informed [29 May 2019]
In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorism. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.
In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and to heed advice of the local authorities.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
- Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
- Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
- eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
- Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
- Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
- Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters or terror attacks.
- Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/8855.
Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]
There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.