15 Jun 2007
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
TIGHTENING OF SECURITY OF NON-BIOMETRIC PASSPORTS
Our commitment to the security of the Singapore passport
As the passport issuing authority of Singapore, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is committed to uphold the integrity and security of our passports. Holding a passport that is trusted internationally as a secure travel document will enable Singapore Citizens to continue to travel with convenience.
2. The Singapore Biometric Passport (BioPass) was launched last year as part of ICA's efforts to ensure the integrity and security of the Singapore passport. BioPass complies with the requirements laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which include not allowing changes to the holder's particulars (including the photograph) once the passport is issued.
Tightening the security of non-biometric passports
3. It is necessary to also enhance the security of non-biometric passports, so that all Singapore passport holders can continue to travel with confidence and convenience. ICA will be tightening the security of non-biometric passports by adopting the same security measures as those implemented on the Singapore biometric passport (BioPass). Hence, with effect from 1 September 2007 (Saturday), photo update services for non-biometric passports will no longer be available. Non-biometric passport holders who no longer resemble their passport photo are advised to update their photos before 1 September 2007.
Possible longer processing time for BioPass
4. Our resources will be focussed on facilitating the applications of those who wish to update the photographs in their non-biometric passports for the last time, before the service is withdrawn. Hence, from 15 June 2007 to 31 August 2007, BioPass applications may take longer to process, compared to the usual processing time of 3 working days. During this period, BioPass applications may take up to 5 to 7 working days to process. ICA will resume our usual expeditious processing of 3 working days as soon as this critical period is over.
Alternative venues for passport extension services
5. As there may be a crowd at the Passport Unit of ICA Building from 15 June 2007 to 31 August 2007, ICA would like to advise NSmen holding passports with restricted validity to avoid coming to ICA Building for passport extensions. NSmen from the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force can extend their passports at the Central Manpower Base at Depot Road, Police Cantonment Complex and SCDF HQ Complex respectively.
END OF NEWS RELEASE
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
15 June 2007