Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [18 November 2017]
In 2017, there have been various attacks on civilian targets which affected areas popular with tourists and locals. Widely-reported incidents in recent months include the attacks in Lower Manhattan in New York (31 October 2017), at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (1 October 2017), at Las Ramblas street in Barcelona (17 August 2017), at the London Bridge and Borough Market in London (3 June 2017), and at the Drottninggatan street in Stockholm (7 April 2017).
As a precaution during this holiday travel season, we advise Singaporeans of the following:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
- Take a few minutes to eRegister with MFA (online or via the MFA@SG mobile app).
- Always take care of your personal safety, and remain vigilant and alert to local security developments.
- Obey the laws and respect the local customs of the countries you are visiting.
- Keep your passport and identity card separate to minimise the risk of you losing both your ID documents.
- Never carry too much cash and valuables. Never leave your valuables unattended.
- Make sure you know the local rules of the road. Ensure that you, your passengers and the vehicle are covered by insurance.
- Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
- Monitor the local news and heed the instructions of the local authorities in an emergency.
- Stay in touch with your family and friends in Singapore so that they know you are safe. Inform them of your whereabouts and activities.
In the event that you require consular assistance, please call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours) at +65-6379 8800/8855, or get in touch with the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission.
Exemption for Singapore Citizens Contributing to India’s Employees' Provident Fund Organisation
For Singapore Citizens starting work in India
As per the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2005, Singapore Citizens working in India do not need to contribute to India’s Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). On 14 March 2017, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) issued a circular to inform and remind all the EPF offices in India of the exemption.
To qualify for the exemption, Singapore citizens should provide their employers with a copy of their Singapore passport in case of potential checks by India EPFO. No form or registration with the EPFO is required for the exemption.
For Employers with Singapore Citizens working in India
Based on the Singapore Government’s understanding with the EPFO, companies with Singapore Citizens working in India are exempted from contributing to the Employee Provident Fund. Singapore Citizens should also be automatically exempted and there is no need for Singapore Citizens to submit any form to apply for the exemption. Employers should retain a copy of your employees’ proof of citizenship – a scan of the Singapore passport – in case of potential checks by the EPFO.
Withdrawal of EPF contribution for Singapore Citizens who have contributed to EPF
Singapore Citizens who have contributed to the EPF after the signing of the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in 2005 may submit a Claim Form to the EPFO to withdraw your contributions.
The claim form titled “Composite Claim Form (Non-AADHAR) – Form No. 19 (PF Final Settlement)/10C (Pension Withdrawal Benefits/31 (PF Part Withdrawal)” can be found at https://epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Downloads_PDFs/Form_CCF_nonaadhar.pdf
Singapore Citizens who would like the withdrawn funds to be credited to their personal accounts should submit the Claim Form together with the following:
- a copy of a “cancelled” cheque of your local bank account for which the withdrawal amount is to be credited into; and
- a copy of your Singapore passport with attestation.
Singapore Citizens may also choose to have the funds credited through their employers. The same processes as the above will apply.
Submission of Claim Forms
Singapore Citizens or their employers should submit the Claim Form to the EPF office where the employer is registered. To identify which regional office to submit the form to, please go to search.epfoservices.org:81/locate_office/office_location.php
A message for Singapore Citizens in India
The Singapore Consulate-General in Mumbai is updating its register of Singapore Citizens and their immediate family members who are residing in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
All Singapore Citizens residing in the above states are requested to register with the Consulate-General.
Registration can be done on-line via the e-Register portal. Alternatively, you may email the Consulate-General at firstname.lastname@example.org to request for the registration forms.
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