Launch of Singapore Biometric Passport (Biopass) on 15 August 2006
SINGAPORE EMBASSY NEWS RELEASE
The Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority will launch the Singapore Biometric Passport (Biopass) on 15 August 2006.
Application procedures for the new biometric passports remain unchanged from the current non-biometric passports.
However, to ensure a smooth transition to the Biopass, passport applications submitted at the Singapore Embassy in Phnom Penh before 3 August 2006 will be treated as applications for non-biometric pasports. Applications received on or after 3 August 2006 will be for the Biopass.
Biopass applications submitted at the Embassy will cost USD50 (equivalent to SGD80). Singaporeans who apply for Biopasses online through APPLES will continue to enjoy a SGD10 rebate and pay only SGD70.
The new Biopass will contain 64 pages (instead of the current 96 pages for non-biometric passports) and is valid for five years.
In addition, the Biopass will adopt the book inventory number as the passport number. In other words, the passport number for Biopass will no longer be the holder's NRIC number. The ordinary Biopass number will begin with the prefix 'E', followed by 7 digits and end with a letter of the alphabet.
With the launch of the Biopass, Singapore has met requirements under the US Visa Waiver Programme which calls for countries to roll out their Biometric Passport before 26 October 2006.
There is no need for Singaporeans to rush to apply for the Biopasses. Singaporeans holding the current non-biometric machine-readable passports can continue to enjoy visa-free travel to the US for up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Programme. All passports issued in Singapore from 2 January 1991 are machine-readable. As such, there is no need for these Singaporeans to convert their passports to a BioPass even if they are travelling to the US.
For more information and FAQs on the Biopass, please visit the ICA press release.
3 August 2006