Saturday, August 20, 2011

Renewing My Singapore Passport

With 6 months to go to my passport's expiry date, I was advised to renew my passport as most countries will not allow entry with less than 6 months passport validity. So, not wanting to cramp any impromptu travel plans, I sought to renew my Singapore passport. 

I had a few options:
  1. Go to the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) at Lavender (besides Lavender MRT station)  to renew my passport over the counter at a slightly higher price (around $80) and longer waiting time (depending on crowd)
  2. Fill up the passport renewal application form, attach a passport photo and drop the form at the deposit box at ICA or post it to ICA with a lower charge (around $70) payment is either by credit card (particulars to be completed in the application form) or by nets at the ICA itself. 
  3. Renew my passport online thru the Application for Passport On-line Electronic System (APPLES) at at an even lower price ( I heard its around $60++ but am not really sure) but to do this, I would need a digital passport photo and a debit/credit card. 

The third option is the cheapest and the least of hassle and would have been choice had I not left my digital camera in KL (I didn't know that you can use mobile phone cameras too -hmm-)

So, what I did was I went to ICA to get my photo taken, so that I can go ahead with option 2. Since the passport booth at level 2 had quite a queue, I went to the level 4..big mistake.. less queue and slightly cheaper  ($5 instead of $5.35) but photo didn't turn out to my liking. 

Since my passport is going to last 5 years, and the customs are going to look at it.. I went back to the second floor "Yishun Broadway" Passport Photo Booth. It seems, I shouldn't have bothered too much about the queue cos the had 3 people manning the booths as opposed to 1 person at level 4, and.. this is what I like most about "Yishun Broadway", they even offer the APPLES services at a small fee, so they snap your photo and send it electronically to their other booth across the hall where another staff will help key in your passport details online without you queueing at the ICA passport renewal counters! All in fee together with the photo was $76, I find it to be fast and quite convenient. You do need to bring along your current passport and IC for verification purposes though) The only gripe I have is that they only accept cash, so I had to walk back to Lavender MRT to withdraw some cash.

Passport collection is around 4 working days at ICA Singapore (best to make an appointment first through ) or you can also arrange to collect at one of the 30 Singpost near you at a small fee, it will take about 3 working days after you book an appointment with ICA.

The selected Singpost are :

Geographical Location
Post Office
Bukit Merah Central, Change Alley, Chinatown Point, Crawford, Orchard, Tanglin,Tanjong Pagar, Thomson, Toa Payoh Central
Bukit Batok Central, Bukit Timah, Choa Chu Kang Central, Clementi Central, Ghim Moh Estate,
Jurong Point, Jurong West, IMM
Bedok Central, Hougang Central, SingPost Centre, Marine Parade, Tampines Central, Pasir Ris Central
North, North-West, North-East
Ang Mo Kio Central, Yishun, SunPlaza, Woodlands Central,
Bukit Panjang, Sengkang Central, Serangoon Central

Cheers to Singapore and good service :)

You may want to read Singapore Passport Number and Passport Photo Dimension here