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All foreign visitors arriving in Singapore can use automated lanes at Changi Airport effective May 2024

All foreign visitors arriving in Singapore can use automated lanes at Changi Airport effective May 2024

Further, there will be no need to present passports at automated lanes in Changi Airport by end-2024 for all departing travellers.

By end-2024, all arriving Singapore residents and departing travellers will no longer be required to present their passports during immigration clearance at Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, and Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS)'s automated lanes.

Complementing this announcement, the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) has also shared that all foreign visitors arriving in Singapore, regardless of nationality, may use the automated lanes at Changi Airport without prior enrolment, effective May 2024.

This contactless immigration clearance initiatives listed above are part of the Immigration Checkpoint Authority's (ICA) previously established New Clearance Concept (NCC) initially announced in 2019, which covers two components:

  • NCC (Passenger) Clearance
    • Comprising automated clearance for all foreign travellers and contactless clearance for Singapore residents and all departing travellers
  • NCC (Conveyance) Clearance
    • Aims to provide a more seamless and efficient cargo clearance experience for industry partners via automation and paperless clearance

Per ICA's statement, the NCC (Passenger) initiative, are expected to reduce immigration clearance time at the passenger halls by about 40%.

To enable the NCC, ICA has been progressively replacing current automated lanes and manual counters with the Automated Border Control System (ABCS) at Singapore's checkpoints. This has resulted in roughly 600 such gates being installed in Changi Airport, MBCCS and the land checkpoints as of March 2024. By early 2026, 95% of travellers will be able to clear immigration via automated lanes at the checkpoints.

As part of the NCC, ICA has also enhanced its pre-arrival risk assessment capabilities. On top of prior risk assessments of arriving travellers conducted by ICA officers stationed at counters, ICA can now also assess travellers’ risk profiles before their arrival using pre-arrival data. Travellers flagged for security or immigration risks will undergo further assessment by ICA officers.

Enhancing roles at the ICA

In tandem with this transformation, ICA officers’ roles will also be enhanced. Officers will perform more complex tasks and develop deeper expertise in domain areas such as interview and profiling, and broader cross-cutting skills at the services centre. They will therefore be trained to take on more diverse and higher-value roles to safeguard Singapore’s borders.

In preparation of frontline officers taking on a wider scope of responsibilities under the NCC, ICA has rolled out training in profiling, investigative interviews, and NCC-related systems in phases since October 2020.

ICA has also incorporated service-related training through role-play exercises and scenarios, to better equip officers to engage travellers under the NCC. Looking ahead, it plans to put 4,000 frontline officers through these trainings by end-2024.

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