Nov 14 2011
Welcome to Singapore! Depending what country you’re from, tourists are issued a visa-on-arrival which is valid for 30 to 90 days. This is more than enough time to see the sights, but if you need to extend your visa it couldn’t be easier. In fact, you don’t even need to get up from the computer – visas can be extended online through the e-XTEND service.
Visitors with a short-term social visit pass (which describes 99.99% of tourists) can apply for an online extension if they meet the following conditions:
- You haven’t already extended your visa;
- Your current visa is valid for 2 days or longer (excluding Sundays and public holidays);
- You’re not from a scary country (full list of acceptable countries here); and
- When you do leave Singapore, you’ll stay out for at least five days.
OK. Now here’s where it may get a little tricky:
For an extension up to 30 days, you can apply as an individual.
For an extension more than 30 days, you will need a local sponsor. This person must be over 21 and either a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. In the case that you are extending a visa because you are sick, Singapore hospitals can act as your sponsor and extend the visa on your behalf.
Though having a sponsor doesn’t complicate the process too much, I’ll assume you’re applying by yourself. Here’s what to do:
- Go to the e-XTEND website (to apply with a sponsor, they need to log in first);
- Enter some basic information like your name, gender, date of birth, country of birth, passport details, the general purpose of your visit (social, family visit), and the DE number from your arrival card (that white paper they staple into your passport when you enter Singapore). If you have a local address and phone number you can enter these, too;
- Submit the application; and
- The results will be available the next working day after 17:00. Check your status on the e-XTEND website by entering your passport and DE numbers.
If your application is successful, you need to make an online payment of S$40 to confirm the extension. It’s not necessary to print anything, but if it makes you feel more comfortable you can print the results and keep it in your passport.
If your application is unsuccessful, you can reapply in person at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority office near Lavender MRT. You cannot reapply online.
Do note that overstaying your visa is a serious offence in Singapore and is punishable by imprisonment, a monetary fine, or a few lashes of the cane (as one unfortunate American discovered in 2010). With the easy online extension service and the ability to travel to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and back in a couple hours, there is no excuse for overstaying!
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