ICA has new rules so more Singaporean babies get passports for free – here’s who’s eligible and how to apply

Babies born in 2019 and 2020 will now get fee waivers on their first Singapore passports.

Welcomed a new bundle of joy this year and already thinking of travelling? Congratulations, your baby is now eligible to apply for a passport for free.

Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority said on Tuesday (Oct 15) that it had revised the eligibility criteria of a passport fee waiver announced as part of the marriage and parenthood package in August, so that parents of babies born in 2019 can be included.

The initial announcement had limited the S$70 application fee waiver to babies born on or after January 1, 2020.

ICA said the implementation was “meant to be a small token to celebrate the birth of a new citizen”, adding that the criteria had been adjusted “in view of appeals”.

The fee waiver will now be applied to applications submitted from January 1 next year, as long as it is submitted on or before the child’s first birthday. Only online applications submitted through the ICA website are eligible for the fee waiver.

This means that babies born on January 1 this year will also be eligible for the fee waiver, as long as parents wait until New Year’s Day next year to submit the first passport application.

Parents who collect their child’s birth certificate from the hospital or at the ICA Building from Tuesday will be notified of the revised eligibility criteria, ICA said.

From next year, parents of newborns will receive an electronic notification via MyICA about the waiver on their personal dashboards. They can then click on that notification to directly start the passport application.

Parents who log on directly to ICA’s passport e-Service to apply for their child’s first passport will also receive an electronic notification about the waiver upon entering their child’s birth certificate number, if their child is eligible.

From next year, ICA will also not require children below the age of six to be present for passport collection. Parents can collect their child’s passport at the ICA Building once they have been notified to make an appointment.

Children aged six and above must be present for collection as their biometric identifiers – such as fingerprints and iris images – need to be enrolled at the point of collection. This will allow them to use the automated lanes for immigration clearance at the checkpoints.

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