Singapore now offers 96-hour Visa Free Transit for Indians

Singapore has been one of the biggest draw for Indians, and a long standing hub for Indian passengers to transfer to Japan/Australia as well as the North American continent who chose to fly west. However, it always sounded odd that they could not enter the country unless they had a separate visa for Singapore. I remember back in 2013, I could not organise a visa in time, and I was at the lounge for the whole 15 hours I was in Singapore. A client of our mileage redemption service recently flew Singapore Airlines Suites Class from Australia to India, however, he needed a separate visa as well for Singapore.

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But this has been changed as of October 2016. The new rules notified by the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority now allow for a 96-hour Visa Free Transit Facility for Indians, on one leg of their trip (outbound or return) when travelling from India to a third-country by air. To be admitted Visa Free, here are the requirements for Indian passengers:

  • You need to have a valid onward air ticket with journey commencing within 96-hours of arrival.
  • You need a valid visa/long-term pass (with a validity of at least 1 month from the date of entry into Singapore) issued by the any of the following countries:
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • United Kingdom
    • United States of America
    • Germany
    • Switzerland
  • Single Journey Visas (SJV) issued by the above countries are also acceptable when transiting through Singapore on the onward or return leg of the same journey. For those on the return leg of the journey, i.e. after the SJV has been utilized, the following conditions must be met:
    • The traveller travels directly from the country that issued the SJV, on route through Singapore, directly back to the home country; and
    • The traveller has not returned to their home country since the SJV was last utilized.

How does this work?

So if you have long term residency or visas (such as the US B1/B2) on your passport, you should be able to go through to Singapore without a visa when travelling to any country. Let us say, you are doing a Mumbai-Singapore-Seoul trip and you would like to enter Singapore for a 2 night halt, you could flash your 5-year or 10-year American visa (B1/B2 at the least), and go into Singapore.

However, if you have a single visit visa to Japan, then you can only do, for example, a Mumbai-Singapore-Tokyo trip, and stop at Singapore on one of the legs of your journey.

It does strike me as odd that instead of the entire Schengen Zone, Visa Free Transit is offered only against long term Visa issued specifically by Germany and Switzerland.

Another point to remember, the 96 hour transit cannot be extended under any circumstances, so don’t bank on that if you need to stay longer.

Here is the exact notification from the ICA. You can use this privilege with any carrier and not just Singapore Airlines.

Bottomline

This is great news for us, because this means that Indians can now plan a journey to/through Singapore while going to other countries, and this should add to the attractiveness of Singapore as a transit destination.

Will you be considering utilizing the Singapore Visa Free Transfer Facility in the future?

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Comments

  1. I am going to Philippines in the month of November via singapore,I will return on 30 November via singapore my connecting flight to mumbai is after all most 24 hour’s, can I get singapore transit visa at singapore airport?

  2. Hi Ajay.

    do you have any official link stated above policy?
    am traveling to India from Australia via Emirates and then 3 days stop over in SG then onward is via air India
    will I get a transit visa, as I the to need to collect my bags also?
    I saw one on SG immi link, but looks like after renewal of their website they have removed the particular page, if possible please share in case got in a situation where airline denies to same can show as evidence

  3. I would like to fly DXB-PVG , and return PVG-DXB, through singapore, I would like to know I need a singapore tourist visa, I am not going out side the airport(lay over time is 9.05 hours, in my return flight.
    If I need to go out the air port, I can eligible for a free transit visa, I am an Indian National(UAE residency visa)

    Thanks,
    Noushad

  4. I am an Indian Passport holder having B1/B2 US visa valid for 10 years. I am in US now and have return ticket to New Delhi via Singapore from San Francisco.I am leaving US on 24th July’17,will be reaching Singapore at 19:10 hrs on 25th July’17 & have booking to board flight from Singapore on 29th July at 17:30 hrs.
    Can I get transit visa at Singapore to go for sight seeing in Singapore during 25th Juluy to 29th July.I have made all bookings for stay in hotel but do not have singapore visa.
    Pl guide with your experience.
    Deepak

      • I have used this finally myself and the immigration office did not check much other than my US Visa. So all in all if you have the visa of the countries mentioned it is easy to get the 96hr Visa.

  5. Can anyone here help me get a clear answer to this:
    – I am an indian passport holder
    – I live in the US and have an H1B visa valid for the next 3 years
    – I am traveling in SE asia. My flight to Singapore will be from New Zealand and onward to Vietnam
    – Am i eligible for VFTF even though my itinerary does not include India?

  6. Me and my wife have a layover of 17 hours in Singapore while returning from Bali. I have a US visa but my wife doesnt, will we both be able to avail the VFTF facility?

  7. I am a citizen of India. I am traveling to Australia via Singapore with a valid 3 month visitor visa. I have a layover of 19 hrs in Singapore. Will I be able to get VFTF?

    Thank you.

  8. If I don’t get free transit visa, can I still remain in SG airport transit zone for few hours? I have separate tickets

    • You must check with your airlines that whether you’ll get your both boarding passes at origin airport or you can get your second boarding pass at transit area in Singapore. If yes then you can remain in transit area and no need for a Singapore visa.

      But if not then you need to collect your second boarding pass from Singapore airport check-in hall. That means you’ll need to clear the Singapore immigration and will require a Singapore visa.

      http://www.changiairport.com/en/passenger-guide/transit.html

  9. All Bullshit, Can’t you guys read it correctly…Its not for all Indians but only those Indians resident in those listed countries!!. Discrimination all the way!!!

  10. OK, so this is for transit only. However, I believe separate tickets should be ok. eg, XXX-SIN-XXX on one ticket, and SIN-YYY-SIN on a different ticket (this is often convenient die to low cost local carriers like Air Asia, Tiger Airways, etc.)

    As far as I can see, you can not just visit SIN with this facility even for under 96 hours.

  11. I am Indian Passport holder studying in china, i want to go back to India via Singapore transit about 30hrs, so i need visa or i can get VFTF there.

  12. I am travelling to Jakarta via Singapore in May 2017. I have a five hour lay off. I have to check in afresh since I am travelling by different airlines. I have a valid US B1/B2 visa till Feb 2027. Will I be eligible for Visa free Transit facility or do i have to take a Visa.

  13. Does it apply to return trip from US to India via Singapore? I have a 33hr layover at Singapore while coming from US to India.

  14. Dear All,

    I am currently in Australia on Australian Visa (valid for 4 years) and will be visiting India in Feb’17. I wish to visit Singapore in transit for 2 days. I have gone though the policy on ICA website and also had a talk to ICA customer care executive (they said it is upto Immigration officer to grant VFTF). I have doubt as there is a lot of confusion and what to be sure of my entry in Singapore.

    It will be great if someone can please share there recent personal experience on VFTF in Singapore.

    Thanks
    Jayant

    • Hi Jayant,
      did you end up using the VFTF in singapore? how was your experience?

      thanks
      mayank

      I am travelling in two weeks too. so wanted to know someone’e personal experience.

        • Hi Neha,
          We availed VFTF and easily got 96hours visa without any hassle. There was some confusion among airlines staff while boarding the singapore flight as they were not aware of this facility. We just showed them the VFTF information from singapore’s website and they spoke to their seniors and it was all fine. You don’t have to worry or don’t have to apply for any visa if you have Indian passport and decent time validity visa for countries like Australia, canada etc. If you any questions, don’t hesitate, i might be able to help. Internet is full of mixed reviews. But my personal experience was good and very easy.
          Mayank

          • Hi, Mayank.

            Thank you for this information. I live in Canada( valid Visa for next 4 months) and heading to Indonesia next week for about 10 days. Fortunately, no Visa is required for entry into Indonesia. I purposely chose 30-hour layover in Singapore to spend a night in the city. From your comments, it appears that getting a VFTF was not an issue and I am hoping it wouldn’t be for me as well.

            • Hi A Sud,
              Just wanted to know what your experience was since you have the same situation as me. You flew Canada -> Singapore -> Indonesia and your trip did not involve India even though you have an Indian passport. Is that right?

              If so, I have the same situation. U.S. -> Singapore layover -> Vietnam with a U.S visa and an Indian passport.

          • hi Mayank,
            Thanks for the update. i have a query…are we allowed to use this facility for one way travel as well.

            If anyone has any similar experience please let me know.

          • Hi Folks,

            I live in India and have a valid Indian Passport.I am planning to visit Indonesia via Singapore from Mumbai for short trip within 15 days(with valid air tickets for Mumbai- Singapore-Indonesia. Indonesia don’t have visa for Indians.
            I have a layover of 11 hours in Changhi Airport (Singapore) and I want to utilised my layover time. Will it be possible to get VFTF to move around in Singapore before one leg journey to Indonesia?

          • Hi Mayank,

            I am travelling to China from Mumbai via Singapore.I hold a valid US/UK Long term visa.Is the VFTF applicable since I am not travelling to any of the 7 countries mentioned.

  15. Hi Ajay
    Cant thank you enough for introducing me to the world of right credit cards, points, miles & 10X !
    Was wondering if below is my situation, is it ripe to avail the 96 hour VFTF facility ?

    1. I have a Type C UK visit visa valid till end march 2017
    2. Indian passport with enough blank pages valid for the next 5 years
    3. Looking to transit via Singapore from Vietnam
    4. With a valid return ticket to India
    5. With Singapore hotel bookings in place

    I believe I can avail…but looking for reiteration from the MFFE’s (More Frequent Flying Experts) πŸ™‚

    TIA

    SS

    • Hi Jeevan,
      I also have layover of 9hrs..I need to rechin my baggage there in Singapore.Do I need to take transit VISA?what’s the cost of it?
      Can I go outside with this VISA?

    • @Rajiv, like I said before, there was a maybe we will let them in policy before, now this is a definitely policy. You can do an internet search and find the old policy still plastered on a lot of travel agent websites. However, this is the ICA website.

  16. This wording of this information is wrong. The facility has been available since ever. I have used it twice in the past, 2006 and 2010. I think it used to be 72 hours but now it’s 96. 2006 was when flying to China and 2010 was when flying to New Zealand. China doesn’t seem to feature in the list above.

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