Soon, People Leaving S’pore Won’t Need to Present Their Passports Anymore


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Fun fact: The Johor-Singapore Causeway is the busiest border checkpoint in the world, with about 350,000 people crossing daily.

During school and public holiday periods, an average of 440,000 travellers cross the Singapore-Malaysia border daily. This exceeds pre-COVID-19 levels of 400,000 travellers a day.

Additionally, Changi Airport was ranked the fifth-busiest international airport in the world by OAG Aviation in 2023 by airline seat capacity. According to OAG, Changi Airport had a total international seat capacity of 36.1 million in 2023.

With so many travellers going in and out of Singapore everyday, long queues are unavoidable.

That is, for those who aren’t able to use the automated lanes reserved for Singaporeans and nationals from 60 countries.

These automated lanes are fast, but you still need to use your passport.

That’s going to change soon.

Automated Lanes for All Foreign Visitors

From the second half of 2024, all foreign visitors, not just those from the 60 countries will be able to clear immigration at air, land, and sea checkpoints through the automated lanes mentioned above.

These include those visiting Singapore for the first time.

No prior registration is required, and here’s the thing: visitors will not even need to present their passports when they leave Singapore.

The current automated lanes are decently fast, taking about two minutes per person. However, you still need to scan your passport.

Singapore will be the first country in the world to implement this.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced that the simplified clearance procedure will be made possible through the implementation of the “next generation” Automated Border Control System (ABCS).

These contactless ABCS lanes will replace existing automated lanes and manual counters at all checkpoints. They will allow Singapore residents and departing visitors to clear immigration even faster than before.

You know how there are always groups of people fumbling through their bags to find their passports? This won’t happen anymore as ABCS lanes allow you to pass through without having to present your passport.

But you should still bring your passport along though, as other countries may require it.


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This clearance process is a result of the ICA’s Automated Clearance Initiative (ACI), aiming to provide travellers with a more secure, efficient, and seamless immigration clearance experience.

During the arrival clearance process, foreign visitors’ biometrics (iris, facial, and fingerprint images) will be automatically enrolled if they had not already been enrolled during a previous trip to Singapore.

Enrolled foreign visitors will subsequently be able to use any automated lane when they depart and during future trips to Singapore.

ICA said in their Annual Statistics Report that over 160 automated lanes were installed in 2023, and another 230 lanes will be set up in 2024.

More lanes equals to shorter queues and waiting times, and you know what that means – you can get home faster and eat the bak chor mee you’ve been craving for weeks while overseas.


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With a whopping 84% increase in traveller volume from 105 million travellers in 2022 to 192.8 million in 2023, these lanes come just in time.

ICA notes that it will be able to increase its clearance throughput and meet the growing traveller volume as automated lanes occupy less physical space and require less manpower than manual counters.

ICA officers are have been training since early 2023 to perform profiling, assessment, and investigative work, beyond immigration counter duties.

Automated clearance has also became the default for those who travel by bus following the installation of over 90 automated lanes at the bus halls of Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.

Notably, this has allowed about 8,500 travellers to clear the checkpoint every hour, a 70% increase from pre-pandemic levels. ICA noted that faster clearance has resulted in more travellers opting to cross over by bus.

Faster clearance is great because I’m sure I’ll be crossing the border more after GST got hiked up again…


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Soon, you won’t even need your passports when you want to cross over to Johor Bahru by car. Yes, even the Causeway checkpoints will be contactless and automated.

All you’ll need is a QR code.

Imagine crossing the border in under an hour or even under 30 minutes. Time to go every weekend.