Singaporeans need a visa to visit these countries

The Singapore passport is one of the most welcomed by countries around the world.
The Singapore passport is one of the most welcomed by countries around the world.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Potential visitors to the United States have been stymied by an ongoing computer glitch that prevents officials from making visas and conducting security checks.

An average of 50,000 applications a day have reportedly been piling up since June 8, with the visa system not expected to be restored till next week.

Fortunately, Singaporeans were largely unaffected - those on business or tourism for less than 90 days do not need one in the US as they are allowed to travel under the country's Visa Waiver Program.

 

The Singapore passport, in fact, is one of the most widely accepted in the world, offering unrestricted access to 170 countries (out of 219). It was also ranked fifth - alongside New Zealand and Switzerland - in last year's annual global ranking based on freedom of travel.

Here are some notable countries (for a comprehensive list compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, click here), however, where Singaporeans still need a visa.

Angola

Singapore passport holders need to provide a letter requesting the issuance of visa, detailing the purpose of the trip and the length of stay and an International Vaccination Certificate, showing the holder's data and page with vaccination against yellow fever.

Proof of means of subsistence (equivalent to US$200 per day of stay) is also required. Otherwise, tourists will have to provide a formal declaration of obligation from the inviting person or organisation.

Australia

A popular destination for Singaporeans, all travellers to the country need to apply an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which is equivalent to a visa.

No stamp or label is required. The ETA is linked to your passport and accessible by airlines, travel agents and Australian border agencies. The ETA allows the holder to enter the country as many times as required within 12 months from date of issue, of up to three months per visit.

Belarus

A visa application must be submitted no fewer than three business days before a traveller's date of arrival to this landlocked Eastern European country.

It is then issued on arrival at Minsk International Airport. Seventeen countries - with varying periods of stay - enjoy visa-free entry.

Bhutan

The world's most reclusive country, nestled in the Himalayas, grants unfettered access only to visitors from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives.

Singaporeans require a valid visa and must also book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator, who will make the necessary arrangements.

India

Only citizens from Bhutan, the Maldives and Nepal are exempted from visa requirements.

Those travelling to India on holiday must obtain an e-Tourist Visa (introduced last year), which is valid for 30 days. An application must be made at least four days before the date of arrival.

Marshall Islands

The island country near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, which has a population of over 60,000 spread out over more than 1,000 islands, is open only to the US and two other island nations - Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Besides the usual supporting documents, an applicant's letter stating the purpose and duration of visit, a police record and a health clearance (both dated within the last three months) certifying that a person is free from HIV and Aids are required.

Myanmar

Citizens from six South-east Asian countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) have visa-free access up to 14 days.

Singaporeans will need a visa for travel to the country. An eVisa system solely for tourism was launched last September. Singaporeans with a visa are allowed a 28-day stay but arrival must be via the airports in Mandalay, Naypyitaw or Yangon.

Nigeria

The guidelines for visa application for travellers from Singapore include providing a letter of invitation from a company or hotel booking confirmation which indicating the NRIC or FIN number, name and designation of the signatory.

Tourists will also have to present a copy of a recent bank statement showing a minimum credit balance of S$70 per day of stay.

Pakistan

Only Singaporeans or foreigners holding a Singapore Dependent pass are allowed to apply for a visa. Travel agents are not allowed to apply it on behalf of the travellers.

Pakistani hosts or sponsors will have to provide an invitation letter with their full address, signatures and copy of their Pakistani ID or passport.

Papua New Guinea

Singapore citizens are among those who are able to get a single-entry tourist or business visa upon arrival.

List of countries that are allowed visa on arrival to PNG here.

Paraguay & Venezuela

Both South American countries have strict visa policies. Venezuela, for instance, requires visitors to present proof that they have enough money to last during their stay, and documents are also needed to show the traveller's next destination.

As there is no Paraguayan embassy in Singapore, those wishing to visit the country will need to contact the nearest embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, for more information on how to apply for one.

Russia

Singaporeans going to Russia for a holiday will have to purchase a tourist voucher, also known as Russian tourist invitation. The formal document is needed before applying for a tourist visa.

However, travellers on a specialised tour to address business issues with local partners, or going for medical consultation and medical examination will have to apply for a specific tourism visa instead.

Saudi Arabia

If you are not a citizen of a country belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and UAE), you need a visa.

The country is a popular destination for Singaporean Muslim pilgrims, who must register and apply for a separate visa through the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) when performing the annual Haj to Mecca. A new visa centre at Anson Road was set up last year to expedite the application process. Singapore's official Haj quota is 680.

mklee@sph.com.sg