Free passports for more newborn citizens

The Government announced in August that Singaporean babies born in or after January next year will not need to pay application fees for their first passports.
The Government announced in August that Singaporean babies born in or after January next year will not need to pay application fees for their first passports.PHOTO: ST FILE

More newborn citizens will be getting their first passports free of charge.

In August, the Government announced that Singaporean babies born in or after January next year will not need to pay application fees for their first passports.

The move was part of a broader package to encourage more Singaporeans to get married and have babies.

Yesterday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it will extend the fee waiver to those born this year if their parents apply for their passports online next year, on or before their first birthday.

The usual passport application fee is $70.

The ICA said that parents collecting their child's birth certificate from hospitals or at the ICA Building in Kallang Road were notified of the change from yesterday.

From Jan 1 next year, parents who have eligible children will receive an electronic notification via the MyICA portal about the waiver.

By clicking on the notification, they can apply for their child's passport without having to pay the application fee.

The ICA also announced that from Jan 1 next year, children below six years old do not need to be present to collect their passports.

The ICA also announced that from Jan 1 next year, children below six years old do not need to be present to collect their passports. Parents can make an appointment to collect their child's passport at the ICA Building after they have completed the application process and received an e-mail or written notification from ICA.

Parents can make an appointment to collect their child's passport at the ICA Building after they have completed the application process and received an e-mail or written notification from ICA.

Those six years and older must still be present to collect their passports.

Their biometric identifiers such as iris images and fingerprints will be collected, and they will be able to use the automated lanes for immigration clearance at checkpoints, the ICA said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2019, with the headline 'Free passports for more newborn citizens'. Print Edition | Subscribe