New Web portal to make passport applications, renewals easier

Renewing or applying for a new passport may be done with a click on one's mobile phone in future.

That is the goal of MyICA, a new Web portal that the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) rolled out last month.

Users can log on to the portal - currently in its beta testing stage - with their SingPass to apply for a passport, identity card or address changes, among other services.

The digital push is part of the agency's plan to make its services more convenient, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday in his ministry's addendum to the President's Address.

The various ministries began issuing their addenda - statements that spell out their priorities and plans - yesterday, and will do so till Friday.

Their addenda are grouped into the five key priorities that President Halimah Yacob highlighted in her inaugural address on Monday, including securing Singapore's place in the world and building a world-class city.

Yesterday, Mr Shanmugam said the Home Team will also use technology to maintain homeland security. He noted that crime and terror threats are increasingly sophisticated, with criminal syndicates exploiting technology and operating across national boundaries.

"Online scams and online trafficking of drugs have become more prevalent," he said.

To tackle these challenges, the Home Team will "take bold and transformative steps to develop stronger capabilities, (and) leverage emerging technology for operations", he said.

For example, the new Home Team Operations Centre will be a nerve centre that will "employ cutting-edge technologies and harness data" to ensure a fast and coordinated response to threats.

The islandwide network of cameras and sensors will be further integrated so that the authorities can identify threats more efficiently, Mr Shanmugam added.

Besides MHA, the Defence Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and National Security Coordination Secretariat yesterday set out their plans to keep Singapore safe and secure .

The Transport Ministry, Environment and Water Resources Ministry and National Development Ministry summed up their initiatives to develop a world-class city.

In his ministry's addendum, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the rail network will expand another 130km by 2030. The Thomson-East Coast Line is being built, with the Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line to follow.

To improve rail reliability, the renewal of assets will be accelerated and maintenance of older rail lines intensified, he added.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong outlined his ministry's plans to transform Singapore, including greening the city further by expanding the network of green corridors from 310km to 400km.

"In this next phase of urban transformation, we must work even harder to distinguish ourselves from other global cities... We want to be an inclusive city for Singaporeans of all ages and abilities," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2018, with the headline 'New Web portal to make passport applications, renewals easier'. Print Edition | Subscribe