SINGAPORE - Only passport applicants with appointments or passports to be collected will be allowed into the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) building in Lavender from Monday (June 13).
Those who need to travel urgently but do not have appointments have to submit their appeals online, said ICA on Saturday (June 11). Those who cannot do so can visit the ICA building to get help in submitting the online appeal.
The new measures apply only to passport services and do not affect other ICA services.
The move to limit the number of people entering the building comes amid long queues at the building following the broad reopening of Singapore's borders in April.
ICA said many applicants had visited to check on their applications or to ask for them to be expedited, which resulted in additional officers deployed for crowd management and other services.
"ICA has thus reviewed our processes to facilitate passport issuance," it said.
"The current resources committed to manage the long queues and on-site requests will be redeployed to expedite the processing and issuance of passports."
ICA said that from Monday, it will accept walk-ins only for passport applicants who have been notified by ICA to collect their passport, submit supporting documents and/ or resubmit photographs.
These applicants must show one or more supporting documents to be allowed entry. For example, those collecting their passport must show their e-appointment booking for passport collection, while those submitting documents must show their e-mail notification.
ICA advised applicants collecting their passports to do so alone, to reduce crowding. Children, the elderly, and those who require special assistance may be accompanied by one other person.
It also encouraged eligible applicants to arrange to collect their passports at one of the 27 post offices islandwide. There is no additional fee for this method of collection.
Passport applicants who do not have any appointment can still contact ICA online.
Applicants who want to check on their passport application status can log on to the MyICA website.
Those with other enquiries on passport matters can refer to ICA's website or contact it via its live chat.
"Those who are unable to perform the above themselves and do not have proxies to assist them, may visit ICA building for assistance on submitting their passport-related appeals online," added ICA.
ICA also said that it has been producing and issuing passports at an "unprecedented rate" in response to the surge in passport applications since March 2022.
It currently issues more than 5,000 passports per day - almost thrice the number in 2019, before Covid-19. To achieve this, more officers have been redeployed to process and produce passports round the clock.
Said ICA: "ICA officers are working hard to process the passport applications. We seek Singaporeans' understanding on our revised process to only allow walk-in for specific passport matters during this period."