SINGAPORE – Singaporeans with year-end travel plans should apply for new passports now if they are holding expired passports or passports with less than six months validity.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in an advisory on Thursday (August 18) that doing so will help to avoid another surge in applications for passports towards the end of the year.

“(This will) provide sufficient time for ICA to meet the demand for year-end travels,” the ICA added. “Singaporeans who submit their passport late will risk not being able to collect their passport in time for their travel.”

The ICA advisory comes after a surge in passport applications earlier this year, when travel resumed after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At that time, Singaporeans had to wait for at least six weeks for their new passports to be ready.

In May, the ICA said that the number of passport applications had increased to more than 7,000 a day, compared with 2,000 daily before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ICA now produces about 6,500 new passports daily.

Applicants can submit their application online via the ICA website or MyICA Mobile.

To avoid further delays, ICA said that travellers should ensure that the photograph they submit meets ICA’s photo guidelines.

Photographs must be taken with even brightness, within the last three months and with a neutral facial expression. The shoulders and hair must be fully visible and the photo background must be white in colour.

Applicants who would like to check on their passport application status can do so by logging on to the MyICA website.