Nuts and bolts of visa processes to Singapore – student and short-term


Before travelling to Singapore or for that matter any country, be aware of your legal situation. Unless your country has a mutual agreement for visa waiver with the island nation, you need to apply for a Singapore Visa. It could be for a work permit, an entry visa or residence permit of Singapore.

Short-term visas are issued to tourists or travellers visiting Singapore for short durations. To ascertain which the proper visas for applying are, one has to take into consideration the applicant’s nationality, the period of intended stay and reasons for visiting the city-state.

But nationals of certain countries need to procure business or social visas. To find out which countries citizens need to apply for this check Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

But for all visas, the visitors need to have a passport with minimum of six months of validity still  remaining at the time of application, adequate money to last for the period you are planning to stay there, the intended duration of stay there, confirmed tickets for onward and return journeys,  completely filled up disembarkation and embarkation card, a vaccination certificate for yellow fever – this is applicable only to few countries and finally a valid Singapore Visa, which is required depending on the country you come from.


The short-term visa, which gets approved at the border, will contain the period of stay one is approved for. Do ensure that you do not overstay, for you are liable to be punished in this island nation. It is better that you apply for an extension, which is easy to get and ensure that you apply for it much before your approved period of stay is over.

For a Singapore Student Visa, one has to receive an offer letter from the educational institution for the course she/he has applied for.  Educational institutions or universities in Singapore will thereafter file on the behalf of a student a Singapore student pass to Singapore ICA (immigration and checkpoint authority).  Fee for student pass application differs from one institution to another. Applicants need to keep in mind that they can apply for a visa only fewer than 30 days before entry to Singapore.

Usually, it takes two to three weeks to obtain student visa passes for Singapore.  The student visa rules of Singapore mandate an applicant to show that she/he has enough money for subsistence while staying there. The proof must be at least one day old from the visa application date. If the money is in a fixed deposit account, a letter must be issued by the bank that confirms its availability. In addition, the letter from the bank must be dated fewer than 30 days prior to the visa application date.

An Indian student should SG$8,400 (INR 397,891) in addition to the tuition fees that one must pay. When applying for a student pass an Indian student in the city-state, one has to have on person  an  international student application form,  passport, a passport size photo –  which is less than six months old,  visa application fee, original Bank Statements – original from all sponsors for the past 28 days, transcripts of mark sheets beginning from 10th class until the final degree from which the student graduated and required maybe  fixed deposit receipts  or the sanction letter of bank loan.

It is suggested that students submit applications a minimum of two months prior to the course commencement.  In case the necessary documents are not in English language, copies of officially translated versions in addition to copies in the original language are needed.

One has to note that Singaporeans refer to every visa as a pass. Therefore, visas are referred to as student pass, dependent pass, social visit pass, employment pass, long-term social visit pass or S-Pass, which is a type of employment pass.

Though a Student Visa Application may be processed in two weeks, one can normally wait for four to five weeks before his/her visa is approved.

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