Singapore residents and visitors will soon have the convenience of going through immigration clearance without the hassle of using a physical passport. Instead, they will go through the automated immigration clearance using biometric data.
Contactless Immigration Clearance
Apart of ICA’s New Clearance Concept (NCC), announced in 2019, Singaporeans and visitors will be able to clear checkpoints without the need for physical passports. Automated Border Control Systems (ABCS) will utilise biometrics, including facial and iris recognition, to enable a contactless clearance process.
From the first quarter of 2024, manual counters at airport and land passenger halls at checkpoints will gradually be replaced with ABCS lanes.
Driving in or out of Singapore?
For those that love to drive to Johor Bahru, a new system for travellers in cars will begin in Singapore’s customs in early 2024, Automated Passenger in Car Clearance Systems (APICS). At Tuas and Woodlands Checkpoint, travellers can create a profile with all passengers’ information and generate a QR code via the MyICA mobile app. ICA’s officers will scan the code at the manual immigration counters and will conduct facial image checks on the travellers with the QR data. This will save time from manually scanning passports and lessen the load on ICA officers. This system was briefly trialled in 2022, with most being able to use the system without assistance.
The APICS system is expected to be updated in the future with the implementation of QR codes and a biometrics system, eliminating the requirement for officers to be stationed at every lane. This will be rolled out at Tuas Checkpoint in 2026 and Woodlands checkpoint in 2028.