This morning the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced that after 16 years, Singapore passports would finally be returning to a 10-year validity period, for new applications submitted from 1st October 2021.
That will save adult Singaporeans an average of S$7 a year to hold a passport, with the current documents valid for only five years.
The validity period of new passports issued to children below 16 years old will remain at five years, however, to allow for faster changes in facial features.
Why the change?
Singapore passports have been valid for 10 years before, like those of most other countries. That was the case until April 2005, when validity was halved to five years in preparation for biometric passports to be introduced the following year.
“Reducing the validity period in 2005 was to allow ICA to monitor the stability of the technology and incorporate enhancements, as necessary, when Singaporeans renew their passport…
“In view of these developments, ICA has assessed that it is now viable to increase the validity of the Singapore passport to 10 years without compromising security or global confidence in the Singapore passport.”Singapore ICA
It took just over 16 years for ICA to be fully satisfied with the changes, but they now are and new passports issued from 1st October 2021 will have a full 10-year validity.
You cannot ‘carry over’ any previous validity
Note that unlike the setup with the current five-year passport, where you can ‘carry over’ up to nine months of unused validity onto your next document, this will cease to apply when the 10-year passports are issued, with that new period representing the maximum permissible validity.
That is is order to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) recommendation that travel documents should not be valid for more than 10 years.