If you’re using the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) to travel to Singapore as a returning long-term pass holder, or as a tourist with no residency rights in the city, there’s an extra step you need to take prior to your trip, which many of our readers are already familiar with – the Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) application.
This confirmation of your personal (passport) details and vaccination records allows you to enter quarantine-free via the VTL for any purpose, from one of 24 countries.
If you and your travelling companions are all Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, don’t worry – there’s no change to the current policy and you still don’t need a VTP to enter Singapore.
A VTP is only required for tourists / business visitors (short-term visitors) and Singapore Long Term Pass (LTP) holders, like those with a:
- Long-Term Visit Pass
- Student’s Pass
- Work Pass
- Dependant’s Pass
At the time of writing, S Pass and Work Permit holders in the Construction, Marine shipyard or Process (CMP) sectors, or who will be staying in dormitories, are not be allowed to apply for a VTP (Air). This does not apply to Malaysians and female work pass holders. More information is available here.
VTP application window
When the Vaccinated Travel Lanes with Germany and Brunei first launched in September 2021, applications for pass holders and visitors to travel to Singapore on the quarantine-free scheme had to be made from 7 – 30 days prior to the intended entry date.
Once approved, the VTP (Air) is then valid for use over a seven-day entry window, comprising your intended entry date and the six consecutive days after that, to give you flexibility in case of flight changes.
In late October 2021, the VTP application window was extended to 7 – 60 days prior to the intended entry date, allowing visitors and returning pass holders to plan trips further in advance. In particular, that gave pass holders the reassurance of being able to obtain a VTP for their return to Singapore before even departing, if they were taking a longer trip.
Unfortunately when the VTP application window opened for those arriving from Malaysia and Indonesia at 10am on 22nd November 2021, and 35,000 people tried to apply at the same time, things didn’t go too smoothly.
The server had apparently been scaled up to meet the predicted demand, but the ICA later said that upgrade had not been configured correctly. Needless to say – the portal crashed!
The ICA’s answer was to reduce volumes by limiting the application window, with those needing a VTP suddenly restricted to a 7 to 13 day window in advance of their intended entry date, which has been the new default setting for the last three weeks.
New 3 – 60 day window is now in force
Singapore’s ICA has now restored the former application window limit allowing those who need a VTP (Air) to apply 60 days before their intended entry date, and at the same time has also allowed people to make travel plans closer to their intended travel date, with a 3-day minimum notice period for applications, instead of 7 days.
That’s the most flexible VTP application window available so far, and allows shorter term trip planning to Singapore.
For example, a Work Pass holder in France can now apply on a Monday for entry into Singapore on Thursday the same week (and can then book a VTL flight departing on Wednesday morning, which lands on Thursday morning).
That’s far more flexible than the former policy, which would have left the same individual stuck in France until at least Sunday the same week (for an earliest arrival the following Monday).
VTP entry validity remains at seven days (intended arrival date + six further days). Here’s how it now looks from earliest application through to the latest entry date.
VTP Application & Validity Example
|18 Feb||18 Feb|
Do note that a VTP is valid only for single entry into Singapore, even during the week-long window illustrated in green above.
For example, you can’t arrive in Singapore on the first day of the VTP window then pop back to a VTL country again for a few days and return to Singapore a second time using the same VTP at the end of the window – you would need to apply for a new one!
Luckily, there is no limit to the number of times travellers can apply for a VTP, nor is there a cap on the number of VTPs that can be issued. If you meet the criteria and your vaccination records can be verified, your application is automatically approved.
Daily capacity limits on VTL flights into Changi apply to all travellers (including Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, who don’t require a VTP), and are managed by the airlines through booking caps, not by the ICA.Note: We are only outlining the VTP (Air) application process and timeline in this article. At the time of writing, applications for VTP (Land) passes for those arriving via the Woodlands Checkpoint from Malaysia are restricted to a +3 to +9 day window from the current date.
Amending your entry date
If you need to enter before or after the validity period specified on your approved VTP, you can write to the Safe Travel Office using this online enquiry form, or call the SafeTravel helpline at 6812 5555.
All appeals are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Cancelling your VTP
If you no longer wish to travel to Singapore under the VTL, you do not need to cancel your VTP.
There is no limit on the number of VTPs that can be issued from any country, so you are not holding up capacity for others by having multiple VTPs that you will not necessarily use.
How to apply
Thanks to reader Chris who applied for his VTP in September and took some screenshots along the way for us to share.
Each person requiring a VTP will need to apply individually (there is no ‘family VTP’ option). Your travel agent cannot apply for a VTP on your behalf, you must apply yourself.
To apply for the VTP you’ll need to provide:
- Your passport details (6 months+ validity)
- Your Long Term Pass details (if applicable)
- Other contact information
- The address where you’ll self-isolate in Singapore awaiting the on-arrival test result
- Your vaccination QR code* (up to two codes – one for each dose – required for those vaccinated in some countries)
* Only for those vaccinated outside Singapore
If you were vaccinated in the UK, for example, you’ll need to upload the vaccination QR codes for each dose from your NHS COVID Pass (two codes in total).
Further details regarding the format and upload requirements of the QR code(s) specific to your country of vaccination are available in the ICA’s FAQs here.
If you are a pass holder vaccinated in Singapore, and your status in the TraceTogether / HealthHub app reflects this, you won’t need to upload any QR codes.
The requirement to upload both QR codes for your first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses if you were vaccinated in some VTL countries is so that Singapore authorities can ensure the minimum number of days between doses was observed for your vaccine combination, in accordance with the following table:
|Manufacturer / Vaccine||Doses||Minimum interval between doses|
|Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty||2 doses||17 days|
|Moderna||2 doses||24 days|
|AstraZeneca||2 doses||24 days|
|Covaxin||2 doses||24 days|
|Serum Institute of India (Covishield)||2 doses||24 days|
|Janssen / J&J||1 dose||N/A|
|Sinopharm||2 doses||17 days|
|Sinovac||2 doses||13 days|
|Two doses of different vaccine types, both from the list above||2 doses||17 days|
For example if you received the Moderna vaccine in France and the doses were 21 days apart (for some reason) you will not be considered fully vaccinated for the purposes of the VTL. An interval of 24 days+ is required for Singapore to recognise the validity of this vaccine.
In all cases fully vaccinated status is effective 14 days after the final dose is administered, this will also be checked from the QR code details for the second dose (or only dose of Janssen / J&J), compared to your intended date of entry into Singapore.Pro Tip: You may have to take a screenshot of your vaccination certificate and crop each of the required QR codes (one for each dose in some cases), then save them individually as JPEG files to upload, for the VTP system to recognise them properly.
Vaccination QR code(s) may be deemed invalid for reasons including:
- Traveller’s particulars do not match with the particulars in the vaccination certificate
- Traveller is not fully vaccinated yet
- Interval between doses is less than the requirement
- Number of QR codes uploaded does not meet the criteria
- The QR code has been tampered with
- Traveller is not vaccinated in his/her declared country/region
Otherwise the VTP application form is self-explanatory.
You will also be asked to provide the type of accommodation and postal code of your residence or details of the hotel where you will self-isolate on arrival in Singapore, while awaiting your on-arrival PCR test result.
If you don’t have a suitable residence in Singapore, you can book any of the hotels on this list to self-isolate, though it is not exhaustive and the pre-populated list drop-down menu on the VTP application form allows you to select from a longer list of properties.
Actual flight details are not required. You do not require a confirmed flight booking to apply for a VTP.
An approved VTP does not guarantee you an available seat on a VTL flight, nor does having a booking on a VTL flight guarantee you a VTP approval. These are two things you need to arrange separately.
The VTP itself is free of charge.
Remember you will still have to pay for your on-arrival test at Changi Airport (S$125). It’s best to register with the Changi concierge and pre-pay for this before departure from your VTL country, as it will save you time when you reach Singapore.
In-Principle Approval pass holders
If you have been approved for a Work Pass in Singapore and hold an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, you can use the VTL to avoid quarantine on arrival, but you should apply for your VTP as a short-term visitor.
You’ll still need to comply with the VTL requirements (i.e. specified self-isolation location awaiting on-arrival test result, plus the post-arrival tests).
All travellers who successfully submit their application will be issued with a VTP immediately. Not only does ICA state this, it has been confirmed by all our readers so far who have applied (let us know if you had a different experience).
Once your VTP has been approved, you’ll receive an email confirmation.
We recommend having a printed copy of your VTP when you travel to Singapore, since you will be required to show it as part of the check-in process for a VTL flight.
You can also check your application status via the VTP application portal (click ‘Check VTP Application Status’), though any changes would be notified by email anyway.
What if the VTL is cancelled?
Singapore is remaining steadfastly committed to its VTL scheme for the time being, but of course the removal of one or more countries remains a possibility, especially with the spread of the Omicron variant.
That means your VTP approval can be withdrawn, as ICA states:
Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the relevant authorities in Singapore may introduce new measures or requirements as and when necessary to safeguard public health. This may result in changes to the VTL conditions or cancellation of the VTP at short notice. Applicants will be notified of any such changes or cancellation of their VTP.ICA
What the ICA doesn’t go on to say is what would happen, particularly to Singapore Pass Holders, if their VTP were to be cancelled while visiting a VTL country.
In the best case scenario, those already approved would be allowed to return to Singapore in accordance with the entry requirements for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, including quarantine and testing, applicable to non-VTL passengers arriving from the specific country.
In the worst case scenario, pass holders could be required to apply for re-entry (e.g. via the Work Pass Holder General Lane), which can be a ‘hit and miss’ process.
In either event, short-term visitors would probably not be able to travel to Singapore until their country was re-added to the VTL again.
For details of the VTL eligibility requirements, testing regime and full process, see our guide.
Most of our readers still don’t need to worry about the Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) application when using the VTLs, since it isn’t required for Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents.
However, for Singapore Long Term Pass holders and tourists visiting the Lion City it remains a requirement.
The recent limited application window has been quite restrictive, so it’s great to see this has now been extended to a +3 days to + 60 days period, which is much more flexible both for short notice trips and for reassurance when advance planning.
From reports we’ve received so far, the VTP application process is generally straightforward with instant approval. The uploading of vaccination QR codes for those not vaccinated in Singapore seems to be the most fiddly aspect, which might require some patience and a few attempts.
What are your experiences applying for the Vaccinated Traveller Pass? Let us know in the comments section below.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)