TL;DR – The processing time for passports is now at least six weeks, up from the four-week processing time in early April.
If you are one of those Singaporeans who are dying to travel again, especially during the coming June school holidays, and are planning to apply for or renew your passports, you might want to take note of the new processing time for passports now.
According to the latest update from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the processing time for passports is now estimated to be at least six weeks, due to “overwhelming passport applications”.
Reportedly, the number of passport applications has “spiked” to more than 7,000 per day since Singapore eased travel restrictions. At its peak, ICA said that it received 14,000 applications in a day. This is compared to about 2,000 applications per day pre-COVID.
In March, ICA said that the number of passport applications it has received was “unprecedented”, due to the pent-up demand of 1 million expired and expiring passports with the COVID-19 border restrictions in place.
More resources allocated to cope with high demand
ICA said that they are doing their best to handle the high demand and their officers are working longer hours during this period.
The authority has also allocated more resources to cope with the high demand, such as adding more passport counters.
“We have also set up additional queue areas and conducted triaging to direct members of public to the right location. They are advised to follow the signages placed on-site and instructions given by officers when entering ICA building,” said ICA.
For Singaporeans who need to travel urgently, ICA said they are required to produce supporting documents in person at ICA building for assessment on a case-by-case basis.
Those who are collecting their passports are also encouraged to make an appointment to collect their documents at any SingPost outlet, instead of at the ICA building, at no additional fee involved.