Singapore - Consular Information Sheet
December 20, 1999
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Singapore is a small, highly developed parliamentary
democracy. Tourist facilities are modern and widely available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport is required. U.S.
citizens do not need a visa if their visit is for business or
pleasure and their stay is for 90 days or less. The Government
of Singapore generally allows Americans to enter with less than
six months remaining on their passport, but some neighboring countries,
particularly Indonesia, do not. Specific information about entry
requirements for Singapore may be sought from the Embassy of the
Republic of Singapore at 3501 International Place, N.W. Washington,
D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 537-3100. Please see also the Singapore
Government home page on the Internet at http://www.gov.sg/.
DUAL NATIONALITY: Singapore does not recognize dual nationality
and strictly enforces universal national service for all male
citizens, permanent residents, until the age of 21. Travel abroad
of Singaporean males may require Singapore government approval
as they approach national service age and may be restricted when
they reach seventeen-and-a-half years of age. Dual nationals and
their parents should contact the Ministry of Defense upon arrival
in Singapore to determine if there will be a national service
obligation. For additional information, please see the Bureau
of Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our dual nationality flyer,
and contact the Ministry of Defense Central Manpower Base (tel.
65-373-3127), or the Internet site at http://www.mindef.gov.sg/dag/cmpb/.
CRIME INFORMATION: Major crimes against tourists in Singapore
are uncommon. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and purse or
briefcase snatching occur in tourist areas, hotels and at the
airport. Travelers should exercise the same caution that they
would in any large city. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport
should be reported immediately to the local police and to the
U.S. Embassy. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State’s
pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad
for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet
is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet
or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Good medical care is widely available.
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical
evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars
or more. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate payment for
health services by credit card or cash. Recipients of health care
should be aware that effective June 1, 1999, Ministry of Health
auditors in certain circumstances may be granted access to patient
medical records without the consent of the patient, and in certain
circumstances physicians may be required to provide information
relating to the diagnosis or treatment without the patient’s consent.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Please check with your own insurance
company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including
provision for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment
will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you
will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance
policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for
disposition of remains in the event of death. Travelers have found
that, in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific
overseas coverage, including provision for medical evacuation,
has proven to be useful. Useful information on medical emergencies
abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in
the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure
Medical Information for Americans
Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international
travelers at tel. 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or the CDC Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Singapore is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban road conditions/maintenance: Excellent
Rural road conditions/maintenance: Excellent
Availability of roadside assistance: Excellent
Driving in Singapore is similar to driving during rush hour in
large cities in the United States, although traffic moves on the
left. Motorists should be particularly aware of motorcyclists,
who often ignore lane markings. Lanes are frequently closed without
warning due to constant construction throughout the city. Public
transportation and taxis are abundant and inexpensive. Visitors
should consider taking taxis or public transportation, which is
widely available, inexpensive and reliable. Roadside assistance
is provided by the Automobile Association of Singapore, and the
Land Transport Authority has rescue vehicles on the road at all
hours. In addition, all roads are monitored by closed circuit
cameras, and there are "SOS" phones along all expressways.
As with all laws in Singapore, those involving traffic rules,
vehicle registration, and liability in case of accident are strictly
enforced and may involve criminal penalties.
For specific information concerning Singaporean driver’s permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact
the Singaporean National Tourist Board located at 590 Fifth Ave.,
Twelfth floor, NY 10036 at tel. 1-212-302-4861, or fax: 1-212-302-4801,
or via the Singaporean Government’s web site via the Internet
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Singapore’s civil aviation
authority as Category 1 - in compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Singapore’s air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit
the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. 1-618-229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Singapore Customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Singapore of items such as firearms, illegal drugs,
certain religious materials, chewing gum, videotapes, CD’s, and
software (for censorship or pirating reasons). It is advisable
to contact the Embassy of Singapore in Washington, D.C., for specific
information regarding customs requirements.
Singapore Customs officials encourage the use of an ATA (Admission
Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission
of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for
exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located
at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of
the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA
Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please
call (212) 354-4480, or send e-mail to email@example.com or
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Singaporean laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested
Visitors should be aware of Singapore’s strict laws and penalties
for a variety of actions that might not be illegal or might be
considered minor offenses in the United States, including jaywalking,
littering and spitting, as well as the importation and sale of
chewing gum. Singapore has a mandatory caning sentence for vandalism
offenses. Caning may also be imposed for immigration violations
and other offenses.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and fines. Singapore has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics
offenses. Commercial disputes that may be handled as civil suits
in the United States can escalate to criminal cases in Singapore
and result in heavy fines and prison sentences. There are no jury
trials in Singapore. Judges hear cases and decide sentencing.
The Government of Singapore does not provide legal assistance
except in capital cases.
CONSULAR ACCESS: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry
a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that,
if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship
are readily available. Singapore is not a signatory to any international
conventions on consular access, but, in practice, Singapore officials
do notify the U.S. Embassy when an American is arrested and do
allow visits by the consular officer.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Automated money machines are plentiful
in Singapore and are the best method of obtaining cash. Bank transfers
generally take weeks, and surcharges are steep. Americans may
be asked by police or employers to surrender their passports in
lieu of surety (guaranteed) bonds. Americans should carefully
consider whether they wish to surrender their passport rather
than seek some other type of surety, particularly if the passport
is requested by someone who is not a government official (e.g.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Singapore conducts extensive disaster
preparedness training. General information about natural disaster
preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children, international parental child abduction, and international
child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or
visiting Singapore are encouraged to register at the Consular
Section of the U.S. Embassy in Singapore which has updated information
on travel and security within Singapore. The Embassy is located
at 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508, tel.  476-9100, fax 476-9340,
home page web address: http://www.usembassysingapore.org.sg.
In case of emergencies after working hours, the duty officer at
the Embassy may be contacted by calling tel.  476-9100.