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July 3, 2008

New passes for foreigners residing in Singapore
The Singapore government will introduce a new long-term pass card to all foreigners residing here beginning from the second half of the year as part of its initiative to enhance national security, reported Malaysia national news agency Bernama.

The new pass, to be introduced in phases, will replace the current stamp endorsement on the travel documents and the paper-laminated disembarkation and embarkation card issued to long-term pass holders, according to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

In a statement, ICA said those holding the student pass, long-term visit pass, employment pass and dependant’s pass would need to change it for the new pass.

ICA said the new pass would have better security features compared to the present paper-laminated card and would contain similar biometric features as those in the Singapore National Registration identity card to provide a secure means of identifying individuals and facilitate travel.

The card which will bear the photograph and fingerprint of all cardholders above the age of 15, will enable government agencies such as ICA and the Manpower Ministry to verify the cardholder’s identity through face and fingerprint matching.

The enhanced security features and personal identifiers on the new pass would deter forgery and fraudulent use of the card, the ICA said.

The cardholders would also be able to enjoy expedited and automated immigration clearance at major checkpoints around Singapore if their foreign-issued passports were compliant with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, it added.

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