Huh, new passport is valid for just 9 months?, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Huh, new passport is valid for just 9 months?

This report has been updated with ICA's response.

You know you should check your passport when you get it back at a manned checkpoint counter, especially overseas.

Recently some Singaporeans got into trouble in Malaysia, allegedly after their passports were not stamped on entry, and they did not find out till they tried to return.

Now here is another situation in which you should check your passport - when you get it renewed.

This woman alleged, in a video on TikTok, that there was a wrong expiry date in her new passport when she got it from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) after a seven-week wait.

She later deleted her TikTok account and ICA clarified that it was not a printing error as suspected.

User Zenitsuwuwuwu had said on TikTok that the expiry date of her new passport, which should have been in 2032, was printed as 2023 instead.

The date of issue on her passport was shown as May 19, 2022, and the date of expiry as March 1, 2023.

Singapore passports for citizens aged 16 and above usually have a validity period of 10 years. 

Those planning to travel are advised to make sure that their passport is valid for at least six months before departure.

In this case, the new passport would now be valid for barely nine months.

The young woman said she needed it urgently for a university exchange trip to Germany and she was going to ICA, hoping to get the issue resolved.

ICA said in a statement on Saturday (June 4) that it was aware of the TikTok video which had been taken down.

"ICA would like to assure the public that there was no printing error in the woman’s passport," it said. "We have got in touch with the woman, who has turned up at ICA Building (on Friday, June 3) and closed the case with her."

The statement did not say if the expiry date was indeed correct, and if so, why the passport's validity period was so short.

Some of those planning to travel after the long period of Covid-19 restrictions have run into issues with their passports, as ICA works to clear an avalanche of renewal applications.

There have also been longer than usual waiting times.

Bottom line: Make your travel plans early and always check your passports.