Foreigners can use automated lanes from H2 2024: ICA, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Foreigners can use automated lanes from H2 2024: ICA

All foreign visitors to Singapore, regardless of their nationality, may soon clear immigration here at air, land and sea checkpoints using automated lanes from 2024.

They will be able to do this without having to register beforehand.

And when they leave Singapore, they will not have to present their passports.

Singapore will be the first in the world to do this.

In its release of its 2023 annual statistics, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Feb 13 this will be done in the second half of 2024 with the introduction of the next-generation Automated Border Control System.

ICA said the new automated lanes will progressively replace existing lanes and manual counters at checkpoints, enabling Singapore residents and departing visitors to clear immigration without having to present their passports.

More than 160 automated lanes were installed in 2023, with another 230 lanes to be set up in 2024.

The automated lanes are part of ICA’s New Clearance Concept to provide seamless immigration clearance for all travellers by using multi-modal biometrics that capture a person’s iris, facial and fingerprint details.

Currently, the automated lanes can only be used by Singapore residents and passport holders from 60 jurisdictions.

ICA said there was a significant increase in traveller volume in 2023, with almost 193 million travellers cleared across all checkpoints.

This is an 84 per cent increase compared with 2022, when it cleared about 105 million travellers.

The total number cleared for 2023 is still slightly lower than before the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 217 million travellers cleared in 2019.

However, ICA said the traveller volume at land checkpoints during the school and public holidays periods had exceeded pre-pandemic levels since the reopening of borders in 2022.

It said traffic flow through Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints saw nearly 13.6 million travellers cleared, averaging about 440,000 travellers daily.

There were about 400,000 travellers at the land checkpoints daily during such periods before the pandemic.