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Singapore Student Visa

So you’re one of the select few who received an admission offer from a Singaporean university. After you accept the offer, you will need to apply for a visa that will permit you to study in Singapore for the duration of your course.

To apply for a visa to study in Singapore, you will need a valid Indian passport.


What type of Visa will I receive?

Indian students do not need to apply for a visa separately to pursue an undergraduate degree/diploma in Singapore. However, they do need to apply for a ‘Student’s Pass’.

A Student’s Pass is a document that allows International students to enter and pursue a degree or diploma course in Singapore from registered ‘Institutes of Higher Learning’ or IHLs. These IHLs include:

National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and some other foreign institutes.

Your Student’s Pass will generally be valid for the entire duration of your course.

There will be strict regulations regarding work while you are in Singapore on the basis of this Student’s Pass. Generally, you will not be allowed to work for more than 16 hours a week (during term time), although you will be allowed to work full – time during vacations

To be eligible to apply for a Student’s Pass, you need to have been accepted by an IHL for a full time undergraduate program and possess an offer letter for the same.

Once you accept the offer, your university/college will upload your details on the SOLAR (Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration) website. After this you will be required to fill and submit the Student Pass application form on the SOLAR website.

You must apply for a Student’s Pass at least one, but not more than 2 months before the start of your course. If your application is accepted, you will receive an ‘In Principle Approval’ or IPA Letter along with an enclosed single – entry visa into Singapore.


What is an ‘In Principal Approval’ Letter or IPA Letter?

An ‘In Principal Approval’ Letter or IPA Letter is an official document that is issued by the ICA (Immigration and Checks Authority, Singapore) through your university/college. It confirms that your Student’s Pass application has been approved. It is a very important document without which you will not be able to enter Singapore. For Indian students, the IPA Letter has an enclosed visa that will allow you to enter Singapore.

Students who have been accepted by a university/college in Singapore will only receive an IPA Letter once they have filled the Student’s pass application form on the SOLAR website and paid the fee, provided it is approved.

It will generally take the ICA (Immigration and Checks Authority, Singapore) a minimum of 10 days from the day you apply for the Student’s Pass to process your application and provide you with an IPA Letter (if approved).


What is a Disembarkation/Embarkation Card?

A Disembarkation/Embarkation Card is a document issued to international students entering Singapore on a Student’s Pass. You will need to enter your personal details in this card and then get it certified from the immigration authorities at the airport. Apart from your personal information, the card will also mention the proposed duration of your stay in Singapore. It ensures that you have entered Singapore legally.

You cannot enter Singapore without an IPA Letter and an approved Disembarkation/Embarkation Card. You will have to return this card once you leave Singapore upon the completion of your program.


How to apply for a Student’s Pass?

To be able to apply for a Student’s Pass, you will first need to accept the admission offer sent to you by the college/university.

After you accept the offer, the university/college will register you by uploading your information on the SOLAR website:

This will include uploading your personal and course details along with a SOLAR Application Reference Number.

You will be only able to apply for a Student’s Pass once the university/college has registered you through SOLAR and provided you with the login information. Visit the SOLAR website and fill the ‘eForm 16’.

After you fill and submit the eForm 16, you will need to take a print out of the eForm that will need to be submitted at the ICA (Immigration and Checks Authority) office once you reach Singapore (Completion of Formalities).

If your Student’s Pass application is approved, the ICA will provide you with an IPA (In Principal Approval) Letter through your university/college. This will also include your entry visa. The processing of your application will generally take around 10 days.

You can enter Singapore with your IPA Letter, Passport and Disembarkation/Embarkation Card.

Do keep in mind that you will not be issued a Student’s Pass at the Singapore Airport. Rather, you will only be issued a short term ‘Social Visit Pass’ upon entry.

Once you enter Singapore, you will need to report to the ICA office or your university in due time, and furnish the required documents. This is known as ‘Completion of Formalities’. Only then will you be issued a Student’s Pass.

Study in Singapore