Foreigners studying, visiting and working in Singapore on a long term will be issued a new pass in the coming months, as part of Government's effort to enhance national security.
The new Long Term Pass (LTP) will replace the current stamp endorsement on travel documents and the paper-laminated Disembarkation/ Embarkation(r D/E) for foreign holders of Student's Pass (STP), long term visit pass, Employment Pass (EP) and Dependant's Pass.
The LTP card will have better security features compared to the present paper-laminated card, with similar biometric features as those in the Singapore National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) to provide a secure means of identifying individuals and facilitate travel, said a Government statement on Wednesday.
The LTP card will carry the photograph and fingerprint of all cardholders aged 15 and above. Fingerprint registration for those between six and 14 years is optional, and children five years and below are exempted.
With the added personal identifiers on the LTP card, government agencies such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be able to verify the cardholder's identity through face and fingerprint matching.
The enhanced security features will also deter forgery and fraudulent use of the card.
LTP cardholders will also be able to enjoy expedited and automated immigration clearance at major checkpoints around Singapore.
All new long term visit pass and student pass holders will be issued with the new cards in the second half of the year, while existing holders will have theirs converted to the new pass in phases, or when they are renewed.
For the convenience of STP holders, ICA has made arrangements with selected education institutions to conduct the registration of fingerprints on campus.
MOM will open a new employment pass services centre in the second quarter of next year to register and issue the new LTP cards to holders of Employment Pass, EntrePass, Personalised Employment Pass, Training Employment Pass, Work Holiday Pass and Dependants Pass and long term visit pass.
More details, such as the actual design and security features of the LTP card, will be released later.