The Lion City of Singapore is a popular study destination and attracts a huge number of students from all around the world for its quality academic programs and affordable educational costs. Singapore is amongst the first-world countries and is home to the world’s strongest and biggest ports, economies, as well as financial centres and internationally, recognised higher education institutions. Studying in Singapore comes with various perks but while applying for a program, you need a student visa to pursue higher studies in the country. If you are aspiring to study in Singapore, here is a step-by-step guide on obtaining a Singapore student visa, including the application process, the documents you will require and other key essentials to keep in mind.
Must Read: Top Colleges in Singapore
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Why Study in Singapore?
Singapore is home to well-reputed international universities such as Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) which are amongst the top-ranked academic institutions renowned for state-of-the-art faculties and high-quality programs. The low cost of living and affordable tuition fees are the central factors contributing to its popularity as a study destination amongst foreign students. The Economic Intelligence Unit has ranked Singapore as the world’s second safest city after Tokyo and has been lauded for the maintenance of ‘Health Security’ comprising of speedy access to healthcare and emergency series, amongst others.
What is Singapore Student Visa?
Also referred to as the ‘Student Pass’, a Singapore Student Visa is an essential document that foreign students need to obtain to pursue full-time study programs in Singapore especially for courses last for more than 30 days. The Singapore government has designed a specific scheme named the SOLAR system, i.e. Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration system which is the official registration department that monitors the student visa applications. It is advised to submit an application for a Singapore Student Visa at least a month before the beginning of the academic year or semester during which you will be pursuing a program.
The student passes are processed directly by the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority for students who wish to study in a private institution and are below the age of 19 years. For students aged 20 or above, they are required to give an interview in case they plan to study Vocational, Fine Arts degrees or Language or Commerce programs. Students in possession of a Singapore Study Pass are allowed to work part-time jobs in the city. Further, you will be asked to submit your Singapore Student Visa a week after the course completion. For those students looking for employment opportunities in Singapore after the end of their course, they are required to apply for the ‘visit’ pass that allows international students to extend their stay for a year in order to explore work prospects in the country.
To obtain a Singapore Student Visa, candidates need to submit the processing fee as well as the issuance fee which is as follows:
Processing Fee: S$30 [1629 INR roughly] (Non-refundable and need to be submitted along with the application to ICA.
Issuance Fee: S$60 [3258 INR roughly] (required to be paid by the applicant once they complete the formality at the issuance of visa at ICA)
Step-by-Step Guide to Get a Singapore Student Visa
Let’s have a look at the detailed process of obtaining the Singapore Student Visa and the other documents required for the process:
As per the guidelines specified by the SOLAR authorities of Singapore, here is a list of documents you need to submit while applying for a student pass:
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Letter of admission from the university
- Passport and at least 2 recent passport size photographs
- Birth certificate
- SOP, resume as well as 3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
- Visa fee receipt and 3 completed application forms
- Degree certificates, academic transcripts and scores of international exams such as GRE, IELTS/TOEFL, etc.
- Travel and Health Insurance
- Vaccination Certificates
Once you have gathered the above-mentioned documents, the application process for the student pass might differ as per the university or the institute where you have gained admission. You can explore the official website of Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore to know more about the process specified for your chosen university. Below mentioned are the key steps that your application will go through once you have successfully registered for a Singapore Study Visa:
- After you have submitted the student pass application, it will take minimum 15 days or a maximum of 4 weeks for visa processing.
- The visa interview might not be a part of the process (depending on the university where you have got admission) and in this case, the candidate will be informed beforehand.
- The final processed visa will be sent to the candidate through courier or it can be collected directly from the Embassy.
- The Singapore Student visa is then submitted to the ICA two months before the beginning of the academic session.
- For those students applying through the online portal, you can keep a tab on your visa application by logging on the website using your Unique Transaction Reference Number.
While universities in Singapore have their specific guidelines related to students working part-time jobs, the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) Singapore allows international students to pursue part-time work opportunities for 16 hours during their course duration. Once you have completed the course, you can apply for a one-year visit pass at ICA for those wanting to explore employment prospects in Singapore and this can be done by applying online at e-VP as well.
Language proficiency test scores like IELTS or TOEFL might be required (not necessarily) for Singapore Student Visa if your chosen university has specified the same.
The processing time for Singapore Student Visa can be somewhere between 15 days to a maximum of 4 weeks and mainly varies as per the type of academic institution.
We hope that this blog provided you with the details of obtaining a Singapore Student Visa. If you need assistance for writing impressive SOPs, LORs and academic essays, you can get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts and we’ll guide you throughout the process of applying for a study program in Singapore along with sorting out accommodation issues as well.