08 September 2014

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on 10- Year Validity Period for Passport Holders with Physical Disabilities

Question: 

Mrs Lina Chiam asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider allowing the passports of Singaporeans who have physical disabilities to have a 10-year validity period.

Written Reply by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs: 

 Since 1 April 2005, all new Singapore passports are issued with a validity period of five years, instead of the previous 10-year validity period. The shorter 5-year validity period enables the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to incorporate changes to security technology and features in a timely manner. This ensures the security and integrity of the Singapore passport and makes it robust and less susceptible to forgery and tampering. High confidence in the integrity of Singapore passports protects Singaporeans and minimises any inconvenience when they travel.

ICA has implemented several measures to make it more convenient for Singaporeans, including Singaporeans with physical disabilities, to apply for and collect their passports. These include online applications for passports through ICA’s website and collection of passports from selected SingPost outlets nearer their homes. At the ICA building, the self-service lobby and service counters are wheel-chair friendly. Wheelchair loan facilities are available and counter staff will facilitate persons who require assistance.

The 5-year passport validity period applies to all Singapore passport holders and we are not considering making an exception for the physically-disabled.