With effect from 1 February 2022, employers submitting applications for work pass holders and their dependants will be required to declare that the applicants are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 upon arrival in Singapore.1 The same will also be required for the renewal of these passes.
Similarly, for new applications for permanent residence, long-term visit passes, and student passes, COVID-19 vaccination will be a condition to grant the pass.
In Singapore, an individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the full regimen of a vaccine listed on the World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing Procedure (WHO EUL).
WHY THIS MATTERS
The measure implements a new pass condition for foreign employees and their dependants, long-term pass holders, and permanent residents, to comply with.
Individuals vaccinated overseas will need to update their vaccination records in the National Immunisation Registry. They must do so within 30 days of arrival in Singapore, upon testing positive in a serology test taken at a Public Health Preparedness Clinic. Should they test negative, they must complete the full vaccination regimen in Singapore or face revocation of their passes.
This new approach to vaccination requirements may mean more careful planning and additional steps and procedures for Singapore-inbound employees and their dependants, and the employers moving them to Singapore.
Verification of Status
Individuals will be required to submit or show their vaccination certificates to verify compliance with the condition. Those unable to do so will be denied boarding on a flight or entry into Singapore unless a prior exemption has been granted.
1. For those with digitally-verifiable certificates, they should upload them to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Vaccination Check Portal System.
2. For those without digitally-verifiable certificates, they should present them to the airlines, ferry operators, or at checkpoints before boarding.
The following are exempt from the vaccination condition:
1. Children below 12 years of age;
2. Children aged 12 to 17 – they can complete full vaccination after arriving in Singapore; and
3. Individuals who are medically ineligible for vaccination, provided they submit a doctor’s memo at the point of application and undergo a medical review upon arrival in Singapore.
Making vaccination compulsory for foreign employees and their dependants, long-term pass holders, and permanent residents is aimed at achieving the Singapore government’s targets for high vaccination rates. The government sees the measure as integral to Singapore’s continued safe reopening.
1 See “COVID-19 Vaccination to be a condition for Long-Term Passes, Work Passes and Permanent Residence from 1 February 2022” on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website: https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2021/1226-vaccination-condition-for-long-term-passes-work-passes-and-permanent-residence.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Singapore.
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