Iris & facial scanning at Tuas Checkpoint: 6-month trial for contactless immigration clearance system

This could be the first step towards a shorter waiting time at Tuas Checkpoint.

Guan Zhen Tan| April 15, 02:19 PM

Soon, all you need to do to get through immigration in Singapore is to have your face scanned.

The Immigration And Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is conducting a six-month trial for a new contactless immigration clearance system at Tuas Checkpoint.

The trial, which commenced on April 8, 2019 uses one of the automated arrival lanes in the bus hall at Tuas Checkpoint.

According to an ICA news release, instead of using your thumbprint or your passport, the new system will identify your identity via iris and facial images.

Of course, the system will also verify if you are holding a valid passport.

This is how it works:

Screenshot via ICA's news release

This is part of ICA's vision of an efficient and hassle-free immigration clearance experience, enhancing operational efficiency while upholding high standards of traveller identity verification and security.

Singaporean travellers will be the first to benefit from this initiative.

Who can participate in the trial?

For now, the trial is eligible to citizens who are above six years old and holding passports with numbers beginning with the letter K and issued after Jan. 1, 2018.

No prior sign-up is required, as one simply needs to proceed to clear immigration at the automated lane designed for the trial upon returning to Singapore via Tuas Checkpoint.

As with most immigration procedures, participants will need to ensure that they're not wearing sunglasses, caps or other headgear that will obstruct their full facial image when using the contactless immigration clearance lane.

ICA officers will assist travellers participating in the trial.

The ICA will also study the results of the trial, and assess the feasibility to extend this initiative to more automated clearance lanes and other checkpoints.

Top image adapted via ICA's news release