By the end of 2022, Singaporeans can expect to wait one week for their new passport to be processed.
This is similar to the waiting period before the Covid-19 pandemic, and will be shorter than the six-week waiting time as estimated in May 2022.
Surge in applications after April 2022
According to The Straits Times, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is aiming for a one-week processing time after looking through the number of passport applications it receives per day, as well as how many it can process since the demand in applications first began.
After Apr. 1, 2022, when most international borders opened up, ICA received a surge in passport applications.
The authority got over 7,000 applications per day in May 2022, ST reported. This is much higher than the 2,000 it received before the pandemic.
In July 2022, ICA received around 4,500 passport applications per day.
More manpower deployed to passport unit
To deal with the demand in passport applications, ICA has gradually deployed 300 officers from other work units to the passport unit, who number around 100, since May 2022.
With this additional manpower, ICA can now produce 6,500 passports per day. These officers work "24/7", according to ST.
Moreover, as more Singaporeans are now collecting their passports at post offices, SingPost has increased the number of counters and outlets for collection.
Around 85,000 passports were collected at post offices in June 2022, as compared to 43,500 in May 2022, ICA stated.
Singapore residents can submit their passport applications online.
Alternatively, they can obtain a 'Singapore Passport Application Form' and post the completed form to the ICA building or drop it into the deposit box outside the building.
Top image by Syahindah Ishak.