Singaporeans who are currently applying for a passport can expect a waiting time of between one to two weeks, according to a spokesperson from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
However, those with year-end travel plans should apply now, if they are holding a passport with less than six months' validity, the spokesperson said in response to Mothership's query.
Passport applications typically peak at the last quarter of the year
ICA added that based on pre-pandemic trends, passport applications typically peak between October and December.
In addition, the processing time depends "greatly" on the application volume.
The spokesperson also called on applicants to factor in additional waiting time to book an appointment to collect their passport.
ICA pointed out that in the meantime, it has recruited officers and redeployed resources to handle the surge in passport applications.
The organisation has also worked closely with SingPost to increase the passport issuance capacity.
Processing time was previously six weeks in May
Earlier in May this year, the ICA said it estimated the processing time for passport applications to be at least six weeks.
ICA said in April that the number of passport applications is "unprecedented" with around 1 million passports having expired or are expiring.
The organisation had highlighted at the end of March that it was receiving an average of 6,000 passport renewals per day, which was three times the daily applications pre-pandemic.
ICA did not mention the current average number of daily passport applications in its reply to Mothership.
Here is ICA's current statement in full:
"The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) continues to urge Singaporeans with year-end travel plans to submit their passport application now if they are holding an expired passport or a passport with less than six months validity. Singaporeans who submit their passport late will risk not being able to collect their passport in time for their travel.
ICA had recruited officers and redeployed resources to handle the surge in passport applications. ICA has also worked closely with SingPost to increase the passport issuance capacity. The combined efforts have greatly improved the passport situation.
Based on pre-Covid-19 trends, passport applications typically peak between October and December. Although the passport processing time is around one to two weeks now, the processing time depends greatly on the application volume. Applicants should also factor in additional waiting time to book an appointment to collect the passport. Hence, those with year-end travel plans should come forward and apply for a passport now.
Applicants can check on their passport application status via ICA’s website or MyICA Mobile. Those whose passports are ready for collection will receive an email or a pink notification card from ICA. They may then proceed to make an appointment online to collect their passport from ICA Building or any of the 29 designated post offices. There is no additional fee for passport collection at the post offices. Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to make an appointment for timely collection of their new passports."
Top collage left screenshot via Google Streetview, right image by Nigel Chua