If you are departing or entering Singapore by train via the Woodlands Train Checkpoint (WTCP), you can expect a faster journey because there are now 10 self-clearance kiosks at the border checkpoint.
Designed to overcome space constraint
According to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the self-clearance kiosks have been progressively operationalised since March 2023 and can clear both departing and arriving train passengers.
Currently, at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, there are only three automated lanes with flappers similar to those currently found in the passenger halls of ICA's air and sea checkpoints.
Implementation of additional automated lanes is not possible due to "infrastructure and space constraints".
"To tackle this challenge, ICA decided to have the processes of passport scanning and biometric capture performed at kiosks," the immigration authority said.
To effectively utilise the limited space available at WTCP, the kiosks are arranged in clusters.
Clearance takes about 24 seconds
Here's how the kiosks work:
- An entry barrier will open when there is an available kiosk. Enter the cluster when it is your turn and proceed to any available kiosk.
- Remove your passport cover and insert your passport into the kiosk for scanning.
- Present your biometrics for verification.
- Once immigration clearance is completed, proceed to the exit barrier for identity verification before proceeding on your journey.
The process takes approximately 24 seconds, ICA said.
At the manual counter, each clearance would take 45 seconds.
Two manual counters were removed and replaced with the 10 kiosks.
Singapore residents, long-term pass holders, and short-term visitors who had previously enrolled under the Automated Clearance Initiative are eligible to use the kiosks at WTCP.
Short-term visitors who have yet to enrol under the Automated Clearance Initiative, and families with children below the age of six, will have to use the manual counters for immigration clearance.
"By end-2023, enrolment for eligible first-time visitors will be made available at WTCP," ICA shared.
The kiosks are the first-of-its-kind to be implemented at Singapore's checkpoints.
According to ICA, WTCP clears 31 departing and arriving train trips, and close to 10,000 passengers daily.
"The implementation of the self-clearance kiosks has provided travellers with a speedier clearance experience, while enabling ICA to redeploy some officers to areas that require more manpower support," Tong Weijie, Deputy Commander of Woodlands Checkpoint and Superintendent of ICA, pointed out.
"ICA will continue to adapt and innovate to improve the clearance experience and manage congestion at the land checkpoints," Tong added.
Top image via Alan S./Foursquare, ICA/Facebook