Exercise normal safety precautions in Singapore. Use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour. Monitor the news and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months, even if you're transiting. If it isn't you might be refused entry or exit. See
Entry and exit.
- Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. See
- Singapore has strict laws, for assault and offences relating to drunkenness, men behaving inappropriately towards women, and using inappropriate language and inappropriate touching. Penalties include imprisonment, fines, and caning. See
- Terrorism is a threat in Singapore. Enhanced security measures are in place. See
Safety and security.
- Smoke haze is usual from June to October, but can occur at any time of the year. See
Entry and exit
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Australian Government cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
Check the expiry date of your Australian passport before you travel. If your passport is valid for less than six months from when you plan to leave Singapore, you could be refused entry into, or exit from, Singapore – even if you're just transiting. The Australian Government can't intervene in decisions made by airlines or Singaporean immigration officials.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
Be aware of attempts access your passport by deception. If you're forced to hand over your passport, contact the
Australian High Commission for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
You only need a visa for business or tourism if your visit is over 90 days. For employment or study, you must get a visa before going.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest
Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of Singapore for up-to-date information.
For immigration clearance at Singapore, you may have to show:
• a passport with at least six months validity
• you have enough money for your stay
• an onward or return flight ticket
• a visa to enter your next destination
• a yellow fever vaccination certificate (if applicable).
Singapore has severe penalties for illegal immigration and visa overstay, including fines, imprisonment and caning.
You may need to present the card used to purchase your ticket at the airport check-in counter, or risk being refused boarding. Contact your airline for their requirements
When you arrive and depart Singapore, you must scan your thumbprints. Children under six won't need to. Registering your thumbprints on the immigration counter BioScreen on arrival means you can use automated self-clearance for departure.
If you have medication that's controlled in Singapore, you need an import permit to show on arrival. This may apply to available over-the-counter in Australia. More information:
Health Science Authority of Singapore
Fore information on work visas, check with the
Ministry of Manpower.
The official currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD).
You can easily exchange Australian dollars for SGD in Singapore. Declare amounts over SGD20,000 or equivalent on arrival.
ATMs are available across the country. Hotels, restaurants and shops accept international credit cards.
Safety and security
Civil unrest and political tension
Unauthorised public demonstrations are illegal. You need a police permit for
- a public gathering of more than four people
- an assembly or procession of two or more people in a public place to which members of the public are invited.
If you're travelling as a group of five or more, be careful to not obstruct or prevent others rights of way.
Public demonstrations are only allowed at Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park. Non-permanent residents need a permit to participate in any activity at Speakers' Corner. Penalties can be severe.
Singapore Police Force
Violent crime against tourists is rare.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and street theft occurs at the airport, tourist destinations, hotels and on public transport. Be alert to your personal belongings, particularly in tourist areas and on public transport.
Property rental scams occur. Con artists have posed as landlords on property websites offering fake rental properties. You can check details of a rental property, including the owner, from the
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore or the
Singapore Land Authority.
- Research the property and other party before committing to a rental or purchase contract.
- Avoid making large payments in cash.
- Use only accredited property agents.
- Request all parties (including landlords and agents) attend when signing tenancy documents.
There are unscrupulous retailers of mobile phones, electrical goods and cameras. You can register complaints via the Singapore Tourism Board website. If you live in Singapore, approach the
Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Singapore. Attacks could be indiscriminate and may affect locations frequented by Westerners.
Singapore has enhanced security measures in place. These include strong border controls, security and police surveillance, and restrictions on access to some public venues. Ministers have issued public warnings about the seriousness of the terrorist threat.
Possible terrorist targets include commercial and public areas known to be frequented by foreigners such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, markets, places of worship, outdoor recreation events, tourist areas and transport hubs such as train stations. Premises and symbols associated with the Singapore Government are also possible targets.
- Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places and places known to be possible terrorist targets.
- Report suspicious activity or items to police.
- Monitor the news for any new or emerging threats.
- Follow local authorities' instructions.
If there's an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so.
Terrorist threat worldwide
Road and driving conditions are comparable to those in Australian capital cities.
Road safety and driving
You must be at least 18 and have an Australian driver's licence to drive in Singapore. After 12 months, you must get a Singaporean licence. If you're a permanent resident, get a Singaporean licence within three months of getting residency.
Checkif your travel insurance covers you when riding a motorcycle. Always wear a helmet.
Metered taxis are freely available from official taxi ranks and are a safe and convenient means of transport. Rideshare apps are legal and are widely used.
Singapore's efficient rail network (Mass Rapid Transit) operates throughout the island from 05:30am to midnight. There is an extensive network of public and private bus service.
A number of international cruise lines stopover in Singapore.
More information: Cruises
Piracy occurs in coastal areas around Singapore. If you're travelling by boat, take precautions.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our
Consular Services Charter. We can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
If you're arrested, you may be detained while police investigate. Investigations and court hearings can take several months. Police will likely hold your passport, and you won't be allowed to leave Singapore.
You can't get a replacement passport until legal matters are settled.
The presence of illegal drugs in your body, including as detected in blood and urine tests, is an offence. You can be prosecuted for consumption of drugs even if they were taken outside Singapore.
Penalties for drug offences are severe, including the death penalty and caning.
Carrying or using drugs
Serious crimes, such as murder, abduction and weapons offences, can attract the death penalty. Corporal punishment (including caning) can be imposed for crimes including rape, rioting, extortion, visa offences and vandalism.
Singapore has strict laws for 'Outrage of
Modesty' cases such as
- assault and offences as a result of being drunk
- men behaving inappropriately towards women
- inappropriate language or inappropriate touching.
Penalties include imprisonment, fines, and caning.
Crimes that disrupt social, racial or ethnic harmony attract severe penalties. Behaviour that constitutes 'disrupting harmony' is broadly defined. It includes racial insults and promoting ill will and hostility between different races or classes. People intending to speak publicly on racial, communal, religious or political topics must apply for a Miscellaneous Work Pass from the
Ministry of Manpower website.
Singapore has strict laws and penalties for actions that are either legal or are minor offences in Australia. This includes smoking in public places or indoor restaurants, spitting, chewing or importing gum (including chewing tobacco), littering and jaywalking.
The following activities are also illegal and can result in serious penalties, including detention or imprisonment:
- being drunk, behaving badly or using offensive language during a flight to Singapore, in transit in Singapore or on an airline registered in Singapore
- importing vaporisers, such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars, and refills into Singapore, even for personal consumption
- driving under the influence of alcohol
- drinking alcohol in public places between 10:30pm and 7:00am
- drinking alcohol in Liquor Control Zones (specified areas in Geylang and Little India) in breach of additional restrictions (that apply on weekends and public holidays)
- homosexual acts between men
- shoplifting and theft
- entering or transiting through Singapore with weapons, military souvenirs, replica weapons or ammunition (including empty cartridges)
- working without a valid work pass – see
Entry and exit
- taking photos of official buildings where there are signs prohibiting photos
- importing pirated copyright material
- importing printed and recorded material considered 'obscene' or prohibited – this may include material that's legal in Australia.
The Singapore Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Unification Church have been deregistered. Followers can practise their religion, but cannot participate in public meetings, engage in missionary work or distribute religious publications.
Police investigations can take more than a year, during which time you may be required to stay in Singapore, as authorities may hold your passport. Beware of scams.
If you're working, your work pass may be revoked if you break domestic law.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you can be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography
- child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
Staying within the law
Standards of behaviour are generally conservative. Public displays of affection may cause offence. Homosexual acts between men are illegal. There is no specific law against homosexual acts between women, but there are local sensitivities. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Singapore doesn't recognise dual nationality for people over 21.
Male citizens and permanent residents between the ages of 16 and 50 are required to do two years of national service and more periods of training.
If you're a dual Australian-Singaporean citizen or want to get permanent residency, familiarise yourself with national service requirements before deciding to travel to or live in Singapore.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you leave to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government won't pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and aren't covered under your policy
- that you're covered for the whole time you'll be away.
The standard of medical facilities and care throughout Singapore is comparable with or exceeds that in Australia. The cost of medical services in Singapore is much higher than in Australia.
Many places will require an upfront payment or confirmation from your insurer on payment before any medical care is given.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you leave, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up. Discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some prescription medications available in Australia may be illegal or controlled in Singapore, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor or bought over the courner.
If you want to bring personal medication into Singapore that contains a controlled substance, apply for prior approval at least ten working days before you arrive in Singapore. The
Singapore Health Sciences Authority website contains a list of controlled substances and information about applying for prior approval (email:
HSA_Info@hsa.gov.sg). If your medicine is illegal in Singapore, consult your doctor in Australia about alternatives before you travel.
Take enough legal prescription medication with you to last for your trip. Keep your medication in its original packaging. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you take and that it's for personal use only.
There is limited transmission of Zika virus. If pregnant, the Australian Department of Health advises you discuss any travel plans with a doctor and defer non-essential travel to affected areas. Check the
Zika virus bulletin for advice on how to minimise Zika virus risks. There is no Zika virus vaccination.
Outbreaks of other mosquito-borne illnesses (including dengue fever, chikungunya fever and Japanese encephalitis) occur. Dengue cases have increased in 2019.
The risk of contracting mosquito-borne illnesses increases during the wetter months from November to March and from July to September.
Many areas are regularly 'fogged' to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses. The 'fog' consists of toxic chemicals. Avoid areas immediately after fogging has taken place.
Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:
- ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
- use insect repellent and wear long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing
- get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel
- if pregnant, defer non-essential travel to Zika-affected areas.
Smoke haze occurs from June to October. Monitor any health warnings issued by the Singapore Government. Seek medical advice as appropriate. Singapore's
National Environment Agencywebsite provides updates when smoke haze occurs and contains more information about related public health issues.
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is common with outbreaks that are more serious occurring occasionally. Outbreaks usually start in March or April and peak in May but can continue until October. It mostly affects children under 10, but adult cases are not unusual.
The illness is characterised by fever as well as blisters and rashes on the hands, feet and buttocks. HFMD spreads by direct contact with nose and throat discharges and faeces of infected people.
- Take normal hygiene precautions including careful and frequent hand washing.
- Check Singapore's
Ministry of Health website for more information, including on disease prevention.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
There are special passenger screening arrangements for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at Changi Airport.
If you arrive from an affected country (including Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, and Jordan), you may be screened for symptoms of MERS. If you display symptoms of MERS, authorities make take you to hospital in Singapore for assessment. If authorities suspect MERS, you may be required to remain in hospital.
Health authorities may also place you in quarantine. if you have come into contact (within two metres for thirty minutes or more) with a symptomatic person.
Earthquakes in the region can affect Singapore.
The monsoon season is from December to March and from June to September. Strong winds and heavy rain occur during these months.
If there's a natural disaster:
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it
- contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare
- monitor the media, weather reports, other local sources of information, the
Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- follow local authorities' advice
- check with tour operators before travelling to affected areas.
Singapore is a major aviation hub. Flight disruptions occurring around the world, including due to volcanic ash plumes, may affect flights. Contact your airline or travel agent for the latest flight information.
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Emergency phone numbers
- Fire or medical emergencies: 995
- Criminal issues: 999 or contact local police.
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance contact:
Australian High Commission, Singapore
25 Napier Road
Phone: (65) 6836 4100
Fax: (65) 6737 7465
Australian in Singapore
High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you're unable to contact the High Commission in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Specific information for business travellers is on the Austrade website
Doing Business in Singapore. It outlines the current business situation and business culture, and provides information on establishing a business in Singapore.