We previously used the visa and eTA word interchangeably and have updated the article to reflect the differences. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Singapore passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world, allowing visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 193 countries and territories. In fact, it has overtaken Japan as the top passport for enabling holders visa-free entries. Even with our strong passports, there are still countries that require us to do travel paperwork, such as a visa or an electronic travel authorisation (eTA).
So what's the main difference? Technically, both documents permit the bearer entry into the issuing country. The difference is whether or not the countries have arrangements with each other on a Visa Waiver Programme.
A visa is usually valid for 30-60 days, single-entry only, and are available to citizens of most countries and territories to apply. Congratulations if your country is on the Visa Waiver programme; all you need to do is pay for the oft-cheaper eTA that is valid for a longer time. An eTA also usually permits the holder multiple entries into their destination.
Failure to obtain a visa or an eTA before your arrival in the country could disrupt your travel plans and incur unwanted costs.
Here are the 12 countries where Singaporeans need either a visa or an eTA. We’ve also detailed how to apply for the visa or eTA, the processing time and the cost. Don’t forget to check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for any travel advisory and/or public health advisory.
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Australia is one of the top travel destinations for Singaporeans, whether to catch the light and sound festival Vivid Sydney, see the Twelve Apostles or stand atop the Blue Mountains. The last thing you’d want is to land in the country and be denied entry due to a missing eTA.
Find out the best things to do in Brisbane.
How to apply for an Australia eTA?
How long does it take for Australia eTA to be approved?
Within a day or two
How much is the Australia eTA fee?
How long is Australia eTA valid for?
The ETA is valid for 12 months, and you can stay up to three months each time you enter Australia.
Bhutan is a small landlocked country in South Asia, located in the eastern Himalayas. Its unique culture and breathtaking landscapes make it a popular destination for travellers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. But travel to Bhutan is highly regulated to minimise the effects on its environment.
How can you get a tourist visa to Bhutan?
Apply through Bhutanese tour operators
How long does it take to get a visa for Bhutan?
At least 10 days
How much is the visa for Bhutan from Singapore?
Included in the tour package
How long can a tourist stay in Bhutan?
15 days, extensions can be obtained in Thimphu at an additional cost
With vast forests, towering mountains, and pristine lakes, Canada is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It is also home to vibrant cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, offering world-class cuisine, arts, and entertainment. While visiting Canada requires travel authorisation, it is the cheapest and possibly fastest to get among the 12 countries on this list.
How to apply for an eTA to Canada?
Apply for the Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) via the Government of Canada website
How long is the processing time for a Canada eTA?
How much does a Canada eTA cost?
How long can you stay in Canada as a visitor?
The eTA is valid for up to 10 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can stay up to six months each time you enter Canada.
A South Asian country with a rich cultural heritage, diverse population, and ancient history, India offers a wealth of natural wonders to explore. After getting your visa approved, be sure to add the iconic landmark Taj Mahal, Asia’s largest slum in Mumbai (support the numerous small businesses dotting the slum) and the tropical beaches of Goa to your itinerary.
How can you get an Indian visa from Singapore?
Apply for the eTourist Visa (eTV) via the High Commission of India website
How long does it take to get an Indian visa?
At least four working days
How much does an Indian visa cost?
How long is a visa valid for in India?
The eTV is valid for a year and you can stay up to 30 days.
5. New Zealand
New Zealand is a favourite destination for travellers who enjoy natural landscapes and outdoor activities. From visiting the Hobbiton Village to embarking on a heli-hike adventure on the Fox Glacier to skydiving at Queenstown, New Zealand has much to offer. That is, after you get your travel paperwork done.
Check out what you can expect in New Zealand in spring.
How to apply for a New Zealand eTA?
How long does it take to get your New Zealand eTA approved?
Up to 72 hours
How much does a New Zealand eTA cost?
NZ$17 through the app, NZ$23 through the website
How long is the New Zealand eTA valid for?
The NZeTA is valid for two years and you can stay up to 90 days each time you enter New Zealand.
6. United States
From the beaches of Hawaii to the bustling cities of New York and Los Angeles, the United States has something for everyone. But before you can do a vlog at the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll need travel authorisation to enter the United States.
How to apply for a U.S. visa?
Apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website
How long does it take to get a U.S. visa?
At least 72 hours
How much does a U.S. visa cost?
How long is a U.S. visa valid for?
The ESTA is valid for two years and you can stay up to 90 days each time you enter the United States.
With breathtaking landscapes ranging from the Andes Mountains to the Caribbean coastline, Venezuela is located in the northern part of South America. However, travellers to Venezuela are at high risk for yellow fever due to endemic virus transmission and suboptimal vaccine coverage.
How can you apply for a Venezuela visa?
How long does visa processing take for Venezuela?
As there may be an interview with the Consular Officer, it’s best to apply at least three months before your intended travel period.
How much does a Venezuela visa cost?
How long is a Venezuela visa valid for?
The visa is valid for a year and you can stay up to 90 days.
Bangladesh, nestled in South Asia, is a land of vibrant culture and rich history. With a population exceeding 160 million, it is one of the world's most densely populated countries. Bangladesh boasts diverse landscapes, from the Sundarbans' mangrove forests to the lush greenery of Sylhet.
How to apply for a Bangladesh visa?
Singaporeans are allowed to obtain visa on arrival. But it is advisable to apply for a visa online prior to your arrival. You can submit the printed copy of the completed application form with the required documents at the Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore.
How long does it take to get your Bangladesh visa approved?
How much does a Bangladesh visa cost?
How long is the Bangladesh visa valid for?
Egypt, a timeless crossroads of history and civilisation, stands as a testament to the ancient wonders that have captivated humanity for millennia. Nestled in the northeastern corner of Africa, with the Nile River as its lifeblood, Egypt is a treasure trove of archaeological marvels, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Sphinx.
How to apply for an Egypt visa?
Apply for an eVisa online
How long does it take to get your Egypt visa approved?
Within three days
How much does an Egypt visa cost?
How long is the Egypt visa valid for?
Three months from the date of issue and up to 30 days per visit
The Maldives, an enchanting tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, is renowned for its breathtaking coral islands and azure blue waters. Comprising 26 atolls, this archipelago of over 1,000 coral islands is a haven for luxury resorts, vibrant marine life, and pristine white-sand beaches.
Read more about these three Maldives resorts that can make your travel more meaningful.
How to apply for a Maldives visa?
Singaporeans can obtain a visa-on-arrival in the Maldives
How much does a Maldives visa cost?
How long is the Maldives visa valid for?
30 days, can be extended to up to 90 days
Nepal, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, is a land of awe-inspiring landscapes and cultural richness. Home to the world’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest, this diverse nation captivates with its ancient temples, vibrant festivals, and warm hospitality. Nepal is a haven for trekkers, spiritual seekers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
How to apply for a Nepal visa?
For fully vaccinated travellers, you are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to obtain a visa-on-arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on the Nepal-India border and Kodari on the Nepal-China border.
For non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated passengers, you must obtain a pre-approved visa, produce a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test completed no more than 72 hours prior to departure, and undergo a green COVID-19 antigen test on arrival.
How long does it take to get your Nepal visa approved?
Within a day
How much does a Nepal visa cost?
From US$30, depending on your visa validity
How long is the Nepal visa valid for?
Up to 90 days
Pakistan, situated at the crossroads of South Asia, is a country of diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultures. From the majestic peaks of the Himalayas in the north to the coastal shores in the south, Pakistan offers a tapestry of experiences. Its cities, like Lahore and Karachi, blend tradition with modernity, reflecting a nation proud of its heritage and eager for progress.
How to apply for a Pakistan visa?
Apply via the Pakistan Online Visa System
How long does it take to get your Pakistan visa approved?
7 to 10 working days
How much does a Pakistan visa cost?
How long is the Pakistan visa valid for?
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