SINGAPORE: Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Amended for Individuals Vaccinated in the U.S.

November 17, 2021

Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced new criteria for individuals vaccinated in the United States to prove their vaccination status and use the country’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs).

Background: Singapore’s VTL Program

First opened in mid-October 2021, Singapore’s VTL program is aimed at jumpstarting the return to travel to this strategic Asia Pacific country. Generally speaking, the initiative allows quarantine-free travel for vaccinated individuals with a negative COVID-19 test who are traveling from approved countries.

Currently, travelers to Singapore must have limited their travel to only the following countries in the 14 days proceeding their arrival in Singapore: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Singapore plans to open VTLs to additional countries on 29 November 2021 (Finland, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sweden) and 6 December 2021 (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).

Please see the ICA’s VTL page for a full overview of the program, including eligibility criteria, acceptable vaccinations, required documentation, and frequently asked questions.

Challenges for Travelers Vaccinated in the United States

Holding acceptable proof of vaccination is a key eligibility requirement to utilize the VTLs. Initially, Singaporean authorities would only recognize vaccination proof from either an approved mobile application or digital vaccination certificate that includes a scannable QR code. The challenge for travelers vaccinated in the United States is that the U.S. does not offer a national vaccination certificate and its local programs were not initially recognized by the Singaporean authorities, regardless of whether the local certificate has a scannable QR code or not.

However, effective November 13, 2021, Singapore has announced new criteria for travelers vaccinated in the United States:

  • If the vaccination record was issued in the U.S., but the traveler is unable to produce an approved digitally verifiable vaccinate certificate, the following are also acceptable vaccination proof:
    • The digital vaccination record that was retrieved from the individual’s state or local health authority’s public health database; OR
    • Physical vaccination record and a verification letter that attests to the individual’s vaccination status. The letter must:
      • Be signed by the vaccination provider;
      • Contain the traveler’s name and at least one other personal identifier (e.g. date of birth or matching passport number);
      • Confirm the name of administered vaccine for each dose; and
      • Confirm the date that each dose was administered.

This new criteria should allow more eligible travelers from the United States to utilize the VTLs (assuming they meet the other program criteria).

Newland Chase Insights

As international travel and vaccination rates continue to increase around the world, programs like Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes are also anticipated to become more prevalent. Allowing an alternative proof of vaccination status for individuals vaccinated in the U.S. is welcome news and should allow more U.S. travelers to utilize Singapore’s VTLs.

Newland Chase continues to monitor similar travel initiatives around the world and will provide updates as they are announced from the authorities.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Newland Chase dedicated contact or submit an inquiry here should you have any specific questions regarding this announcement.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Case for any case- or company-specific assessments.