Singapore has become the favorite study abroad destination (especially for Asian study abroad students) for the high-quality education, top universities, recognized degrees and proximity of location.
The Acceptance Letter
Students who want to take admission in Singapore universities primarily have to apply at the university. If the university accepts your admission, it will send you an acceptance letter. In other countries, this acceptance letter is shown at the study abroad destination’s consulate in the home country to get the student visa.
Here the case is bit deviating. The university acceptance letter will be then sent to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). The ICA will process the acceptance and send an In- Principal approval letter to the student. This letter will act as a student visa or social visit pass to enter Singapore. Therefore there is no need to get a separate study visa to enter Singapore.
However, this In- Principal approval letter is transformed into a student pass which let the student not only stay in Singapore for studies but it will also become a type of student’s identity for the whole course.
The Student Pass
The international students who want to enter Singapore for an academic course that will last for more than 30 days have to apply for a student pass. However, students who are enrolled in a short course, which is less than the Short Term Visa stay period do not require, a Student Pass and can simply enter Singapore and take the course.
After receiving the offer letter from the Singaporean higher institutes, students are required to get a student pass to stay in Singapore. The good thing is that the student does not have to apply personally for the pass; instead, the Institute in Singapore where the admission is accepted will file the Singapore student pass application on behalf of the candidate. This application is filed to the Singapore immigration and checkpoint authority (ICA).
Students are required to present the IPA letter (University acceptance letter together with a valid passport to the Duty Officer at the Immigration Checkpoint when arriving Singapore. A short term Social Visit Pass will be issued to the student entering Singapore. Soon after that, these students are required to report for university registration and apply for the Student's Pass
These student pass applications are submitted to the SOLAR (Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration) the official registration in Singapore. The registration requires the name, date of birth, gender and nationality of the prospective student. It also demands the details about the course taken, it's beginning date and when would the course finish.
International Students should note the expiry dates of the IPA letter/ Social Visit Pass. They must complete the formalities of taking the student's pass before the period of stay expires.
This application should be made at least six months before the beginning of the academic semester
The Processing Period for Singapore Student Visa
Once the student pass is approved, the processing time of the issuance of student pass generally takes two weeks to one month. In some cases, it will take a longer time and it might be possible that the candidate is called for a personal interview. Whatever be the case, a maximum of four months is taken to complete the process.
Moreover, the student has to surrender his/her student pass within a week after the completion of the academic course. Students who are studying a degree program have to submit a cancellation form along with the student pass after the completion of their studies.
This pass will also act as a temporary work permit for international students who want to do part-time jobs while studying. The students are not required to apply for a separate work pass, however, they are restricted to do part-time work for 16 hours a week
After the graduation, the student who wants to hunt jobs in Singapore has to apply for a visit Pass that will allow him/her to stay in Singapore for I year.
Graduate students holding a student pass can apply at the university to sponsor the visit of their spouse and children for a maximum of 4 weeks.
Remember that the Singaporean government is pretty strict about the validity of the student pass and the students holding expired passes are promptly driven out of the country.
Documents Required with the Application of the Student Pass
Valid Passport, the passport should be valid at least three months after the completion date of the academic program
Students Id card
Specified sized photographs
A printed copy of e form 16 from SOLAR
University acceptance letter
Official application forms from SOLAR
In Principal approval letter
Language proficiency and other standardized test scores like IELTS, SAT, GMAT etc.
Application submission fees $22
Student pass issuance fees $ 44
Academic certificates and degrees
Deposit money generally
Proof of financial stability like a bank statement for the last 28 days from all sponsors
Work experience certificate if applied
Note that all documents are to be submitted in the English language
How Pakistani Students can Confirm the Registration in Singapore Universities?
The students should check time to time that the institution has applied for your registration at Solar. Sometimes it will give you your Solar Reference number and the student has to access the Solar to know about the registration status.
The student has to fill the e- Form 16. The form will ask your contact details
Print the submitted e16 form to send it to ICA for evaluation.
Payment of the required fees.