Immigration Pass Requirements for Foreign System Schools (FSS) and UWCSEA
UWCSEA is an accredited FSS in Singapore. This information is intended to provide guidance for parents on the immigration requirements for students who intend to study at a FSS school in Singapore. As far as possible, it clarifies the requirements for a student to be successfully enrolled and to start (and continue) at school, including the ‘proof paperwork’ that is required.
In order to meet our regulatory obligations, UWCSEA is responsible for verifying the immigration status of all enrolled students before they start school. These obligations extend to ensuring that all currently attending students continue to hold a valid pass.
For UWCSEA to be able to accept and process an application for a potential student to join the College, it is necessary for us to understand the immigration status of an applicant. This is particularly important for Singapore Citizens who require a waiver from the MOE.
Immigration pass requirements
Applies to: all applicants will fall into one of the following categories:
In order to be able to attend a FSS, students are required to possess one of the following valid Singapore immigration passes:
- Dependant’s Pass (DP) or In Principle Approval letter (IPA) for a new DP supported by a valid Visit Pass or Notification Letter for a new DP issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
- Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) with a valid Re Entry Permit (REP)
- Student Pass (STP) issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
- Immigration Exemption Order (IEO) granted by the ICA with a valid Multiple Journey Stamp or written verification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) confirming the IEO validity dates
- Singapore Citizen with a waiver from the Ministry of Education (MOE)
Common questions and considerations
Students may not study, or continue to attend classes, at a FSS if they:
- hold a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) or a Visit Pass issued by the ICA or MOM under Immigration Regulation 12 (the regulation under which it has been issued will be noted when the pass is provided)
- have an expired DP or IEO or invalid REP
- are a Singapore Citizen and they have not been granted a waiver by the MOE to attend the FSS that applied for the waiver on behalf of the student
- have an In Principle Approval (IPA) letter for an STP from the ICA; students need to hold the actual, physical pass and have provided a copy to the FSS
Applies to: all foreign-born children aged 12 and below applying for new Immigration Passes in Singapore (with effect 1 February 2019)
With effect from 1 February 2019, the Ministry of Health (MOH) introduced diphtheria and measles vaccination requirements as a prerequisite for foreign-born children aged 12 years and below who are first-time applicants for new immigration passes from the MOM or ICA.
Applicants are required to submit documentary proof of vaccination or evidence of immunity for diphtheria and measles to the Health Promotion Board (HPB) for verification before they can proceed with their pass application to MOM or ICA. Full details can be found here.
It is important that you allow enough time for your children’s vaccination verification with the HPB. The process can take up to 20 days at peak times, such as the start of an academic year in July/August or January.
For detailed information on the requirements attached to each immigration pass, please click to expand the relevant link below.
Dependant’s Pass Holders (DPs)
Employers or employment agents can apply to the MOM for a DP for children of Employment Pass (EP), S Pass or EntrePass holders. If an IPA letter for a child’s new DP is issued the child may attend school as long as the underlying Visit Pass is valid.
The online records of UWCSEA students who are DP holders must include either a copy of a valid IPA or Notification letter before the physical pass is delivered or collected. Once the physical DP has been collected, the student’s online records must include copies of the front and back of the valid DP plus a copy of the scanned QR code using the SGWorkPass app.
The validity of a DP depends upon the supporting EP. This means if an EP is cancelled by an employer, or expires, the associated DPs will also be cancelled or expired - and the student will therefore not be able to attend school.
Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs)
Successful applicants for Singapore PR are issued a Single Entry Permit but are required to obtain a Re-Entry Permit (REP) to enable travel in and out of the country. The online records of UWCSEA students who are PRs must include a copy of a valid REP in order to attend school.
While Singapore PRs aged 15 years and above are issued with a National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) we are required to hold a copy of the REP, as this contains the issue and expiry dates.
Student Passes (STPs)
As an FSS, the College can register its students on the ICA’s online STP application platform if they do not have any of the other required passes. The College will then forward the Registration Acknowledgement Letter to parents along with instructions on what needs to be done to apply for the STP online.
The approval of STPs is entirely at the discretion of the ICA. If the applicant is issued with an IPA letter which is valid for two months, the formalities must be completed and the physical STP must be collected before the IPA letter expires. For STP applicants 15 years and above, these formalities include obtaining a medical report, which can take up to five working days. Students can only commence at the College when in possession of the physical STP and copies have been uploaded to the student’s online record.
STPs are attached to the FSS who registered them with the ICA. All FSSs are obliged to cancel STPs within 7 days of a student’s last day at the school.
Immigration Exemption Orders (IEOs)
IEOs are issued by the ICA to persons accredited as diplomats, consular representatives or visiting forces and their dependants. Students are allowed to attend a FSS as long as they have both the IEO stamp in their passport plus either a Multiple Journey Stamp with issue and expiry dates or written verification from the MFA confirming these dates.
Singapore Government regulations require Singaporean Citizens of Primary 1 age and above, who wish to attend a FSS, to obtain a waiver from the Compulsory Education Act from the MOE. The MOE considers waiver applications on a case by case basis, and they are granted entirely at their discretion.
All applications for waivers must be submitted by the FSS to the MOE on behalf of the student.
As a result, the waiver is attached to the FSS that submits the application to the MOE. This means that even if a student has already been granted a waiver from the MOE to attend one FSS, an application for a waiver to attend a different FSS may not be successful.
As a FSS, UWCSEA is expected to manage its Singaporean enrolment, hence our policy is to accept applications from Singapore Citizens in very limited circumstances. Full details on College policy on the admission of Singapore Citizens can be found here.
Information for currently enrolled students
Considerations in changing your child’s immigration Pass Status
Parents are responsible for ensuring their children hold an appropriate and valid immigration pass to reside in Singapore and attend the College.
Any change in the immigration status of the parents eg. job change, PR application, that may impact on the immigration status of their children eg. new DP attached to a new EP, change to PR status, should be factored into the change process, as students may not continue to attend school without a valid immigration pass.
Updating your child’s immigration pass records
Parents are responsible for updating their children’s online records in the College Information Management System (CIMS) through the parent portal for any changes of type or validity.
Please refer to this user guide to update your child’s details.
Any student who has not provided the College with a copy of a valid immigration pass must not attend school until such time as all the necessary documentation has been provided.
The College is responsible for verifying the parents’ submissions online and maintaining accurate records of the student population’s immigration pass status. To do this, we liaise with the Singapore government departments mentioned above as part of our regulatory compliance.
In accordance with Singapore regulations, any student for whom the College does not hold the requested copy of a valid immigration pass must not attend school until such time as the College has been provided the requested documents.