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SINGAPORE - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Singapore.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Singapore. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in the following locations:
- public transportation facilities
- areas frequented by tourists
Ensure that your personal belongings, including passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Crimes, including passport theft, should be reported to the local police and the High Commission of Canada in Singapore.
Scams involving property rental occur. The scams include online advertising of properties that are not available for rent or that do not exist. You should only book your rental through a reputable service and, preferably, visit the potential rental and meet the landlord before agreeing to pay any money.
Only shop at reputable establishments where prices are listed. Research prices before buying goods because some retailers charge foreigners exorbitant prices.
Learn more about overseas fraud.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time, and targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
The Singaporean security agencies are on high vigilance. The Ministry of Home Affairs considers the terrorism threat to be multifaceted and serious. Expect enhanced security measures and border checks.
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Road conditions and road safety are very good throughout the country. Frequent downpours may pose a road hazard.
Cars do not usually yield to pedestrians. Exercise caution when walking on or crossing streets.
Public transportation is widely available and safe.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Pirate attacks and armed robberies occur against ships in and around:
- in the Strait of Malacca
- between Indonesia’s Riau Islands and Singapore
Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Singaporean authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Singapore.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
The six-month validity requirement also applies when transiting through Singapore to neighbouring countries. Canadians without at least six months’ validity remaining in their passport will not be granted entry. Officials at the High Commission of Canada in Singapore are limited in their ability to assist such Canadians.
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays of up to 30 days)
Business visa: Not required (for stays of up to 30 days)
Student visa: Required
The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower allows an exemption to the business visa (called a “work pass” in Singapore) requirement for certain activities. If you qualify for an exemption, you must notify the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower through their e-notification system.
The Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority may extend the period ofof stay beyond the 30 days under certain circumstances.
Singapore immigration officials will fingerprint all visitors upon arrival and departure.
You must have an onward or return ticket to visit Singapore. Customs and immigration officials may ask you to show proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
Working in Singapore
Canadians planning to study, work or reside in Singapore for longer than six months must undergo a complete medical examination that includes a chest X-ray and a test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All testing must be completed in Singapore. Issuance of an employment pass, long-term immigration pass or permanent residence will be subject to the outcome of the medical report. For inquiries related to health matters, contact Singapore’s Ministry of Health.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - February 12, 2018
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southeast Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children. Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease.
Medical services and facilities
Excellent medical care is available. Medical services are costly, and payment is required up front. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2019, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 5.
You must present your passport if asked to do so by local authorities. If you do not have your passport on you, authorities may accompany you back to your accommodations to retrieve it. If you do not cooperate, you could be detained.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include the death penalty.
If you test positive for drugs, you can be prosecuted, even if the drugs were consumed prior to your arrival in the country.
Illegal or restricted activities
Singapore has strict laws and penalties against a variety of actions that may not be illegal or may be considered minor offences in Canada. This includes:
- littering or spitting
- smoking in public places
- importing and selling chewing gum
Chewing gum, eating and drinking on the mass rapid transit system are illegal.
So-called “outrages of modesty,” such as inappropriate behaviour by men toward women, using foul language or inappropriate displays of affection or molestation, carry a sentence of corporal punishment, generally in the form of caning, imprisonment for up to two years, a fine or a combination thereof.
Vandalism offences carry a mandatory sentence of corporal punishment.
Shoplifting is considered a serious offence.
The legal age for drinking and smoking is 18 years old. Consuming alcohol in public places between 10:30 pm and 7 am is illegal. In Liquor Control Zones, the alcohol ban is extended to all day on weekends. Local authorities may impose additional restrictions in these zones. Offenders could face heavy fines and jail time.
All demonstrations and assemblies require a permit. Unauthorized demonstrations, even those involving one person, are illegal. The police can arrest, without warrant, any person involved in or suspected of disrupting the public order.
As a foreigner, you may require special permission to attend any demonstrations or assemblies. You may also not be allowed to attend (even as an observer) certain types of demonstrations. Avoid protest and political assembly sites such as Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park and large gatherings, and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Jehovah’s Witness meetings, including private meetings, are illegal in Singapore. Possession of a Jehovah’s Witness bible and any related publication is also illegal. The Unification Church is affected by similar laws.
Singapore customs authorities enforce strict regulations on the import and export of items such as weapons, illegal drugs, certain religious materials, pornographic materials, videotapes, CDs and DVDs, and software. Carrying any of these items without permission may result in immediate arrest. All luggage is X-rayed at ports of entry, and checked luggage may be inspected for regulated items.
You must obtain a permit to carry certain medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. These medications may contain ingredients that are controlled substances in Singapore.
The laws of Singapore prohibit sexual acts (including kissing) between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Singapore.
Common-law relationships are not recognized. Individuals in common-law relationships may be requested to provide a certificate of non-impediment to marriage by the local immigration authorities. The High Commission of Canada in Singapore may provide a certificate stating that the common-law relationship is recognized in Canada, but it cannot “certify” your common-law relationship.
Traffic drives on the left.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Traffic regulations are strictly enforced.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence. Sentences can be up to 10 years in prison.
If you are a Singaporean resident, you may only drive with a Singaporean licence. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to exchange your Canadian driver’s licence for a local one.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Singapore. A person who acquires two or more citizenships at birth, however, can keep all citizenships (including Singaporean citizenship) until the age of 21. At that age, a person must decide to renounce all other citizenships or renounce Singaporean citizenship.
If local authorities consider you a Singaporean citizen, you may be refused access to Canadian consular officials. You may also be subject to national obligations, such as taxes and military service. Check your status with the Embassy of Singapore to Canada prior to travelling.
Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.
The currency is the Singaporean dollar (SGD).
Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops. Foreign exchange bureaus are available at the airport, hotels and some shopping centres.
ATMs are widely available.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Singapore is in an active seismic zone.
Typhoons and monsoon
There are two monsoon seasons per year. The northeast monsoon season extends from December to March, and the southeast monsoon season extends from June to September. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.
Smoke haze and other types of air pollution can be hazardous between June and October. Keep informed, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments, on the latest haze and air pollution levels, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments.
- Air quality information – Singapore’s National Environment Agency
- 999 for police
- 995 for fire and ambulance service
Singapore - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Singapore and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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