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04 Jan 2020
Immigration and Checkpoint Authority
Suggestion View - 476
$90 for a new passport

It cost $90 to get a new passport, including renewal. This appears to be costly.

I checked the fee for a passport in America, UK and Australia. In all cases, they charge two to three times of $90. So, by international comparison, Singapore appears to be "affordable". That was my impression at first glance.

But $90 is still too much. I guess ICA makes a "profit" from providing this compulsory service. Their revenue must exceed the cost of producing the passport, including the cost of their operating staff. Sorry, I cannot add the million dollar salaries paid to the ministers and top civil servants.

Why do other countries charge more?

These other countries do not have the large budget surplus that Singapore has. They do not have land sale, COE and foreign worker levy. They run a budget deficit. So, they need to collect more in passport fees.

In the big countries, a smaller percentage of the population needs a passport. In America, only 46% carry a passport. In China, it is only 6%.

Singapore is a small country. Nearly every adult needs a passport just to travel a short distance. I am referring to Johor Bahru and Batam. 

Still, $90 is quite a high fee for many families in Singapore. Maybe we should follow China and charge 150 CNY (S$20) for a passport?

Tan Kin Lian


 


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