Immigration and Customs Clearance at Changi Airport

  • airlines
  • Airport
  • chennai
  • flight services
  • flights
  • Singapore
  • travel
  • travel tips

Changi International Airport, Singapore is one of the biggest airports in Southeast Asia and voted as the best airport in the world by major travel websites. This well-connected airport transports millions of passengers a day and flies thousands of aircraft to various destinations around the world.

The airport has information throughout via signs and kiosks to guide new visitors and tourists. If you are an international traveller, you must clear immigration procedures on arrival and departure. There are few rules to follow if you want the process to move smoothly.

Immigration and Customs Procedure on Arrival at Changi Airport:

When a tourist arrives at the Changi Airport, he/she needs to follow the signs for Arrival Immigration counter located on the ground floor that deals with the clearance of immigration.

Foreign visitors have to make sure they have all the essential documents ready. The documents needed for immigration clearance are:

  • Recent Passport
  • Filled out Embarkation/Disembarkation cards.
  • Entry visas or Permits if applicable.
  • In case you are travelling from a country that had a recent case of an epidemic, then you need to provide a medical clearance or a doctor’s certificate.

Tips for a smooth arrival at the Changi Airport

  • If you have no goods to be declared, you may pass through the Green Channel.
  • If you have any goods to be declared, you must pass through the Red Channel.

Baggage Clearance

Collect all your checked in bags at the baggage claim area allotted for your flight.

If your baggage is lost or misplaced, you may contact the baggage handling section for your airline and file a complaint. The airline will arrange to ship the baggage to your respective address.

If you are transiting through Changi Airport and your airline does offer baggage transfer services, you must first clear your immigration at Arrivals section and claim your baggage before checking into your next flight from terminals 1,2 or 3.

Automated Clearance System at Changi Airport

The Enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System or EIACS is used for quick self-clearing immigration through automated lanes.

Data is read via biometric technology from your machine-readable passport. Your passport must compliant with International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Eligibility Criteria for EIACS

Without Enrollment

The following categories of travellers can go for EIACS without enrolling with ICA as long as they hold a valid and updated passport:

  • Citizens of Singapore over 6 years old who have their fingerprints registered with the ICA.
  • Permanent Residents of Singapore over 6 years old who have their fingerprints registered with the ICA.
  • Passport holders over 6 years old who have their fingerprints registered with the ICA.
  • Work Pass holders (work permit or employment permit) who have their fingerprints registered with the Ministry of Manpower.
    With Enrollment

Applicants from the following groups can approach for enrolment with the ICA to avail of the Automated Clearance System:

  • Passport holders of Hong Kong
  • Passport holders of Australia
  • Passport holders of the Republic of China
  • Passport Holders of United States of America
  • Citizens of Malaysia

EIACS counters are located in the airport at Terminal 3, Level 2 at the Departure Immigration Hall and Terminal 4, Level 1 at the Arrival Immigration Hall.

Immigration and Customs Procedure on Departure at Changi Airport:

Visitors can avail of the Automated Immigration Clearance System on the time of departure from the Changi Airport.

Clearing the Automated Clearance System at departure from Changi Airport is similar to the Arrival rules. They can clear EIACS with or without enrolment with the ICA.

GST Refund

When you have to purchase goods in Singapore, you must pay GST on those goods, if the retailer is registered to collect GST.

The TRS or the Tourist Refund Scheme lets you claim the refund of GST you paid on the goods bought at Changi International Airport.

Eligibility to claim

The following are the criteria to claim the GST refund on the purchases:

  • The purchaser must be above 16 years old on the date of purchase.
  • The buyer must not be a permanent resident or citizen of Singapore.
  • He must not be a member of the flight crew through which he is going to depart from Singapore.

eTRS claims will be paperless and there will no tickets issues. All purchases will be linked to your passport. Once you present your passport to the retailer at the time of purchase, you can claim your GST refund. There are several GST refund centre at the airport where you can apply for the refund. For check-in items, the refund claims must be completed before you check in to your flight.

For hand luggage, the GST claims must be done during departure transit after clearing immigration.

The actual amount of GST refund you will receive will be the amount after deduction of the handling fees for the refund service provided.

You must allow some time before your flight for the GST refund to be processed. The Customs Counter must authorize the refund before checking in your luggage and departing. After obtaining your GST refund approval, you must depart within 12 hours.

For GST refund on check-in baggage, you must report to eTRS kiosk at the departure counter for GST refund processing.

If you have only hand baggage, you must report to the eTRS counter at the Departure Transit counter after immigration formalities for GST refund application.

If you are doing purchases with your tickets, the eTRS kiosk will help you to apply for a GST refund.

At the kiosk you must do the following:

  • Verify your passport.
  • Accept the terms and conditions of the eTRS procedure.
  • Scan your ticket or token to retrieve details of your purchase eligible for GST refund.

You can choose the refund to be credited to your credit card account to be paid in cash. For a cash refund, there is a Central Refund Counter at the Departure Transit counter who will assist you.

Once the above steps are complete, you will receive a slip notifying the status of your GST refund. If your refund does not get approved for any reason, you can report to the Customs officer with your receipt of purchase and ticket for clarification and inspection of goods.

Reporting Currency

Any visitor who is landing in or leaving Changi Airport must report cash belonging if it exceeds $20,000 or equivalent of the foreign currency.

This declaration form must be submitted to the Customs officer at the Red Channel on arrival or to the immigration officer on departure from Singapore.

This form is called ‘Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report’ and is available in several languages.

It can be obtained from the airlines counter, immigration counter or security points.

Arrival Security

For travellers who are arriving into Changi International Airport, it is important to be aware of goods that are duty-free and the goods on which tax is levied upon.

If you are carrying any dutiable items, you must go through the Red Channel after exiting the Baggage Claim area.

Goods duty can be laid either through Singapore Customs Tax office or Singapore Customs Mobile App.

If you do not make a genuine declaration of your goods, you are liable to be fined or tried in the Court of law.

All goods that are imported to Singapore are liable for 7% GST. But if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore, you are exempt from tax with certain limitations.

There are plenty of flights from Chennai to Singapore. People who are travelling in Chennai to Singapore flights must follow the rules for international arrival immigration.