The first case linked to the KTV cluster, a Vietnamese national, entered Singapore in February 2021 via the Familial Ties Lane (FTL). She was sponsored by a Singapore Citizen who indicated in the application that he was her boyfriend. The application was made through the “Boyfriend/Girlfriend of Singapore Citizen (SC)/Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)” category under the FTL, which was an archetype available then. This was one of the expanded categories of profile allowed for inbound air travel, and was introduced in October 2020. It was to allow Singaporeans who are in relationships with foreign partners, to be reunited after being separated for long periods due to the pandemic. ICA had received many appeals from Singaporeans in this regard.
2. In view of the evolving border control measures, and as part of ICA’s regular reviews on the requirements and application processes for travellers seeking entry into Singapore, the “Boyfriend/Girlfriend of Singapore Citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident” category was removed in March 2021. The use of Singpass log-in and security screening measures were also put in place on the SafeTravel portal as part of the entry application process. Similar to pre-COVID-19 days, foreigners are also assessed at the point of entry and dubious travellers will be refused entry even if they have prior entry approvals.
3. During this pandemic, ICA assesses applications to extend Short-Term Visit Passes on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration extenuating reasons, such as international travel restrictions and flight availability, and whether the applicants have family ties in Singapore.
4. We would like to remind members of the public to submit truthful and accurate information. ICA will not hesitate to take firm enforcement action against those found to have made false declarations.
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
16 JULY 2021