Monday 23 October 2017

Registering Thumbprints for Your Child's Passport

If you're a Singaporean or Singapore PR, you would have used the Enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (e-IACS) at the various checkpoints when travelling in and out of Singapore. It's basically the self-clearance gates that allow you to scan your passport and thumb print yourself without having to queue at the immigration officer counters.

This convenience is not available for parents with young kids like us because the automatic gates do not recognise the child's fingerprints. Hence, we have to queue with everyone else, which has increased our queuing time by more than double.

However, the good news is, kids can register their fingerprints at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) once they turn 7 years old. After your child has registered their fingerprints, they will be able to use the e-IACS as well.

The girl is very excited that she is finally eligible to go through the automated gates! =)

Here's sharing some tips on how to do this based on my personal experience:

1) Wait for your child to turn 7 SIX years old
Your child must reach his/her 76th birthday before you are able to register his/her fingerprints.

Update: I recently found out that the minimum age is 6 years old even though I was told by an ICA officer that it was 7 years old in the past. Perhaps they have changed their policy over time and I wasn't informed. 

2) Book an appointment online
I tried to Google to find out how to do it but I couldn't find much information on the ICA website as the FAQs mainly focused on passport creation and collection. I made a trip down to ICA to try my luck and learned that they only accepted appointments made online.

The officer showed me how to do it and I'm sharing the steps here in case any of you need help like I did, so as to save you a wasted trip down =)

Step 1: Go to the ICA website here

Step 2: Click on the sidebar and click on "Check Status/Make Appointment" >> "Make an appointment" >> "Book/cancel/change appointment". You will be directed to the e-appointment website.

Step 3: Click on "Visitor" >> "Application for e-IACS"

Step 4: Choose your type of identification and input your identification number. Click submit when you are done.

Step 5: Click your preferred date on the calendar and you're done!

3) Bring your child down to ICA, Level 4
Arrive at ICA about 15 minutes before your appointment time. Don't be late otherwise your waiting time might be increased.

When you're there, head to the Foreign Visitors Service Counter and show them your appointment and your child's passport. They will proceed to give you a queue number and the counter where you will be served.

Although it says Foreign Visitors Service Counter, this is where we need to queue as well because they've only got one customer service counter

The queue can be quite long so do factor this into your planning.

4) Register your child's thumb print
Our queue number was called almost immediately. The officer handled everything necessary for registering my girl's thumb prints and we were done 10 minutes later.

I really love and appreciate how fast and efficient ICA is!

So there you have it! Hope that this would be helpful for those of you who are thinking of doing the same for your child =)
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