News

China visa centre for Singapore but passport pain for Britons

13 Apr 2010

Business people living in or travelling through Singapore and who want to visit China will soon be able to make use of a special visa centre at the Royal Brothers Building on Malacca Street at Raffles Place.

The new centre is scheduled to open in mid-May and will be open from 9am to 3pm for applications and 9am to 4pm for collection.

While Singapore citizens do not need a visa for trips of less than 15 days, the island’s many expatriate business people and stopover travellers should benefit from swifter processing of applications, the embassy says.

However, it’s bad news for British passport holders in Singapore, where the British High Commission will no longer process passport renewals as part of a cost-cutting exercise. Instead, UK passports will now have to be sent to the British consulate in Hongkong, adding delays and cost.
A standard British passport with 32 pages currently costs around US$197 and a Frequent Traveller’s Passport with 48 pages costs US$238. Both last for ten years.

The new system will take around four days longer than the previous 10-day processing period and applicants will have to pay for a courier service. The High Commission has a special agreement with DHL for US$28 per passport and applications can be dropped off at DHL offices around the island.

There are estimated to be 25,000 Britons living in Singapore, a major part of the overseas business community based there.

For more details, visit www.chinaembassy.org.sg and www.ukinsingapore.fco.gov.uk

Kenny Coyle

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