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If you're looking for a unique and contemporary education experience Singapore is the place for you. The land of the bustling city center and the picture-perfect skyline is the most favored country amongst international students. The young country with diverse communities and multicultural heritage offers a cosmopolitan and fast-paced lifestyle to its immigrants.

Along with the adventurous experience of both the East and the West side, Singapore is also famous for its high-quality education system. Studying in Singapore guarantees you a brighter future by giving you an opportunity to learn from some of the best faculties in the world. The country is proud of its high standards of teaching and learning. The island nation is also known as the global schoolhouse because of the importance it gives to education.

Reasons to study in Singapore

Singapore has a well-developed education system providing a large number of opportunities for foreign students. Here are a few reasons to study in this premier education hub

  • Academic Excellence: Singapore is one of the top-ranking educations hubs of the world. The country helps the students to develop a global perspective on things and offers them a wide wealth of courses. Singapore is the home for some of the top-notch universities along with the internationally recognized public school system forming its comprehensive education system.
  • Pocket-Friendly Education: The tuition fees, as well as the cost of living in Singapore, is quite affordable. The options of scholarships, student grants and loans, and bursaries are also available to provide relevant financial assistance to the aspirants.
  • Easy Accessibility: The island nation is well connected to all regions of the world via sea, air, and telecommunications. The rich integrated transport system of the country includes comfortable and affordable taxis, Mass Rapid Transit lines, and air-conditioned buses. Students also get a concession while traveling on MRT lines and public busses.
  • Business Hub: The developed infrastructure, political stability, and open business policy are what makes Singapore a global business hub. International students are offered the benefits of limitless career opportunities and networking possibilities.
  • Exciting and lively lifestyle: Singapore is always bustling with attractions and activities because of its multicultural population. A large number of Eurasians living together celebrating one thing or the other offering an exciting campus life to the international students. Your interest can be sports, drama, or astronomy Singapore will have something to accommodate all.
  • Tuition Grant Scheme (TGS): The Singaporean government introduced this scheme to reduce the tuition cost for foreign students. This scheme makes the dream of studying abroad affordable for aspirants. Under this scheme, the government of Singapore will subsidize your course fee only if you sign an agreement stating that you will work for at least 3 years in Singapore after the completion of your program.

Top universities

Singapore might be small in terms of area but is definitely a huge hit in the realms of education. Some of the best universities in the country are 

  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Singapore Management University
  • Amity Global Institute - Singapore
  • East Asia Institute of Management(EASB)
  • James Cook University(JCU)-Singapore
  • Management Development Institute of Singapore(MDIS)
  • Raffles Design Institute
  • Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
  • SMU-Singapore Management University

Student Pass in Singapore

Every visa is referred to as ‘Pass’ in Singapore thus, you require a ‘Student Pass’ to earn your education in Singapore if you're from a different nation. You need to submit an application for your student pass at least a month before the commencement of your program or course but not more than two months in advance. In order to apply for a Student Pass successfully, you need to register yourself on the official registering system of Singapore, i.e. Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR) system.

You're eligible for a Student Pass only when you have been accepted into a full-time program in one of the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL). Unfortunately, in case of part-time courses or evening classes, you're not issued a Student Pass.

How to apply for a Student Pass

The applicants for a Student Pass must follow the mentioned procedure to ensure a smooth process

  • Before submitting your application via SOLAR, the institute that has offered admission to you in Singapore must register you through SOLAR with the following information
  • Name, Gender, Nationality of the aspirant, and Date of birth
  • Course details (commencement and completion date of the course)
  • Reference number of the submitted SOLAR application
  • Once the institute has registered you via the SOLAR, the next step is to submit eForm 16. The details you should gather before logging into your SOLAR account are
  • A registration notification from the Student’s Pass On-Line Application & Registration system with the login details provided by IHL
  • Passport details, especially the passport number and its validity
  • Personal email address
  • A recent passport size photograph
  • After the successful submission of eForm16, you need to take a print out of the same to submit to the Student Pass unit, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), as a mandatory part for the issuance of a Student Pass.

Documents Required

The documents required to effectively complete the application process for the attainment of Student Pass are

  • Offer letter from the university (You need to compulsorily have an offer letter from the Singaporean University you've applied to)
  • A valid passport (Make sure that your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your duration of stay in Singapore)
  • Duly filled student visa application forms (ICA form 16 and Form V36)
  • Payment receipt of the application fee and the issuance fee
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of funds (Bank statements, fixed deposit receipts, or bank loan sanction letter)
  • Transcripts, degrees, diplomas, or certificates from your previous institutes
  • Scores of language proficiency tests like TOEFL, IELTS, etc. (As required by the Singaporean university)
  • Latest medical report (Follow the format available on the official website of ICA)

Cost of the process

There are two types of fee that are involved in the entire procedure of gaining a Student Pass

Processing Fee: A processing fee of S$30 (Singaporean Dollar) should be submitted to the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority. The amount is non-refundable. In case of the submission through SOLAR, the payment will be done online, either via credit or debit card or via internet banking.

Issuance Fee: An amount of S$60 is charged once your Student Pass is issued and after that, a further payment of S$30 is required as the multiple entry fees. This amount is payable only after the successful completion and issuance of the Student Pass.

Working on the Student Pass

A student with a valid Student Pass is allowed to work for a time limit of 16 hours per week. The students can work full time during the holidays as there is no restriction regarding the student pass and work permit at that time. It is advised to check for the employment opportunities provided by your university before looking for options anywhere else.

Once you are through with your educational program and are keen to explore employment opportunities in Singapore, you can submit an application for a one-year Visit Pass to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA). This can also be applied online through e-VP.

Processing time for Student Pass

The application can be processed as fast as in two weeks but can take up to five weeks to get the final approval.

If you have another legal way to reside in Singapore, you do not need any kind of permit to gain an education in the country. However, the way you choose should cover up your stay until the course is completed.

There are a large number of organizations that are available to guide, assist, and counsel you through the entire application procedure of the Student Pass. 

Points to remember while applying for a Student Pass

  • You might need to submit some additional documents at the time of your visa interview so it is advised to keep them ready. These documents are mostly required to prove your academic and financial claims made in the application.
  • You will have to assure the immigration department that you are responsible enough to stay in Singapore with a valid Student Pass at all times.
  • The medical reports submitted with the documents should not be older than three months from the issued date.
  • Failure in fulfilling the medical requirements appropriately will lead to the rejection of your application to get the Student Pass.
  • If your native language is not English, you would have to provide an official English translation of those records.

Singapore is known for its hospitality and welcoming nature but as of 2011, the number of international students in the country have been assigned a specific number. The capped number of students might not affect your area of study but it does impact the overall visiting students. If you're interested in making your future in Singapore, act quickly and start with the planning now to fulfill your aim to study abroad.

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