Wondering where you can travel to as a citizen of Singapore? Find out all about European travel as a Singaporean with our handy guide now!
Europe is a continent full of diverse history and culture which makes it such a popular destination for tourists. Some of the countries within Europe have formed agreements with each other and with countries around the world for visa-free travel of an area called the Schengen Zone. The Schengen Zone consists of 26 countries, all of which can be traveled freely by visa-wavier countries.
Residents of Singapore enjoy masses of freedom when it comes to visa-free travel, and travel to Europe from Singapore is no exception. Singaporeans can enjoy visa-free travel in Europe, though rules are currently changing as to the documentation you will need to enter and move around the continent.
To find out more about how Singaporeans may travel through Europe, what the new rules mean, and where a traditional visa may still be needed, take a look below.
ETIAS and travel to Europe for Singaporeans
In 2022, countries within the Schengen Zone in Europe are bringing in a kind of documentation called ETIAS. Similar to the ESTA used in the US, an ETIAS, standing for European Travel Information Authorisation System, allows more efficiency at border control and more safety for Schengen Zone countries.
Previously, citizens of visa-wavier countries, like Singapore, were allowed to move freely through countries in the Schengen Zone with little to no security checks. With an ETIAS, countries’ borders are more protected and checks can be carried out on tourists who do not need a visa.
An ETIAS allows for Singaporean citizens to remain within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days in any 180 day period, with movement allowed across borders within this area. An ETIAS lasts for three years before renewal is needed and the application can be done online and takes only a short amount of time. The ETIAS is linked to your passport for convenience.
An ETIAS is suitable for travelers who are wishing to explore countries as a tourist, those who are traveling for business, and for transit across this part of the world. It can also be used if you require medical treatment that does not exceed the 90-day limit.
Singaporean applicants for visas who are under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 will receive their ETIAS for free. Applicants must have a readable e-passport and an ETIAS is valid for arrival via land, sea, or plane.
Cases when a traditional visa may be needed to travel to Europe
Though an ETIAS covers you for lots of different kinds of travel, there are still some cases where a traditional visa may be required for travel to Europe. The main reasons Singaporean citizens will need a traditional visa to travel to Europe are if they’re relocating for work or if they’re traveling for study. Some medical treatment may also require a visa. Generally, a visa is needed if you plan on staying in the country for longer than 90 days.
Though some business is permitted under the ETIAS program, it is worth checking that the kind of work you are intending to carry out is permitted in the country you’re traveling to with just the ETIAS, even if it will take less than 90 days.
Non-Schengen Zone travel
Though an ETIAS will cover you for travel for all of the 26 countries that are part of the scheme, as well as some microstates with open borders, there are still some countries within Europe that are not part of the ETIAS program. These countries may become part of the Schengen Zone in the future so it is useful to check before you travel!
For countries in Europe that are not part of the Schengen Zone, such as Croatia, Romania, and the UK, Singaporeans may still be able to travel visa-free for up to 90 days. This is due to bilateral agreements between countries allowing for citizens of Singapore to travel visa-free. As with the ETIAS, there may be restrictions on what you can and can’t do while traveling visa-free in these countries.
Because these countries are not a part of the Schengen Zone, your 90-day limit, which in the Schengen Zone is a group limit meaning it covers your stay even if split between two countries, is effectively reset. As they’re not a part of the group, you can usually spend 90 days in non-Schengen countries regardless of the time you have spent in Schengen countries.
Where else can Singaporeans travel visa-free?
Singaporeans actually have the most freedom when it comes to travel in the world (they tie with Japan!). This is because of agreements between a range of countries that open up visa-free travel for Singaporean citizens and mean that they can travel to 168 different countries without any visa restrictions.
Though some documentation will likely be needed, like the ETIAS in Europe and an ESTA in the US, Singaporeans are relatively free when it comes to travel.
Conclusion: Can Singaporeans travel to Europe?
Singaporeans can travel freely in Europe, visa-free, for up to 90-days in most countries. If traveling to the Schengen Zone, an ETIAS is required and limits the 90-day period to the full group of Schengen countries. For non-Schengen countries, a visa is not required provided the stay doesn’t exceed 90 days and no employment is sought.