Immigration Act

(Original Enactment: M. Ordinance 12 of 1959)

(30th December 1997)
An Act relating to immigration into, and departure from, Singapore.
[16th September 1963]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Immigration Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“authorised airport”, “authorised landing place”, “authorised train checkpoint”, “authorised point of entry”, “authorised departing place” and “authorised point of departure” mean, respectively, an airport, a landing place, a train checkpoint, a point of entry, a departing place or a point of departure declared as such under section 5;
“certificate” means a certificate of status issued under the provisions of any regulations made under section 55;
“Controller” means the Controller of Immigration appointed under section 3;
“Controller of Work Permits” means the Controller of Work Permits appointed under section 3 of the Employment of Foreign Workers Act (Cap. 91A);
[53/2004 wef 15/01/2005]
“crew” includes every seaman on a vessel, and every person employed in the operation of an aircraft or a train or in any service rendered to the crew or passengers of an aircraft in flight or a train in motion;
“Director of Marine” means the Director of Marine appointed under section 4(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 179) and includes the Deputy Director of Marine appointed under that subsection and such other officers appointed under section 4(3) of that Act as the Director of Marine may authorise to carry out any of his duties under this Act;
“employ” means to engage or use the service of any person, whether under a contract of service or otherwise, with or without remuneration;
“entry” means —
(a)in the case of a person arriving by sea, disembarking in Singapore from the vessel in which he arrives;
(b)in the case of a person arriving by air at an authorised airport, leaving the precincts of such airport;
(c)in the case of a person entering by land and proceeding to an immigration control post under section 26 or an authorised train checkpoint under section 25A, leaving the precincts of such post or checkpoint for any purpose other than that of departing from Singapore by an approved route;
[53/2004 wef 15/01/2005]
(ca)in the case of a child born in Singapore on or after the date of commencement of the Immigration (Amendment) Act 2004 who is not a citizen of Singapore, his birth in Singapore; and
[53/2004 wef 15/01/2005]
(d)in any other case, any entry into Singapore by land, sea or air,
but shall not include in any case an entry made for the purpose of complying with this Act or an entry, expressly or impliedly, sanctioned by an immigration officer for the purpose of any enquiry or detention under the provisions of this Act;
“entry permit” means a permit to enter or remain in Singapore issued under section 10;
“harbour” means to give food or shelter, and includes the act of assisting a person in any way to evade apprehension;
“immigration control post” means a post established as such by the Controller at a place declared to be an immigration control post under section 5;
“immigration depot” means any place designated by the Controller for the examination, inspection or detention of persons under this Act;
“immigration officer” means any person appointed under section 3;
“immigration signal” means such signal as may be prescribed for vessels which arrive in Singapore;
“leave” means —
(a)in the case of a person leaving Singapore by sea, embarking in Singapore on a vessel which is about to leave Singapore and remaining on board such vessel at the time of its departure for any place outside Singapore;
(b)in the case of a person leaving Singapore by air, boarding an aircraft in Singapore which is about to depart from Singapore; and
(c)in the case of a person leaving Singapore by land, boarding and remaining in a train or other vehicle which is about to leave Singapore;
“master”  —
(a)in relation to a vessel, means any person (except a pilot or harbour master) having for the time being control or charge thereof;
(b)in relation to an aircraft, means the captain thereof; and
(c)in relation to a train, means the driver of the train or any person having for the time being control or charge thereof;
“occupier”, in relation to any premises or place, includes —
(a)the person having the charge, management or control of either the whole or part of the premises or place, either on his own account or as an agent; and
(b)a contractor who is carrying out building operations or construction works at the premises or place on behalf of some other person;
“pass” means a pass issued under the regulations entitling the holder thereof to remain, or enter and remain, temporarily in Singapore;
[53/2004 wef 15/01/2005]
“passenger” means any person carried in a vessel, aircraft or train, other than the members of the crew;
“permit” includes an entry permit and a re-entry permit;
“personal identifier” means an image, a measurement or a recording of a person or any part of a person, or any particulars, information or record for the purpose of identifying or authenticating the identity of a person, as specified in the Schedule;
[53/2004 wef 15/01/2005]
“prohibited immigrant” means any person who is a prohibited immigrant as defined in section 8;
“re-entry permit” means a permit to re-enter Singapore issued under section 11;
“regulations” means regulations made under this Act;
“seaman” includes the master and any person carried in a vessel as a bona fide member of the staff employed in the operation or service of the vessel and, if the vessel has articles, entered on the articles;
“stowaway” means a person who is secreted in a vessel, aircraft or train without the consent of the master or other person in charge of the vessel, aircraft or train and includes such a person who is arriving in or departing from Singapore on board any vessel, aircraft or train without the consent of the master or other person in charge of the vessel, aircraft or train;
“through passenger” means any passenger who arrives in Singapore by a vessel, aircraft or train and who is continuing his journey in the same vessel, aircraft or train to a place outside Singapore;
“transportation company” means any government, municipality, body corporate, or organisation, firm or person carrying or providing for the transit of passengers, whether by vessel, aircraft, railway, highway or otherwise, and includes any 2 or more such transporting companies co-operating in the business of carrying passengers;
“vehicle” means any vehicle whether mechanically propelled or otherwise;
“vessel” includes any ship or boat or other description of floating craft used in navigation, and includes any tackle, equipment, book, document, goods, cargo or things carried therein or thereon.
[12/70; 21/73; 60/73; 13/77; 6/89; 38/93; 41/95]
Appointment and powers of Controller and immigration officers
3.—(1)  The Minister may appoint a Controller of Immigration and such number of immigration officers as he may consider necessary for the proper carrying out of the provisions of this Act.
(2)  The powers and discretions vested in the Controller under this Act, and the duties required to be discharged by him may, subject to section 4 and to such limitations as the Controller may impose, be exercised and discharged by immigration officers duly authorised by the Controller to act on his behalf.
Power of Minister to issue directions
4.—(1)  The Minister may from time to time give the Controller directions of a general character, and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as to the exercise of the powers and discretions conferred on the Controller by, and the duties required to be discharged by the Controller under, this Act or any regulations or orders made thereunder, in relation to all matters which appear to him to affect the immigration policy of Singapore.
(2)  The Controller shall give effect to all directions given under subsection (1).