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How to Get a Passport for Your New Baby in Singapore

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Getting your newborn a passport in Singapore is a doddle with our easy-to-follow guide

Getting your newborn a passport isn’t as scary as you might think, mama! We’ve done all the digging and trawled through all the embassy jargon for you – that said, things are always subject to change so make sure you do all of your own research just in case. We’ve included Singapore’s largest English-speaking populations, but apologies if your country isn’t listed below. Check out this list of recommended photo studios (we’ve also had success with Standard Photo at Parkway Parade). Wherever you go, make sure you know the correct size required for your country!

Here’s to happy travels and a brand spanking new passport for the little ones…

Singapore
Australia
Canada
India
Malaysia
United Kingdom
USA

Singapore:
Huzzah for the Little Red Dot! The embassy page isn’t all that helpful, but we’ve gleaned out the gold dust for you below.

Is my child eligible for a Singaporean passport?
If one or both parents are Singaporean, and the child was born in Singapore, then yes. (Children born abroad with at least one Singaporean parent are also eligible.)

What do I need to apply for?
Just the passport. However you have a few options, you can either do it via post or online.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

  • Birth certificate
  • Identity card of consenting parent or legal guardian
  • A filled out Singapore Biometric Passport Application form available here
  • A recent passport colour photograph (35mm x 45mm) taken against a white background
  • A citizenship certificate
  • A current Singapore passport
  • S$70 for online or post applications

As there are quite a few different ways to apply for a Singapore passport, you’ll have to follow a different set of guidelines for each. For post/deposit, you have to either mail your application form and photograph to Passports Unit, Citizen Services Centre, Level 2, ICA Building, 10 Kallang Road, Singapore 208718 or drop it off in the deposit boxes on Levels 1,2 and 3 of the ICA Building. For an online application you have to use the adorably named APPLES online system here. For all of these processes however, you’ll get a letter in the post stating when your passport is available for collection.

What about National Service?
All male Singaporean citizens (including those born abroad), as well as male sons of PR-holders, are required to do National Service. The only ways we’ve heard about getting around this involve leaving Singapore and never coming back again — and who would want to do that?

Australia:

Is my child eligible?
If either you or your partner are recognised as a bonafide Aussie citizen, then your child qualifies for an Australian passport.

What do I need to apply for?
On top of a regular passport application, you’ll have to fill out a form to qualify your baby as an Australian citizen by descent first. This form can now be submitted online (or physically, based on your convenience).

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Here’s a quick list of everything below that you’ll need for both appointments. Tip: there’s a photo booth at the Australian High Commission in case you don’t have the time to sort one out at home!

Australian Citizen by Descent

Children born outside Australia to at least one Australian citizen parent may be eligible under the Australian Citizenship Act to be registered as an Australian Citizen by Descent (CBD). Applications for CBD can now be lodged online (hurrah!). To make an online application, visit this link. Should you prefer to lodge a paper application in person, head to the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) but note that you will incur a service fee in addition to the Visa Application Charge.

  • Registration fee $254. Every subsequent child (lodged together) is $106.
  • Form 118 completed and if the applicant aged less than 18 years, signed by a responsible parent.
  • One endorsed colour passport sized photographs of the applicant (see form 118)
  • Applicant’s birth certificate listing details of natural parents (original and copy, or a notarised* copy of the original – if providing the original, it will be returned to you with the citizenship certificate).
  • Personal identification page(s) of passports (i.e.: name, date of birth, passport number, validity and signature page) in colour for both parents.
  • Both parents’ Singapore Identity Card (if applicable)
  • For parents who obtained Citizenship by Descent, the Extract Certificate from Register of Australian Citizenship by Descent or an Australian passport issued after 22/11/1984, for parents who obtained Australian citizenship by grant, the original certificate or an Australian passport issued after 22/11/1984.
  • Marriage certificate for parents (if applicable)
  • If any person has had a legal change of name, the document showing the name change (e.g. marriage certificate or change of name certificate).

For a full checklist of documents needed refer to this link

Passport Appointment
Next get an appointment and head to the embassy. Note: You must have book an appointment before you head to the embassy. Here’s what you will need to carry with you to your appointment.

  • A completed and printed out form which you have to fill in online here
  • The parent’s Australian passport
  • Documents proving your Australian citizenship and identity
  • Child’s birth certificate showing parents’ full name
  • Two identical colour photographs taken within six months, with one signed by a guarantor along with the words ‘This is a true photo of (child applicant)’.
  • If your child is from a previous marriage or there are special court orders regarding their guardianship, you’ll have to bring evidence of those orders (i.e. a divorce decree, etc.). If they’re in another language other than English, you’ll have to get them translated

You’ll have to wait about three weeks to get your passport sent back to you. Way better than waiting close to two months for a British one…!

Canada:

So you want to get your little one a passport, eh? There’s a bit more documentation to fill out here, plus you’ll have to find an eligible guarantor (it’s apparently easier if you choose somebody who’s also Canadian), but after that you just need to shoot over to the High Commission of Canada at One George Street.

Is my child eligible for a Canadian passport?
This one’s a little tricky – either you or your partner has to have been born in Canada or have been naturalised before your kiddo was born. If you were adopted and born outside of Canada, unfortunately the only way your child can successfully get a passport is if you’re married to somebody born in Canada.

What do I need to apply for?
You just have to apply for a passport as the Canadian government will recognize foreign birth certificates, so long as they’re in English or French. There is a guarantor application form that you have to fill out and submit in conjunction with the passport though, but that’s pretty straightforward.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

  • A fully completed application form
  • Two identical passport photos (50mm x 70mm). The name and address of the photographer and the date the photos were taken must be included on the back of one of the photos. One photo must be signed by the guarantor. Get more information on the full photo requirements here.
  • Guarantor application form and one of the child’s photos certified by your guarantor (someone who’s known you for at least two years). They’ll have to write the words ‘I certify this to be a true likeness of (your child’s name)’ and sign it.
  • Parent’s proof of Canadian citizenship (original only), it’ll be returned to you
  • Proof of parentage, i.e. a birth certificate
  • SGD $100

If you’ve got any documentation that’s not in English or French, you’ll have to get a verified translation of it as well. After that, head to the High Commission of Canada on One George Street between Monday to Friday at 8:00-16:30 Monday-Thursday and 8:00-13:30 on a Friday. It takes roughly a whopping 20 days to get everything sorted, so if you’re planning on heading off somewhere make sure you’re all prepped in advance!

India:

Applying for your newborn’s Indian passport is a pretty streamlined process, with the actual passport form being the only real piece of scary form filling that you have to complete. However, it is slightly different in that you don’t actually apply at the High Commission of India itself, but head on over to a couple of Passport Application centres located across Singers.

Is my child eligible?
If both you and your partner happen to possess an Indian passport, you’re on the right track.

What do I need to apply for?
Applying for an Indian passport is pretty simple, all you’ve got to do is apply for the form rather than go through the hullabaloo of grabbing an overseas birth recognition certificate. However you do have to go to a Passport application centre rather than the commission itself.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

  • One coloured passport photograph (2 x 2 inches)
  • A filled out passport application form with your child’s thumbprint (left for a boy, right for a girl) in the designated section
  • SGD$65 in cash only
  • Indian passports of the child’s parents
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate

It’ll take about 10-12 working days to process everything. You’ll have to roll over to one of three Passport Application centres: VFS (Singapore) on either Anson Road or on Rangoon Road, or BLS International Services Singapore on Serangoon Road. They’ve both got different submission and collection times, so be sure to check up on their websites beforehand.

Malaysia:

Looking to get your child a passport from across the border? You’ll want to head on over to the High Commission of Malaysia over on Jervois Road to get them a swanky Malaysian e-Passport.

Is my child eligible?
If your child hasn’t been registered as a Singaporean Citizen and you remember to apply for the passport within a year of your child being born, your child stands a good chance whether they’re adopted or not. Both parents do have to be Malaysian citizens however, unless you’re a single/divorced parent.

What do I need to apply for?
To score your kiddo a Malaysian passport, you’re going to need a few things. If your tot was born in Singapore and has a Singaporean birth certificate, then you’ll need to fill out a Borang W – which is basically a fancy piece of paper that verifies that your child was born to Malaysian parents available at the consulate. On top of that, you’ll have to register your child as a Malaysian Citizen in Singapore using a form creatively called the Malaysia Citizens in Singapore Registration form. After that, you’ll be all good to go in for your passport application.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

Borang W Appointment

  • A filled out application form in blue/black ink confusingly called a Borang D (2 copies)
  • Malaysian identity cards of both parents (Originals and two photocopies)
  • Birth certificate of both parents (Originals and two photocopies)
  • Passports of both parents (Originals and two photocopies)
  • Malaysian marriage certificate of parents (Original and two photocopies)
  • Singapore birth certificate of child (Original and two photocopies)
  • Passport photographs of your child on a white background (4 pieces: two for the Borang D and 2 for the passport application)
  • Passport photographs of both parents (two each)
  • A registration fee of SGD15

Note: All your photocopies need to be on A4 pieces of paper and foreign documents need to be translated into English by appropriate commissions and consulates.

You can submit all the above items between Monday to Friday at 8:00-12:00pm at the consulate. After that, you can just scoot on back over to grab the Borang W after three working days.

Passport Appointment
This is going to delve into what you need if your child has two Malaysian parents, however if you take a look here on the website, you’ll be able to find out what to do if you’re a single Sassy Mama or there are other extenuating circumstances. The great thing is that your baby doesn’t have to be present either.

Also, remember I mentioned the Malaysia Citizen in Registration form? You can submit that altogether with your passport application form, which you can grab there.

  • A Borang W and Singaporean birth certificate OR a Malaysian birth certificate
  • A Malaysian identity card of either parent with a photocopy
  • Passport application form (available at the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore)
  • RM 100 as fees, payable in Singapore Dollars. You do need to email or call them for the exact currency conversion before heading to the High Commission.

You can submit your application between Monday – Thursday at 8:00-12:00pm or between 8:00am-11:30am on a Friday. After that, you’ll be able to collect everything two to three working days after the submission between 14:30-16:00pm on any weekday, providing it’s not a public holiday.

United Kingdom:

Looking to get your kiddo protected by good old Queen Elizabeth? If you’ve been following the news recently, you may have noticed that there’s been a pretty ridiculous mix up with the system in that overseas passport applications take a really long time to process now. (As someone with a British passport, I’m pretty frustrated too.) Everything’s done totally online, so take a little look below to see how to get it all done…

Is my child eligible for a British passport?
If either you or your partner are British ‘not by descent’, meaning that they were able to obtain British citizenship either on their own or they were born in Britain, then your child will be able to become a British citizen ‘by descent’ which however means that their children might not qualify for citizenship. Don’t worry, we had to google all the jargon too; this site has a complex but fairly comprehensive breakdown of all the rules and definitions.

What do I need to apply for?
Just your passport, woohoo!

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
You don’t actually go in person to an appointment, everything’s processed online which makes squeezing in time a little easier. There are some things you’ll need before you start the online application process, however:

  • Parents’ passport numbers
  • Two identical new photos of your child (35mm x 45mm), with one verified by the countersignatory (more on that below)
  • Any other current passports issues by other countries
  • A MasterCard/Visa/Visa Electron/Visa Debit card to pay a total of 72.86 pounds online, including courier fees
  • A Counter signature from a guarantor who’s known the parent making the application for at least two years in the declaration pack

After that, you’ll have to head over to this application website to begin the whole process. It takes at least six weeks at the very least from the day that your application’s been received by Her Majesty’s Passport Office so…probably don’t book anything for a little while. For more information, check out the Singapore specific page here.

USA:

If you’re looking to get the kiddos a passport from the US of A, you’re going to have to shimmy on down to the Embassy of the United States Singapore for an appointment. Before booking an appointment however, there are a couple of things you’ll need to bring or remember below:

Is my child eligible?
If either you or your partner are US citizens, your biological child is eligible for American citizenship. Unfortunately, the short answer is that obtaining a passport abroad for adopted children isn’t possible (there are exceptions, however).

What do I need to apply for?
There are a few things you need to apply for. The first is a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), which sounds scary but is really just a certificate stating that your tot was born to a US citizen overseas. You can’t get a passport without it, the details can be found here. Secondly, there’s the actual passport application itself – the form can be found here. And finally, there’s a Social Security Card application here.

Obviously, you’ve also got to sign up for an appointment and you can do that through the online booking system.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
You’re going to need to bring both the originals, a copy and an English translation of the following documents:

  • Evidence of a parent(s)’ citizenship and identity, i.e. a passport or even naturalization/birth certificates with some form of photo identification (two copies)
  • Your child’s birth certificate (two copies)
  • A marriage certificate (1 copy)
  • If you’ve been previously married, you’ll need to bring your termination certificate such as a divorce decree or a death certificate. (1 copy)
  • Completed application forms for a CRBA, US passport and Social Security Card
  • A US passport sized photo (51mm x 51mm) on a white background of your child
  • USD$205 to pay the application fees, however this must be paid either in SGD or via credit card

Bring all these things to your allocated appointment and you’re gravy, mamas.

Information correct as of Nov 2017. Visit your respective embassy website for the latest information.

Lead image sourced via Pinterest

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