Updates on Study Abroad for Visiting Coursework Students

Application and Arrival in Singapore

Updated on 21 Oct 2021

While the University will continue to do its best to ensure that you have a good study abroad experience, we wish to highlight these possible challenges and additional expenses faced by students to assist them with making an informed decision based on your risk tolerance, academic requirements, and financial situation. 

This flowchart details 8 key processes required for a study abroad semester to happen in January 2022. More details on each step can be found in the “pre-arrival” and “arrival” tabs listed below.

Details are based on border measures implemented by Singapore Ministry of Health and may be subjected to change without prior notice.

By Mid-November 2021
(Step 1)
  Mid-November 2021
(Step 2)
  Late-November/ Early- December 2021
(Steps 3, 4, 5)
  Mid-Dec 2021/Early-Jan 2022 (Steps 6 through 9)
1. Must have secured at least three (3) modules (courses) from the initial application submitted.

Application outcome will be released to students by mid-November.
arrow  2. Receive Acceptance Letter (email) from NUS Registrar’s Office. 

Information included: 
- Application of on- campus housing
 - Student’s Pass (Visa)
- Entry Approval
arrow  3. Receive housing application outcome 

4. Receive Student’s Pass application outcome from Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) 

5. Apply and Receive Entry Approval (EA) 

As EA will indicate the travel period students can arrive in Singapore, take note of the last day students can arrive.*
arrow  6. Complete swab test within 48 hours before outbound flight(s) to Singapore depending on travel history and departure destination

7. Arrive in Singapore and complete 7-day or 10-day quarantine (or Stay Home Notice, SHN) depending on travel history and departure destination

8. Arrive on NUS campus to start study abroad at NUS.

* Last day to Students to: a) apply for Student’s Pass, b) apply and receive for Entry Approval, c) Arrive in Singapore

Last day for students to: a) Apply for Student’s Pass b) Apply and receive Entry Approval Application c) Arrive in Singapore
 10-Day SHN  29 Nov 2021 19 Dec 2021  3 Jan 2022 
 7-Day SHN 6 Dec 2021  26 Dec 2021  10 Jan 2022 

Given semester 2’s start date, the university is unable to accommodate students who complete their formalities or arrival in Singapore beyond the dates listed above. Students who are unable to meet any of these dates will regrettably be asked to withdraw from the programme.


Step 1 Must have secured at least three (3) modules (courses) from the initial application submitted

Students will have to secure at least three modules (courses) from their initial application submitted. This may be increasingly difficult in AY2021/22 Semester 2 due to limited outbound exchanges and fewer modules being available to visiting students.

Students who are unable to secure at least 3 modules at this stage will have their application deemed unsuccessful.

Regrettably, NUS is unable to accede to any appeals given the limited number of modules and the strict timeline for immigration matters.

Step 2 Receive Acceptance Letter (email) from NUS Registrar’s Office which includes information on application of on- campus housing, Student’s Pass (Visa), and Entry Approval

Contingent upon securing three modules as Step 1.

Step 3 Receive housing application outcome

On-campus accommodation has always been limited, with demand outstripping supply. Allocation of on-campus housing has been further reduced due to limited operating capacity in view of the social-distancing measures.

Students departing from Category (IV) countries are strongly advised to apply for housing only after they have obtained Entry Approval.

Students are encouraged to seek off-campus accommodation options early. Please visit this page for off-campus resources prepared by our Hostel Admission Services team.

Step 4 Receive Student’s Pass application outcome from Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

Many of the pre-arrival aspects, particularly those involving immigration, border control and quarantine measures, are beyond the University’s control. Any possible changes may be on short notice and cause disruption to students’ plans.

Applicants are required to secure the following:
a) A Student’s Pass, and 
b) Entry Approval for travel to Singapore

Students extended an offer of admission will be sent an email containing application instructions for both.

Step 5 Apply and Receive Entry Approval (EA)

All international students entering Singapore require Entry Approval. Students can apply for entry 2 to 5 weeks before the planned date of entry.

From 1 November 2021, all international students entering Singapore will be required to be fully vaccinated as an entry requirement.

Entry Approval employs a quota system  and is reviewed on a weekly basis. NUS is unable to guarantee approval and If unsuccessful, students may make a second or third application, if feasible.

As these regulations are subject to frequent calibration by the government, we encourage frequenting the Safe Travel Office website for the most up-to-date regulations.

*Note on Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP)*

Students in certain countries/regions are permitted quarantine-free entry into Singapore under Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL). Please take note that only specific flights are VTL eligible. For the most up to date information on eligibility and COVID-19 testing requirements, please visit the VTL webpage 

Students who apply via VTL will receive a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) in lieu of Entry Approval. No separate Entry Approval application is necessary.  

Step 6 Complete swab test within 48 hours of outbound flight(s) to Singapore depending on travel history and departure destination

The authorities employ differentiated measures depending on an individual’s travel history and country of departure. As measures are subject to contact review, please visit the above web link to take note of the measures that apply to you.

A negative test result will be required when boarding the flight(s) to Singapore.

Step 7 Arrive in Singapore and complete 7-day or 10-day quarantine (or Stay Home Notice, SHN) depending on travel history and departure destination

All arrivals to Singapore may be subject to quarantine regulations (or Stay Home Notice, SHN) depending on one’s travel history. 

SHN Period SHN Location
 7 Days  - Self-sourced Accommodation
- Private Accommodation
 10 Days - Government-appointed hotel/facility
- Private Accommodation

SHN cannot be performed on-campus as halls/residences do not meet the government’s isolation requirements.

Notes on your Stay Home Notice (SHN)

Persons on Stay Home Notice are required to undertake multiple swab tests before and during their mandatory isolation period. The cost of SHN and mandatory testing are to be borne by students (estimated at S$1775 or ~USD$1305 for 10-day SHN at a government designated facility). This is in addition to the regular study abroad expenses (tuition fees, miscellaneous student fees, accommodation and other costs of living).

COVID-19 Tests
Dedicated Facilities for Quarantine (SHN)

SHN is performed alone (no room sharing) and you will not be permitted to leave your room for the entire SHN period. The authorities take breaches of SHN regulations very seriously and have fined and deported persons before. Additionally, while meals are provided as part of the SHN cost and hotels are able to cater to most dietary requirements, the menu is fixed given the scale that the facility has to provide for. 
For more information on SHN and swab testing, please visit this page.

Step 8 Arrive on NUS campus to start study abroad at NUS

First day of term is 10 January 2022.

The FAQs listed below will help answer some of the most pressing questions you may have. If you require any further assistance, you may write to nghelp@nus.edu.sg.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students are strongly encouraged to withhold from making any non-refundable transactions until at least they have received their Student’s Pass (Visa) confirmation as well as their Entry Approval. Purchasing your airline tickets prior to receiving your Student’s Pass and Entry Approval is extremely risky as the University cannot guarantee your application for either immigration document will be successful.

NUS will not offer virtual study abroad experience. It is the university’s belief that students should be physically present in Singapore so that they may get to experience the local customs and culture. 

Arguably, this may be equally or more important than the academic aspects of study abroad as there would be unique experiences and insights can be gained through being part of the NUS Community and by extension, Singapore at large.

You may browse their FAQs at this website. If you cannot find your answers, you may call the Safe Travel Enquiries Helpline at +65 6812 5555 or submit an enquiry form (go.gov.sg/sto-enquiry) and allow them some time to respond to your queries.