Guide for International Applicants
1. Offer of Admission
International students who are successful in gaining admission to the full-time MSc programme must note that their offer of admission is conditional upon the successful application of their student passes.
2. Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) – Student’s Pass and Related Matters
All full-time international students must hold a valid Student’s Pass whilst studying at NUS. To apply for a Student’s Pass, NUS Registrar’s Office will initiate registration with ICA on your behalf, following which you will receive an instructional email to submit the application via the ICA e-Service for Student’s Pass.
It is important to monitor your Student’s Pass application regularly as you will be required to upload documents and make payment at several points in the application process (notably during the submission of eForm16, and Completion of Formalities (COF)). Failure to make payment within ICA’s stipulated deadlines will result in your Student’s Pass application being withdrawn.
If you are not issued with an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, you will not be able to complete the formalities for the issuance of your Student’s Pass. Therefore, it is important for you to act promptly after receiving the email notification from NUS Registrar’s Office to access the e-Service.
The IPA letter cannot be used in place of the Student’s Pass to study at NUS. Upon receipt of the IPA letter, you are advised to read it carefully and prepare the required documents/items for submission to ICA in person to convert your Social Visit Pass to a Student’s Pass.
Detailed instructions on the above can be found in the NUS Offer Booklet enclosed with the NUS Offer Letter of Admission that will be sent to all successful international applicants.
Details on immigration matters and arrival pre-requisites into Singapore can be found at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website and Travelling to Singapore – Overview (ica.gov.sg) respectively.
3. Entry Approval/ Vaccinated Travel Pass by SafeTravel Office (STO)
In addition to obtaining the Student’s Pass or Student’s Pass In-principle Approval from the ICA, international students will also need to obtain approval from the SafeTravel Office (STO) before they commence their journey to Singapore. You can apply for entry 2 to 5 weeks before the planned date of entry. You will need to ensure that your student’s pass application has been approved before applying for Entry Approval/ Vaccinated Travel Pass.
Note: Students in certain countries/regions are permitted quarantine-free entry into Singapore under Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL). Please visit the VTL webpage for more information on eligibility and COVID-19 testing requirements. Students who apply via VTL will receive a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) in lieu of Entry Approval. No separate Entry Approval application is necessary.
From 1 November 2021, all international students entering Singapore will be required to be fully vaccinated (https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/stpl/vaccination-requirements) as an entry requirement.
Students should not proceed with their trip to Singapore until they have received the entry approval letter. The STO entry approval letter, which is valid for one week, will be sent to the email indicated in your STO application.
Students must produce the entry approval letter to airline staff upon check-in at the departure airport, and to the immigration officer upon arrival in Singapore. Students who arrive without an entry approval letter from STO will not be allowed to enter Singapore and will be required to fly out of Singapore within 48 hours, at their own cost. The In-Principle Approval Letter for the Student’s Pass may also be rescinded by ICA.
Students who are granted entry into Singapore are required to comply with the prevailing public health regulations and requirements. All costs will be borne by students and all payments are to be made prior to entry into Singapore.
Prior to arrival, students are to submit their health status and recent travel history, as well as personal particulars and contact details via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service.
4. Updating of Vaccination Information
Students are required to download Trace Together App , and uNivUS App from Google Play or iOS app stores after arriving in Singapore, as part of contact tracing efforts.
Students are required to update their vaccination status with (1) the National Immunization Registry, and (2) the University.
Step 1: Updating the National Immunisation Registry
Students are required to update their vaccination records within 2 weeks of their arrival in Singapore/ conclusion of their quarantine period.
To update your vaccination record, you may book an appointment for a serology test at the University Health Centre (UHC). Likewise, you may wish to make an appointment at an off-campus clinic (https://flu.gowhere.gov.sg/). Please bring your vaccination certificates with you for validation.
Testing and upload of records on the National Immunisation Registry may take up to 10 days. Please contact the clinic if you fail to fail to hear from them after this period. The vaccination status will be reflected in your TraceTogether App.
For guidance on how to do it, please visit the NUS Emergency website.
Step 2: Updating Vaccination Record in uNivUS
The university requires students to upload a copy of their Singapore vaccination certificate. This certificate can be issued once vaccination status is updated in the National Immunisation Registry.
Access to the Singapore vaccination certificate is only through HealthHub or Notraise. Students are required to login via use of Singpass (Singapore’s digital ID). You can register for Singpass only after your Student’s Pass Card has been issued (https://www.singpass.gov.sg/singpass/register/instructions). As part of the process involves a mail containing your password being sent to your residential address in Singapore, you must provide your residential address in Singapore on your Student’s Pass Terms & Conditions form when you are completing your Student’s Pass formalities.
After setting up your Singpass, you can then download a copy of your Singapore vaccination certificate for submission on the uNivUS App.
If you need to reset your Singpass password, please refer to the Singpass website and make the necessary arrangements.
5. In-person Enrolment session for Student’s Pass
Students must make an e-appointment and report in person at ICA Office, 4th Storey, ICA Building to complete the Student’s Pass enrolment formalities.
Students are advised to read the IPA letter carefully and prepare the required documents/items for submission to ICA to convert their social visit pass to a Student’s Pass.
6. Application for Social Visit Pass
Please note that spouses and/or children of international M.Sc. students are not sponsored by the University for their VISA applications. Application of their Social Visit Pass (SVP) has to be made directly at the Visitor Services Centre, 4th floor Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and a bond is required. The amount of the bond is to be established by ICA. Student must have already obtained a Student Pass issued by the ICA at the time of application. A local sponsor (Singapore Citizen/Permanent Resident) is required in order to apply for a SVP for spouse and/or children. The SVP granted will normally be for up to a maximum period of 6 months. It is renewable, subject to ICA’s approval.
7. Immigration Matters
Details on immigration matters can be found at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.
The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will provide assistance in locating suitable accommodation. Information on how to apply for accommodation will be mailed to students after they have been offered a place at NUS. More details are available on their website.
Estimated Cost of Living
An International student can expect to incur the following monthly expenses excluding course fees:
|Expenditure (per month)
NUS Graduate Student Residences
On-campus: PGPR Graduate Student Apartments
Off-campus Private Accommodation
S$1000 - S$2000
S$600 - S$1000
University Canteens / Food Courts
Meals Outside Campus
S$300 - S$400
S$500 - S$700
Books / Supplies
Depends on course of study
S$150 - S$200
Public bus / MRT
S$150 - S$200
Toiletries, clothing, groceries, entertainment, etc
S$500 - S$600
Miscellaneous Fees (subject to review)
S$65 per semester
Note: The costs have been derived based on a conservative estimate for a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. The actual amount could be higher or lower depending on the individual student’s expenditure and lifestyle patterns.