Blog / Travel
Why Singaporeans should e-register with MFA before a trip
You’ve got your travel insurance, you’ve booked your flights and hotel. What next?
The answer is to register your trip with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before you travel overseas.
But it appears that most Singaporeans fail to do this because they feel it’s an unnecessary bother. Registering with the MFA before you embark on your journey, however, could prove to be a lifesaver should an emergency take place.
The information you provide will allow the MFA to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency occur when you are overseas. This could include civil unrest as we’ve seen in Thailand, natural disasters in Bali, Lombok and Japan for instance, or terrorist attacks in Indonesia. The MFA can provide advice, information and consular assistance as well as notify your friends or relatives if you have been injured or arrested abroad.
Registering with MFA will also help provide your loved ones with peace of mind when you are overseas.
One instance where MFA helped out was during the attempted coup in Turkey a few years ago, said a Channel Newsasia report. A 13-member youth football team and some of their parents were stranded in Antalya. MFA collaborated with Singapore Airlines to arrange for their departure from Antalya to Gothenburg, Sweden, so that they could arrive in time for the Gothia World Youth Cup.
The same report cited another instance of MFA’s assistance which occurred around the same time. This happened when 86 people were killed after a truck ploughed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France.
MFA contacted all registered Singaporeans in France, and when it discovered that a Singaporean student had been badly injured, embassy staff members extended consular assistance to him and his parents who flew to Nice to be with him.
How do you register?
The eRegister system is a voluntary and free service provided by the MFA to all Singapore citizens who travel or reside overseas. Regardless of whether you are travelling abroad for study, work or leisure, the eRegister system allows you to record information about your travel itinerary abroad.
You will need to provide the following information to complete your eRegister record.
- Your personal particulars and those travelling with you (if you are travelling as a group);
- Your travel itinerary, including accommodation, contact information and duration of stay in the country/cities you are visiting; and
- Contact person's particulars in Singapore who they can contact in case of a crisis/emergency.
E-registrants will receive information on how to contact the nearest overseas mission and the MFA can quickly contact e-registered Singaporean travellers during emergencies to ascertain the need for urgent assistance.
What else should you do before you go on a trip?
- Leave a detailed travel itinerary and contact details with members of your family, colleagues or friends in Singapore
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which includes medical evacuation in case you encounter any unexpected emergencies. Be familiar with the terms and coverage of your policy
- Carry the contact details of Singapore’s embassies and consulates at your destination of travel with you
- Apply for an Exit Permit (for National Service-liable male Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents)
- Check the visa requirements of countries you intend to enter or transit in
- Check the health and vaccination requirements for your destination(s)
- Bring your doctor’s prescription if you have to carry any medication, as you may need to show this at the customs checkpoint(s)
- Check the customs regulations concerning import and export of items for the countries you are visiting. Some countries require travellers to declare items that are under their quarantine restrictions at the entry checkpoint
- Check MFA’s travel advisories for your destination(s)
- Read up on your destination’s local news and regulations. Get information from experienced travellers, travel agents, tourist information offices and airlines
- Ensure that your passport has at least six months’ validity
- Make or save copies of your important documents (e.g. identity card, passport data page, credit cards, and travellers’ cheques) in case you lose any of them. Leave copies with your family and friends as a contingency
- Find out where the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission is to where you will be stationed
- Apply for an International Driving Permit if you plan to drive while overseas
- Have valid tickets to return home
- Bring adequate funds for your stay