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I read on https://www.ica.gov.sg:

Short-Term travellers should have sufficient cash and proof of onward travel (tickets, visas), and ensure that you do not stay beyond your visit pass validity.

How much cash do I need to enter Singapore? I'll enter via Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) as a French citizen, if that matters.

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    I think they really mean “access to funds necessary to pay for lodging and food during your stay”, and just having a valid payment card should be enough in most cases. Note that similar language exists in many other places (including Schengen), with the same caveats.
    – jcaron
    Dec 4, 2023 at 14:25
  • @jcaron Thanks, got it. Some countries give a clear number. I guess others don't like clear rules. Dec 4, 2023 at 14:35
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    Many countries (like those in Schengen) which have clear numbers don't actually require you to have that in cash, just have access to the necessary funds (and I believe there are exceptions if you are staying at someone else's place, etc.). But numbers are quite arbitrary, do not necessarily reflect reality, need to be updated... They're probably useful guidelines for people coming from very poor countries to show where the bar is at, but for most travellers, this is nearly irrelevant.
    – jcaron
    Dec 4, 2023 at 16:52
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    Looking at your profile, I assume this is to attend EMNLP? :) Welcome to Singapore (soon)
    – justhalf
    Dec 5, 2023 at 3:01
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I've never been asked how much money I had, as a fellow Frenchie, in the 23+ years I have been visiting Singapore (50+ visits). Knowing our dear Singaporeans, I bet this provision is a "just-in-case" for travellers they might deem undesirable, giving them a potential reason to deny entry... See how vague the requirement is, as opposed to say Thailand for VoA applicants, who need to show 10,000 baht. Plenty of leeway for an ICA officer to say "Sorry ah, cannot!" whenever they feel like it.

Similarly, you will probably zip through Customs, while citizens of other, less fortunate, countries will have to x-ray all their belongings...

Also, keep in mind that unless you have an unlucky face like mine[*], you won't even talk to an ICA officer, but will pass through an automated gate, and won't have to show how much money you have...

[*] Last time, in September 2023, on entry, 5 unsuccessful attempts – both my face and fingerprints were problematic; I had to go to a manned counter, and even there it took a couple of tries. On exit, same deal. So, 10 attempts at the automated gates, success rate 0%. ICA officers looked pissed, like it was my fault...

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    I suspect these days if you try to go to a manual counter they'll usher you to an automated gate. I think the latest state of the art on biometrics they use in singapore is eye scanning, which seems pretty reliable. I'm local so less hassle but I've never heard of anyone getting asked 'how much money do you have?' unlike say the UK. Dec 5, 2023 at 2:40
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    @JourneymanGeek I was indeed directed to an automated gate, making it vaguely sound like it was an advantage or sumshit like that. Except that after 5 tries, I had to go to a manned counter anyway. Same thing on the way out. That "state of the art" failed big time, at least on me. That was last September, so very recent.
    – dda
    Dec 5, 2023 at 5:57

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