My friend who is an Indonesian citizen tried to enter Singapore this week and was refused entry at the Singapore Harbour Front Ferry Terminal by immigration.

This was his first trip overseas and is not used to international travel, so due to his inexperience and that he was excited to go to Singapore, he possibly made some mistakes on trying to be granted access into Singapore.

He was told he was to enter a Singapore address for his stay or a friend or relative he will stay with. He was only staying for one day and was going to catch the ferry back at night, so he had no plan to stay in Singapore and as such had no address to put. They then asked why he was traveling alone and that he should travel with somebody for his first trip. He told them he always travels alone in Indonesia and finds it easier to see and do things alone. He was then asked why he was entering Singapore and the reason he gave was to purchase some electronics which he cannot buy in Indonesia. They asked for how much money he had and they then advised that he did not have enough money to purchase the items he was after. They refused his entry and he was then escorted to a ferry and returned to Indonesia. His passport was not stamped and he was not fingerprinted.

He was given a Notice of Refusal of Entry which had the reason as "Being ineligible for the issue of a pass under current immigration policies" form on his departure. Also included on this form is his passport number etc. He was not advised of him being banned or a time frame that he cannot enter Singapore.

My questions are: Has he been banned or restricted to enter Singapore for a period of time? When entering countries including Singapore, does he need to tick the box stating he has been refused entry into another country? I am hoping to get my friend to Australia at the end of the year for a 10 day holiday and will this hinder his chance of getting a visa and entering Australia?

  • 2
    Another that could contribute to the refusal for entry could be the port of entry. Both Harbourfront and TMFT are often used by illegal workers from nearby islands to gain entry to Singapore or to reset the 30 days visitor pass. Telling them he was going to buy electronics doesn't help either, as electronics smuggling is pretty rampant around the area.
    – hndr
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 4:00
  • 2
    Agree with @hndr. I have heard many stories of entry denials at Woodlands (land crossing from Johor in Malaysia). Entering Singapore from air is likely to make better odds.
    – AKS
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


Only the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) knows, and they don't tell you! This means everything I will say here is purely anecdotal and should be taken with a large dab of sambal.

So the bad news: by default, being refused entry to Singapore means you're also blacklisted for anything from 6 months to 7 years. Bans of over one year are usually reserved for repeat offenders, people caught working illegally, etc. Anecdotally, if you are refused entry and not blacklisted because there's a good reason (for example, you already have a pending long-term visa application), you are told so.

If your friend wants to go to Singapore again, I would advise him to wait a while (a year?) and then apply for a visa at a Singapore embassy/consulate first.

For Australia, the tourist visa application form asks whether you have ever been "removed, deported, or excluded from any country". Your friend has not been "removed" or "deported", but he has arguably now been "excluded", and checking "Yes" is not going to look good. On the other hand, while the odds of getting caught for checking "No" are low, it's really bad to get busted for lying here.

  • 5
    +1 for the " large dab of sambal"... but I would say a large amount of "bon cabe" when it comes to Singaporean immigration. Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 0:57
  • 2
    Cabe (and Bon Cabe) is Indonesian, in Malay (and hence Singapore) it's cili (chilli). Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 23:36
  • 1
    Recently I got refused entry to Singapore and ICA told me to request for appeal letter form on their website if I want to visit SG again. They also told me that I need Singapore citizen or PR as the sponsor, and the process time might take 3 weeks. I assume the form is Form 14. Maybe you can add this into your answer?
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 8:56
  • 2
    @Andrew: That looks like a separate answer to me. Perhaps you should post your own.
    – TonyK
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 11:14

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