The Singapore Consulate-General in San Francisco provided assistance to Ms Lena Hiro Gidwani after she reported the loss of her passport on Feb 17 ("Little consular help with passport trouble"; last Thursday).
The Consulate-General discussed with her the option of applying for either a replacement passport or Document of Identity (DOI).
As she decided on the latter, the Consulate-General issued her with a DOI to China, where she resides.
However, as she was unable to obtain a visa to enter China from the Chinese authorities, the Consulate-General issued her with another DOI to enable her to return to Singapore.
During Ms Gidwani's transit in Hong Kong, the Singapore Consulate-General in Hong Kong assisted to address the airline staff's queries regarding her situation when the Consulate-General was contacted.
The Consulate-General in Hong Kong offered to speak to the Hong Kong immigration staff on duty if Ms Gidwani encountered any problems, but the Consulate-General was not contacted subsequently.
We understand Ms Gidwani's frustration, but seek her understanding that Singapore does not issue temporary passports at our overseas missions so as to ensure the integrity of our passports.
In its place, a DOI will be issued to facilitate the individual's urgent travel needs, subject to the requirements of the foreign authorities.
Singapore citizens who have lost their passports while overseas are advised to make a police report in the foreign country and report the loss to the nearest Singapore overseas mission. Details are available on the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's website at www.ica.gov.sg
Entry into a country remains the prerogative of the foreign immigration authorities, based on its prevailing entry and visa requirements.
Teo Lay Cheng (Ms)
Director (Public Affairs)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
This article was first published on March 9, 2015.
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