Singapore e-passport holders can now use self-service counters at Australian airports

Singaporeans holding electronic passports can now enter Australia faster, by going through self-service counters at the country's eight international airports that use facial recognition technology.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

In response to media queries on the extension of SmartGate to Singapore by the Australian Government, the MFA spokesman said:

"Singapore welcomes the extension of SmartGate to eligible Singapore passport holders, as announced this morning by Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb, who is in Singapore for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial Meeting.

"SmartGate offers self-service passport processing options in Australia's major airports and will facilitate Singaporeans' travels to Australia. This move underscores the close bilateral relations between Singapore and Australia, including strong economic and people-to-people ties, with over 385,000 Singaporeans visiting Australia in 2013."

Singapore's first country in Asia to use this option in Australia. Here's how SmartGate works:  

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service commenced a trial on 24February2014 to open SmartGate to Singapore ePassport holders.

To be eligible to use SmartGate to self-process through Australia's passport control, Singapore travellers must: - be flying into Australia - travel on a valid Singapore ePassport; and - be aged 16 years or older.

SmartGate is available to all Australian, New Zealand and UK ePassport holders 16years and older, with trials also underway for US, Swiss and Singapore ePassport holders. The trial will mean more travellers than ever before can take advantage of this technology and help Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to better address increasing traveller numbers.