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New integrated ICA Services Centre to be ready in 2024: Shanmugam

The new integrated Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Services Centre will be ready in 2024, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam announced at ICA's work plan seminar on Friday (May 5) morning.

One-stop centre for the public

The centre will be located next to the existing ICA building and will provide a one-stop service for the public to transact with ICA.

It will replace the three existing services centres for citizens, permanent residents, and visitors, explained Shanmugam.

This means that unlike the current situation, customers will be served at a single touchpoint even if they require access to different ICA services.

Automated system for issuance of documents

At the new centre, ICA will introduce the Integrated Smart Document Management System (iSMART) for customers to self-collect their IC and passport.

According to ICA, iSMART is an automated secured smart warehouse system that sorts and dispatch documents for issuance to customers at ICA or at the Post Office.

With iSMART, ICA will be able to automate routine tasks and achieve enhanced secure storage.

Image courtesy of ICA.

The public can also collect their documents on demand at their convenience and experience shorter transaction time.

Image courtesy of ICA.

Automated lanes for immigration clearance

In his speech at ICA's work plan seminar, Shanmugam also highlighted ICA's continuous plan to enhance its immigration clearance systems with automated lanes.

From the first quarter of 2024, ICA will progressively replace the manual counters at the passenger halls of all checkpoints with about 800 new automated lanes under the next generation Automated Border Control System (ABCS).

These ABCS lanes will allow Singapore residents and departing visitors to enjoy contactless clearance. They will not need to present their passport.

Automated Passenger In-Car Clearance System

In 2022, ICA started live trials of the Automated Passenger In-Car Clearance System (APICS).

Image courtesy of ICA.

Image courtesy of ICA.

Image courtesy of ICA.

In early 2024, ICA will introduce QR code scanning in lieu of passport scanning for immigration clearance at manual car counters, and from 2026 onwards, APICS lanes will be introduced at Tuas Checkpoint.

Travellers will be able to self-scan the QR code generated from the MyICA mobile app, and present their biometrics for identity verification, via APICS' contactless biometric scanners.

From 2028 onwards, ICA will introduce APICS lanes at the redeveloped Woodlands Checkpoint.

With all these transformation in the works for ICA, Shanmugam said:

"As we transform the checkpoints and services centres, the jobs of ICA officers will be upgraded to deal with more value-added work. So officers will progressively move away from static duties and immigration clearance at counters. They will take on more diverse tasks that cannot easily be automated. They will be responding to security incidents. They will profile and interview travellers. They will provide personalised services for those seeking immigration facilities. That would be the kind of work they would be doing."

Top image via ICA.


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