Singapore

Singapore Flag
Country Description: Singapore is a small, highly developed parliamentary democracy. Tourist facilities are modern and widely available.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Information about entry requirements may be sought from the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore at 3501 International Place, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 537-3100.

Medical Facilities: Good medical care is widely available. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide payment of medical services outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage including provision for medical evacuation may be useful. Information on health matters may also be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through its international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559 or via the CDC home page on the Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Major crimes against tourists are uncommon. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing do occur in tourist areas. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the U.S. Embassy. Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad". It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and do not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Visitors should be aware of Singapore's strict laws and penalties for a variety of offenses that might be considered minor in the United States, including jaywalking, littering and spitting, as well as the importation and sale of chewing gum. Singapore imposes a mandatory caning sentence on males for vandalism offenses. Caning may also be imposed for immigration violations and other offenses. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. Singapore has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics offenses. Commercial disputes that may be handled as civil suits in the U.S. can escalate to criminal cases in Singapore and result in heavy fines and prison sentences. There are no jury trials in Singapore. Judges hear cases and decide sentencing. The Singapore government does not provide legal assistance except in capital cases.

Road Safety: Driving in Singapore is similar to driving during rush hour in large cities in the United States, although traffic moves on the left. Motorists should be particularly aware of motorcyclists who often ignore lane markings. Lanes are frequently closed without warning due to constant construction throughout the city. Public transportation and taxis are abundant and inexpensive. As with all laws in Singapore, those involving traffic rules, vehicle registration, and liability in case of accident are strictly enforced and may have criminal penalties.

Registration/U.S. Embassy Location: U.S. citizens living in or visiting Singapore are encouraged to register in person or via telephone with the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. They may also obtain updated information on travel and security within the country at the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy may be visited in person or contacted by telephone by U.S. citizens. The U.S. Embassy is located at 27 Napier, Singapore 179360; the mailing address is American Embassy Singapore, FPO AP 96534; the telephone number is (65) 476-9100. The Consular Section fax number is (65) 476-9232.

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