How to Apply to Singapore's International Schools

From visas to vaccinations, find out what your child needs to be enrolled into an international school in Singapore. There's a common list of documents and requirements that all international schools will need.
How to Apply to Singapore's International Schools
By Carli Allan
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You’ve made your shortlist of schools to apply to, so what’s next? While every international school in Singapore will have its own admissions procedure, there is a standard list of documents and prerequisites required. Whether you’re planning to move to Singapore or transfer to a different school here, here’s your checklist for primary and secondary school applications.

What visa will my child need to study at an international school in Singapore?

All expat families living, working and studying in Singapore need a visa. This will be either an Employment Pass (for employees hired by an established, Singapore-registered company and earning a minimum monthly salary of $3,600) or a Dependant Pass (DP) (a two-year visa for children and spouses of eligible Employment Pass holders who earn a minimum monthly salary of $6,000).

All international students except for Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Resident, and Dependant’s Pass holders MUST apply for a Student’s Pass (STP) from the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority of Singapore (ICA) to study at an international school. 

Only schools that are EduTrust certified can enrol international students who require a Student Pass.

You won’t need to apply for the DP or Student Pass until after you have the offer of a school place, Lucy Bates, Admissions & Student Services Manager at Nexus International School, Singapore, explains.

“Before application, parents don't need to have visas in place. We need to have an idea of what they are hoping to apply for or have applications in progress for. However, they can still start the conversation on enrolment/interest prior to gaining the visa. They can fill in a contact form, book a tour or enrolment application form straight from our website and we'll be in touch with the next steps. It makes application really simple from overseas."

After receiving a Letter of Acceptance from an international school, which is valid for two weeks, you will need to apply for a Student’s Pass for your child.

What is the difference between local and international schools in Singapore? Find out here.

What documents will I need when I apply to an international school?

• Completed and signed application form (this may be completed online or as a hard copy, depending on the school)
• Application fee (the average fee in Singapore is $1,500 but check the school website for the exact cost)
• Passport size photographs of your child
• Photocopy of child’s birth certificate
• Photocopy of child’s passport
• Photocopy of parents’ passports
• Photocopy of the child’s immigration status/visa (Dependant Pass, Student Pass, Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit, Diplomatic Pass or Immigration Exemption Order)
• Photocopies of parents’ immigration status/visa (Employment Pass, Dependant Pass, PR Pass, or Diplomatic Pass)
• Official transcripts or report cards for the current year and two years prior (officially translated and notarized if not in English)
• Any speech/language, educational psych testing, or learning needs evaluations/records (if applicable)
• Employment letter of guarantee (if your employer is paying school fees)
• Legal custody papers (if parents are divorced)
All documents must be supplied to the school in English or a certified translation.
What other documents will I need to provide once I have accepted a place at an international school?
• Signed Student Contract (this is a legal requirement by the Singapore government)
• Online Health Declaration Form (this is also required for all visa applications such as the Dependant Pass)

What vaccinations will my child need to live and study in Singapore?

All children aged 12 and above must be vaccinated against Covid-19.

All foreign-born children aged 12 years old and below who are applying for a DP or Student’s Pass must provide proof of vaccination against diphtheria and measles; they require a Verification of Vaccination Requirements (VR) before applying for the DP or Student’s Pass. Foreign children who are born in Singapore are exempted.

Although it is not compulsory, students entering primary school are recommended to have the following vaccinations:
• BCG
• Pertussis
• Tetanus
• Poliomyelitis
• Mumps
• Rubella
• Hepatitis B

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