Green light for Brunei, S’pore essential travel

Hakim Hayat

Brunei Darussalam and Singapore have mutually agreed to allow essential travel between citizens and residents from both countries starting yesterday, with the establishment of the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) facilities on both sides.

Applications opened yesterday, with travellers required to observe some restrictions including controlled itineraries, a negative COVID-19 test prior to the trip and a swab test on arrival at their destination.

In a joint statement by Brunei and Singapore issued on Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) website, both countries said that the RGL will facilitate “essential business and official travels for residents from both countries in September 2020”.

“Both sides have agreed on an arrangement to allow the safe resumption of cross-border movement of a limited number of people, with the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that public health concerns of both sides are addressed,” added the statement.

The eligible applicants will be persons of all nationalities who are legally residents of Brunei and Singapore who need to make essential travels for business and official purposes between the two countries.

HOW TO APPLY?

For applicants from Brunei to Singapore, the receiving enterprise or government agency in Singapore shall apply for a SafeTravel Pass on their behalf to enter Singapore using the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL).

Once approved, a letter will be issued. Following the successful application of a SafeTravel Pass, the receiving enterprise or agency in Singapore should log onto the SafeTravel Pass portal within 72 hours before the traveller’s scheduled departure to submit the traveller’s negative COVID-19 test result and controlled itinerary in Singapore (for the first 14 days).

With the SafeTravel Pass approval letter, an approved applicant who is a visa-required passport holder can proceed to apply for a visa for travel to Singapore through the usual channels. If an approved applicant already has an existing valid visa, the visa suspension that was in place due to COVID-19 will be automatically lifted when the SafeTravel Pass is approved, and he or she need not apply for a new visa.

For applicants travelling from Singapore to Brunei, the receiving enterprise or government agency in Brunei Darussalam shall file an application for an Entry Travel Pass on behalf of the traveller for RGL travel.

The receiving party will be required to submit the traveller’s controlled itinerary in Brunei (for the first 14 days). When the Entry Travel Pass is approved, an approval letter will be issued.

With the Entry Travel Pass approval letter, an approved applicant who is a visa-required passport holder can proceed to apply for a visa for travel to Brunei through the usual channels. If an approved applicant already has an existing valid visa, the visa suspension that was in place due to COVID-19 will be automatically lifted when the Entry Travel Pass is issued, and he or she need not apply for a new visa.

More details on the application process and requirements of the RGL can be found at http://www.pmo.gov.bn/travelportal/Home.aspx and https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/brunei/rgl/faq.