I do not have the exact date as to when the Philippine Bureau of Immigration started to have the policy of asking Filipinos going to Singapore to present a notarized (with official red seal) Invitation Letter from the Philippine Embassy of Singapore.
One particular blogger in Singapore named Jel, even wrote a letter to Vice Consul of Philippine Embassy of Singapore and the reply is the following (quoted from his comment in his blog):
Please be informed that the Affidavit of Invitation, or the invitation letter, may be required by the Immigration officer at the airport in the Philippines to verify the traveler's status as a bonafide tourist. This requirement was reinstituted as a preventive measure against illegal recruitment and human trafficking, which has recently risen in incidence.
The sponsor or host in Singapore will need to execute the Affidavit of Invitation at the Embassy for the person in the Philippines being invited. This Affidavit, in the original, may be requested by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration upon the departure of the invitee from the Philippines.
This Affidavit of Invitation is not a guarantee that the invitee will be allowed to travel and enter Singapore.
In short, whether you have an Invitation Letter or not, the assurance of you being able to leave the country going to Singapore is not guaranteed.
The idea is you just have to prove that your stay in Singapore is just for pleasure as a tourist. Therefore you must have to convince the Immigration Officer (IO) with whatever proof that you can present including the money to support your holiday vacation.
Nevertheless, having the said Invitation Letter with you, gives you a little advantage in case the IO will resort to ask you to present it. This will be your last resort, so make sure you do all the smooth talks and be as confident as you can be. Take note that IOs in Singapore will not ask you to present this, only the IOs in the Philippines.
How to Apply for Invitation Letter
You just have to ask your relative or friends in Singapore to go to Philippine Embassy and submit an application for it.
What to Bring
- - Original Passport of Relative/Friend in SG
- - Work Pass (EP/SP/etc) of Relative/Friend in SG
- - Pen (This will help speed up the process)
- - Some Coins (For photocopying)
- - Money (42.50 SGD for 1 invitation Letter)
- - Details of the person to invite (Name, Age, Passport Number)
Steps in Applying
- 1. Register at the guard house and tell him that you will secure an Invitation Letter
- 2. He will tell you which window to proceed (it was in Window 5 the last time I applied)
- 3. Secure yourself a priority number
- 4. When your number is called proceed to designated window (i.e. window 5)
- 5. Tell the person in charge that you will be applying for an Invitation Letter for your Friend/Relative
- 6. He/She will give you a form to fill out and will ask you to photocopy the Passport and Work Pass
- 7. After filling out the form, queue back to the window (priority number is not required)
- 8. Submit the duly accomplished form and the photocopied documents
- 9. He/She will inspect the document and will tell you to go to the cashier for payment
- 10. Present the document to the cashier and pay 42.50
- 11. Go back again to the designated teller window and queue again for the submission (priority number is not required)
- 12. Submit the receipt and the documents
- 13. He/She will tell you to come back the next working day for releasing
- 14. Come back on the date of releasing and (hopefully) you will have now the Invitation Letter
The Invitation Letter form looks like the picture below. I took a photo of it when I was securing one last March 2011.
That's it! Good luck, and hopefully this can help you or your friends/relatives to come to Singapore. God bless.
P.S. If you have not read my blog post about Finding Jobs in Singapore, please hit the link and read it.