Home » [Update] Guide to The Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA): How Malaysian Employees Can Enter Singapore For Work | work and travel singapore – NATAVIGUIDES

[Update] Guide to The Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA): How Malaysian Employees Can Enter Singapore For Work | work and travel singapore – NATAVIGUIDES

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This article was first published on 3 September 2020 and has been updated with the latest information.

The Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme is a safe travel lane for workers to cross the borders between Singapore and Malaysia. It requires travellers to stay in the destination country of work/business for a minimum 90-day period.

Under this scheme, employees will enter Singapore through Woodlands or Tuas Checkpoints – either on bus, car or foot. Employees will not be able to enter Singapore by land or sea through PCA and will need to seek separate approval from MOM if they want to enter via other travel methods.

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Upon successful approval of their PCA, Malaysian workers will be able to stay in Singapore for as long as the validity of their work passes lasts, but need to commit to staying for at least 90 days in Singapore for work upon entry.

This article covers information from the perspective of travel from Malaysia to Singapore for Malaysian residents.

For more information about travelling from Singapore to Malaysia for work, you can look for more information on the Immigration Department of Malaysia. Recently, the Malaysian government has also tightened entry for Singapore workers to Malaysia, as community cases here have increased and there are also variants from India, South Africa, Brazil and the U.K. found here.

Singapore Citizens working in Malaysia who need to return to Singapore for short-term home leave under the terms of the PCA, you may refer to the  ICA website.

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Who Is Covered Under The Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA)

For those planning to come into Singapore under PCA, they would need to hold Malaysian Citizenship or Malaysian Permanent Residency, as well as hold one of these MOM-issued long-term work/business passes: 

  • Employment Pass
  • EntrePass
  • Personalised Employment Pass
  • S Pass
  • Work Permit
  • Training Work Permit
  • Work Holiday Pass

With the expanded PCA scheme announced by the High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore, Malaysian Citizens who are also Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) are now eligible. Applications can be made from 11 January 2021.

In addition, if your employee is a Work Permit, Training Work Permit or S Pass holder, you will need to buy COVID-19 Medical Insurance for your employee. The insurance should cover at least $10,000 in medical expenses if the employee develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive within 14 days of arrival in Singapore, and cover workers on work pass in-principle approvals (IPAs). You can either check with your insurance provider or check the MOM FAQ if unsure whether your existing insurance covers this.

If you are a Singapore Citizen or a Singaporean Permanent Resident with a valid Re-Entry Permit, you may return to Singapore without the need for any entry approval. However, you will be subject to the prevailing Stay-Home Notice requirements.

Family members or dependents of your employee cannot enter Singapore through this scheme and will need to apply for an entry approval from MOM. Confinement nannies and employment agencies will also not be covered under the PCA.

Under new guidelines, if your employee has recent travel history (including transit) in the past 21 days to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, your employee will not be allowed to enter Singapore. 

Applying To Travel Under The Periodic Commuting Arrangement

To apply for the Periodic Commuting Arrangement here, employers would first need to ensure the following:

  • Employees have a valid work pass of least 15 days from the expected day of entry into Singapore.
  • Employees understand the additional requirements from the PCA scheme.
  • Employees agree to the disclosure of their COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results by medical providers to employers and relevant government authorities in Singapore.

After acknowledgement of the above is sought from employees, companies can proceed to apply for the PCA.

As part of the application process, companies need to pay an upfront fee of $200 each employee for the mandatory COVID-19 PCR test. To complete the application, ensure you have the following information of your employees on hand:

  • Employee’s FIN
  • Expiry Date of Employee’s Work Pass
  • Employee’s Intended Date of Entry into Singapore
  • Address of Employee’s Accommodation to complete his/her Stay Home Notice
  • Details of Contact Person in Company (e.g. Name, Mobile Number, Email Address)

You will then need to choose a date of entry for your employee within the 60-day window of the application, ensuring they will be able to travel to Singapore on that day.

You would need to submit your employee’s applications at least seven calendar days before your employee enters Singapore. The PCA application would be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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Do note that there will not be a refund for the COVID-19 PCR test in the event your employee suddenly cannot enter Singapore on the day of entry to Singapore. The PCA scheme also does not allow an application to be amended or transferred to another employee once an application is approved.

Your employee will also need a new PCA application to enter Singapore if they are unable to enter on the date indicated in the application or leave Singapore during their PCA stay. New applications can only be made 90 days after the date of the applicants’ previous entry.

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What To Do After The PCA Application

Employees will only be able to commence work upon completion of their 21-day SHN with negative COVID-19 tests on arrival, the 14th and 21st day of their SHN, as well as comply with MOM or governmental advisories as well as safe distancing measures. Employees will also have to wear an SHN electronic monitoring device either issued by ICA or MOM.

Refer to this list from the ICA website for the latest set of guidelines that must be followed by employees and employers. The authorities have placed the responsibility of knowing about and following these rules on companies.

Some of the responsibilities companies have to take on include (but not limited to):

  • Explain that the employee has to serve a 21-day SHN at dedicated facilities, with COVID-19 testing done on the 14th and 21st day of their SHN
  • Ensure that the employee has a SIM card and internet connectivity with a Singapore number to allow the foreign employee to be contactable
  • The employer or the employee has to bear the full cost of the foreign employee’s stay at the dedicated SHN facility as well as the full costs of all COVID-19 tests

There are more requirements, and employers and eligible employees should refer to the full list of requirements on the ICA website for more details.

You can also find out more about entry into Malaysia from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Malaysian Immigration Department or the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore.

Read Also: Travelling In A COVID-19 World: Where Can People In Singapore Actually Travel To?

Ensuring Malaysians Can Work In Singapore Safely

The PCA scheme, like all other travel arrangement schemes now, may have lots of rules and regulations for employers to go through.

However, both governments implement such restrictions to be able to ensure that people can still travel while safeguarding the health of both Singapore and Malaysian residents.

As responsible employers, we would need to follow such schemes, so that we don’t endanger the lives of both our employees and the general community.

(Additional reporting by Dinesh Dayani)

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[Update] Malaysia and Singapore ease international travel restrictions in pivot to living with Covid | work and travel singapore – NATAVIGUIDES

(CNN) — Singapore and Malaysia have each revealed plans to start reopening their borders as the Southeast Asian neighbors move away from their zero-Covid strategies toward living with the virus

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Sunday the country would end its domestic and international travel restrictions for fully vaccinated residents from Monday, after reaching its target of full inoculation for 90% of the adult population.

It comes one day after Singapore added eight new countries to its vaccinated and quarantine-free travel lanes — the most significant easing of travel restrictions since borders shut last March.

Empty tables and closed restaurants seen in Chinatown, Singapore on October 5.

Lionel Ng/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Singapore and Malaysia both battled disastrous surges in Covid-19 cases earlier this year, fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant. Both nations pursued aggressive zero-Covid policies by imposing strict lockdowns and closing borders.

Singapore and Malaysia are transitioning toward treating the virus as endemic by attempting to control outbreaks with vaccines, rather than restricting citizens’ lives — despite continuing to see

The moves come as governments across the region — including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam — look to revive their economies via tourism and by reopening local businesses.Singapore and Malaysia are transitioning toward treating the virus as endemic by attempting to control outbreaks with vaccines, rather than restricting citizens’ lives — despite continuing to see active community cases and deaths

The plans also mirror the “living with Covid” approach seen in many Western countries, including the United Kingdom and parts of the United States, where daily life has largely returned to normal.


Cases in Malaysia began to surge at the start of 2021, prompting the government to reimpose lockdown restrictions that had been lifted last December. Then in June, it felt the sharp edge of the deadly Delta variant.

Despite a national lockdown, at the peak of the surge in August the country was reporting hundreds of thousands of cases per day.

Frustrations mounted among citizens who were forced to endure yet more curbs on their freedom, and protests against the government’s handling of the virus broke out in July.

A police officer removes a barricade at a roadblock after the end of a partial lockdown in Bentong, Malaysia’s Pahang state on October 11.

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Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images

Under the lockdown restrictions, millions of people were told to stay at home whenever possible and prohibited from domestic travel. Schools were closed and gatherings banned. The following month, Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigned, fueled in part by the public’s seething anger.

Prime Minister Yaakob’s announcement Sunday marks a significant shift from Malaysia’s previous strategies — predominantly because of a highly effective vaccination drive. About eight months after its mass rollout, more than 66% of the country’s 32 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

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Popular Malaysian islands of Langkawi reopening to tourism

“We have to train ourselves to live with Covid, because Covid may not be eliminated fully,” Yaakob told a news conference Sunday, adding Malaysia will not impose wide lockdowns again if cases rise.

The easing of restrictions means fully vaccinated Malaysians can travel overseas without applying for permission from immigration authorities. Previously, travel was largely restricted for business, official or emergency reasons. Domestic journeys will also be allowed, ending the ban on travel across Malaysia’s 13 states.

On September 16, Malaysia reopened Langkawi — a cluster of 99 islands and a prime holiday destination — to domestic tourists, with strict protocols in place. The country is currently still shut to international travelers, with a fuller reopening under consideration.

The easing of measures comes as the daily caseload continues to drop after rising steeply from June to August.


Singapore is continuing to uphold its strategy of living with the virus, despite recently reporting record daily Covid-19 cases and a spike in deaths fueled by a Delta variant outbreak.

On Saturday, the island city-state of 5.45 million people reported a daily record 3,703 cases and 11 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins . The same day, Singapore decided to press on with its quarantine-free vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme, set to begin October 19, by announcing the addition of eight Western nations, including the US and the UK.

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Travel to Singapore during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

Under the new rules, travelers from a total of 11 countries can enter Singapore without having to quarantine — all part of its “reclaim and rebuild” campaign, according to Transport Minister S. Iswaran.

Singapore is home to the Asian headquarters of many multinational companies, whose executives rely on ease of travel to and from the country — one of the world’s biggest travel and finance hubs.

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore could not “stay locked down and closed off indefinitely,” adding that job losses, separation of families and business closures had caused “psychological and emotional strain and mental fatigue.”

But while Singapore said that it wanted to transition to an endemic Covid model in May, the recent Delta variant surge has put those plans at risk.

People enter a Covid-19 vaccination center in Singapore on October 7.

Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

On October 1, Singapore reimposed some local restrictions to thwart the spread. The tighter measures included limiting social gatherings to two people and suspending or moving classes online for students age 12 and under — a move met with some frustration by Singaporeans, Reuters reported.

During his address Saturday, Lee said it would take “at least three months, and perhaps as long as six months” to become restriction-free, and hinted at the possibility of future lockdowns if cases begin to rise — unlike Malaysia.

“After this surge stabilizes, we may still see future surges, especially if new variants emerge,” Lee said. “We may have to tap on the brakes again if cases again grow too fast, to protect our healthcare system and healthcare workers.”

Singapore has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with more than 80% of its population fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Related content

Hong Kong expats are up in arms about quarantine. Singapore stands to gain

Asia-Pacific reopening

Singapore’s decision to go ahead with the VTL comes as other countries in the Asia-Pacific region also move toward living with Covid.

Thailand plans to reopen its capital, Bangkok, and other major destinations to foreign tourists by November in order to revive its flailing tourism industry, which accounted for more than 11% of the country’s GDP in 2019, according to Reuters.

Vietnam’s government said Wednesday it plans to reopen key tourist destinations to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed a low Covid-19 risk from December, ahead of a full resumption targeted for June next year, Reuters reported.

Indonesia meanwhile, has allowed public spaces to reopen and permitted factories to return to full capacity. Tourists from countries including China, New Zealand and Japan will be allowed to enter the resort island of Bali by October 14, Reuters reported, citing government officials. But travelers will have to quarantine for eight days at their own expense.

On Monday, Sydney emerged from a strict lockdown that was imposed in June to contain a Delta outbreak. Now, fully vaccinated Sydneysiders — about 70% of the city’s adults — can return to restaurants, bars and gyms, while many family members can reunite with one another after months apart.

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Một ngày cách ly ở Singapore của mìnhhh | A quarantine day in Singapore | fromkhanh

Singapore Travel Update 2021 – Traveling to Singapore during COVID-19

Singapore Travel Update 2021 Traveling to Singapore during COVID19
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As we’re heading into the winter season, more SE Asian countries are opening its borders to international tourists.
In the hope to boost a weakened economy, especially the travel industry, Singapore is now reopening to fully vaccinated travelers.
Thailand and Bali, Indonesia have also opened up this fall to recover from the financial loss the pandemic incurred.
Will intercontinental travel be possible again this winter? It appears that South East Asian countries want to achieve exactly that but how many tourists will really visit the region considering all the travel restrictions and entry requirements put in place?
COVID19 cases are currently skyrocketing in Singapore yet the country continues its 0 covid policy.
Remember, requirements can change at any moment without prior notice.
It is highly recommended to contact your embassy to confirm the entry requirements when returning to your home country.
Where will you spend the winter? What do you think about Singapore’s travel update and reopening strategy? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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Singapore Travel Update 2021 - Traveling to Singapore during COVID-19

Work and Travel USA 2015 (Singapore)

Work and Travel USA 2015 (Singapore)

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