Newsletter from outgoing Acting Head of Mission in Singapore Harald Fries

Acting Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore Harald Fries is about to conclude his short but eventful period in Singapore. He arrived in the city-state four months ago after spending five years in the Philippines serving as Sweden’s Ambassador to the country.

In a recent newsletter, Harald Fries speaks about the current covid-19 situation in Singapore together with important news regarding travel between Sweden and Singapore, Vaccination certificates, and visas to Sweden. 

Amongst other things, Harald Fries writes:

It is gratifying that it is now possible to travel to Singapore from Sweden with the so-called Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL). The embassy would like to remind travelers of the importance of carefully checking that all requirements for travel with VTL – including the travel rules in any transit country – are met to avoid sad surprises. The Swedish Public Health Agency now recommends that all arrivals to Sweden, including Swedes, test themselves immediately upon arrival.

Another good news is that the EU and Singapore now recognize each other’s digital vaccination certificates. This means that the Singaporean certificate can be used in Sweden for up to 30 days. The embassy receives many questions about converting its Singaporean vaccination certificate into a Swedish Covid certificate. The e-health authority has been commissioned to issue vaccination certificates to Swedes who have been vaccinated in so-called third countries (countries outside the EU). The goal is for this to be in place by the turn of the year 2021–2022. For information about vaccination certificates at events that gather more than 100 people and the like, we refer to the e-health authority.

For foreign citizens who want to travel to Sweden, living in Singapore is no longer exempt from the entry ban to Sweden. However, please note that the entry ban does not apply to those who have a Singaporean vaccination certificate.

There has been a change in Schengen visas. As before, you apply to VFS Global in Singapore, but it is now the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok that handles the matter and makes decisions.

So what’s going on next year? Important news is that Sweden will receive new identity cards and passports on 1 January 2022. The embassy will therefore not be able to receive any passport applications during the period 23–28 December, and it may initially take a little longer to obtain the new passport. It may be good to keep in mind that passport management in Sweden will also be affected similarly. More information is available on the police website.

The embassy has begun little by little with the preparations for Sweden’s general election next autumn. If you want to vote, you must have the correct address registered with the Swedish Tax Agency. If you have been registered abroad for 10 years, you must report that you want to be included in the voting list. Both updating of address and registration for the ballot paper is done on form SKV 7815 which is available on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website or can be picked up at the embassy.

On the embassy’s website Sweden Abroad you will find information about everything that has been discussed here. We are constantly updating our travel information, and have a special page with information related to covid-19. Feel free to sign up for the Swedish list, ie the list of which Swedes are in Singapore. On the one hand, the embassy gets an overview of how many Swedes live in Singapore, and on the other hand, the embassy can use the information to contact Swedes with more urgent information should the need arise.

Read Acting Head of Mission Harald Fries full newsletter here

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

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