NSmen Can Take Overseas Trips Up To Half A Year Without Notifying Authorities

As a National Servicemen (NSmen) who is operationally ready, you’ve probably always been hesitant to accept that 3-week Europe holiday jio from your friends. Only because of the administrative red tape you’ll encounter.

But don’t be so quick to turn down that last minute overseas conference opportunity, now that this new ruling is in place.

MINDEF has announced that all NSmen no longer need to inform them for select trip durations on the official NS portal.

No need to inform MINDEF for trips up to 6 months

Starting today (1 Mar), all NSmen will not need to inform the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and/or Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) before leaving Singapore for these trip durations:

  • More than 2 weeks
  • Less than 6 months

In the past, either MINDEF or MHA would have to be notified in advance, with the NSmen’s contact details provided, before they can proceed with an overseas trip if it was more than 14 days.

Still must apply permit for long trips

As for NSmen planning to leave Singapore for more than half a year, you will still need to apply for an exit permit.

Permission must also be sought for NSmen with operational and mobilisation manning statuses.

MINDEF adds that NSmen must ensure that the NS Portal is updated with this information:

  • Telephone numbers
  • Overseas contact info

This is so their units may contact them for urgent matters, even when they are overseas.

Strike a balance between personal & NS commitments

Explaining the rationale for the new move, Mr Heng Chee How – Senior Minister of State for Defence hopes that it will be easier for NSmen to balance work, family and National Service commitments.

In his own words,

This will help them to focus on their training…so that they can contribute meaningfully.

Hopefully, removing admin “burdens” where possible will make the process a lot less painful for NSmen.

Back in 2014, the rule was loosened for travel for more than 14 days up to 6 months, up from a 24-hour trip previously.

Start planning your next trip in peace

This is great news for NSmen planning your year-end getaways or work exchange programmes. Now you can consider taking that 3-month long attachment you’ve always been eyeing, without having to worry about an ardous admin process with MINDEF or MHA.

We’re glad that the rule has been loosened over the years, taking into account the work and life commitments that our NSmen are balancing on a daily basis.

That said, we must still try to follow the new regulations accordingly, so our operational readiness won’t be compromised. Let us know what you think of the relaxing of this rule in the comments below.

Featured image from Pinterest.