Visiting Forces Act
(Original Enactment: M Act 23 of 1960)
REVISED EDITION 1985
(30th March 1987)
An Act to provide for the naval, military and air forces of certain other countries visiting Singapore, and for the apprehension and disposal of deserters or absentees without leave in Singapore from the forces of such countries and for matters connected therewith.
[16th September 1963]
—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“authorised service organisation” means a body organised for the benefit of or to serve the welfare of a force or civilian component or dependant;
“civilian component” means the civilian personnel accompanying a force, who are employed in the service of a force or by an authorised service organisation accompanying a force, and who are not stateless persons nor citizens of, nor ordinarily resident in Singapore;
“court” includes a service court;
“court of Singapore” means any court in Singapore other than a service court;
“dependant”, in relation to a member of a force or civilian component, means a person who is not ordinarily resident in Singapore and who is —
the wife or husband of any such member;
wholly or mainly maintained or employed by any such member; or
is in the custody, charge or care, or who forms part of the family of any such member;
“forces”, in relation to a country, means any of the naval, military or air forces of that country;
“law of Singapore” means any written law for the time being in force in Singapore or any part thereof, and includes the Constitution;
“member”, in relation to a visiting force, means a member of the force of a sending country, being one of the members thereof for the time being appointed to serve with that visiting force, and includes any person in Singapore for the time being voluntarily enlisted in that force;
“Minister” means the Minister for the time being charged with the responsibility for defence;
“sending country”, in relation to a visiting force, means the country of whose forces the visiting force forms part;
“service authorities” means the authorities of a force who are empowered by the law of the country of whose forces the visiting force forms part to exercise command or jurisdiction over members of a force;
“service court” means a court established under service law and includes any authority of a country who under the law thereof is empowered to review the proceedings of such a court or to try or investigate charges brought against persons subject to the service law of that country; and references to trial by, or to sentences passed by, service courts of a country shall be construed respectively as including references to trial by, and to punishment imposed by, such an authority in the exercise of such power;
“service law”, in relation to a country, means the law governing all or any of the forces of that country;
“Singapore authorities” means the authority or authorities from time to time authorised or designated by the Government for the purpose of exercising the powers in relation to which the expression is used;
“Singapore forces” means any of the Singapore Armed Forces for the time being serving in Singapore, and includes any police force, and other body which by virtue of any law of Singapore is or is deemed to form part of the Singapore Armed Forces;
“visiting force”, for the purposes of any provision of this Act, means any body, contingent or detachment of the forces of a country to which that provision applies, being a body, contingent or detachment for the time being lawfully present in Singapore pursuant to any treaty, agreement or arrangement to which the Government is a party.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, a member of a force of any country which (by whatever name called) is in the nature of a reserve or auxiliary force shall be deemed to be a member of that country’s forces so long as, but only so long as, he is called into actual service (by whatever expression described) or is called out for training; and any reference in this Act to a person’s becoming a member of a country’s forces shall be construed accordingly.
(3) References in any provision of this Act to the appropriate authority of a country are references to such authority as may be appointed by the government of that country for the purposes of that provision.
(4) References in this Act to the presence of any forces in Singapore at any time shall be construed as including references to their being at that time in transit to Singapore.
(5) In determining for the purposes of any provision of this Act whether a person is or was at any time ordinarily resident in Singapore, no account shall be taken of any period during which he has been or intends to be present in Singapore while being a member of a visiting force or of a civilian component of such a force, or while being a dependant of a member of a visiting force or of such a civilian component.
—(1) References in this Act to a country to which a provision of this Act applies are references to any country designated for the purpose of that provision by order of the President under subsection (2).
(2) Where it appears to the President that it is expedient that all or any of the provisions of this Act should have effect in relation to any country, he may by order designate that country for the purposes of such provisions*.
* See L.N. 202 of 1960 and L.N. 231 of 1963.
(3) The President may by order provide that insofar as this Act has effect in relation to any country designated under subsection (2), it shall have effect subject to such limitations, adaptations or modifications (including the limitation, adaptation or modification of any definition in this Act) as may be specified in that order.
—(1) In Part II references to a member of a civilian component of a visiting force are references to a person for the time being fulfilling the following conditions:
that he holds a passport issued in respect of him by a government, not being a passport issued by the passport authorities of Singapore;
that the passport contains an uncancelled entry made by or on behalf of the appropriate authority of the sending country stating that he is a member of a civilian component of a visiting force of that country; and
that the passport contains a note of recognition of that entry by or on behalf of the Minister for the time being charged with responsibility for immigration which has not been cancelled and as respects which no notification in writing has been given by or on behalf of that Minister to the appropriate authority of the sending country stating that the recognition is withdrawn.
(2) The reference in subsection (1)(c) to a note of recognition of an entry in a passport is a reference to any mark or indication made in the passport by or on behalf of the Minister for the time being charged with responsibility for immigration signifying that the entry has been noted and approved.
(3) In this section, “passport” includes any document which, in accordance with the law for the time being in force in Singapore, would be treated as the equivalent of a passport in the case of a person entering Singapore, being a national of the country by whose government the document is issued.
5. In Part II references to a person’s having at any time a relevant association with a visiting force are references to his being at that time a person of one or other of the following descriptions:
a member of that visiting force or a member of a civilian component of that force;
a person (not being a citizen of Singapore or ordinarily resident in Singapore) being a dependant of a member of that visiting force or of a civilian component of that force.