Complete Guide: VTL Land (Bus) from Johor Bahru to Singapore

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DISCLAIMER

This guide is based on my personal experience in travelling by VTL Land from Malaysia to Singapore on 11 March 2022 as a Singaporean.

Border requirements are ever-changing. ALWAYS check the latest information listed on Singapore’s ICA website before your trip.

In this post, I will be sharing my experience in travelling by bus from Johor Bahru, Malaysia to Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane (Land).

Related: I had previously travelled from Singapore to Johor Bahru via VTL Land and wrote a complete guide on it.

Key points to note about VTL

What is VTL?

Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) allows travellers to enter Malaysia/Singapore without quarantine upon arrival.

In other words: VTL = NO QUARANTINE

At the moment, Singapore and Malaysia are the only countries that recognizes this “VTL” system.

Who can travel on VTL Land?

To travel to Singapore via VTL Land, you will need to be in any VTL country for at least 7 days prior and be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated children below 12 years old MUST be accompanied by vaccinated adults. If you travelled

At the moment, only Singaporeans, Malaysians and long-term pass holders of Singapore can enter Singapore via VTL Land.

Click here for the official page from Singapore Immigration and Checkpoint Authority for the latest information on VTL Land.

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The entire process

Step 1: Fulfill vaccination requirement

If you had originally travelled from Singapore to Malaysia via VTL, you should already have your vaccination status shown in Singapore’s TraceTogether mobile app.

If you are a Malaysian without PR or long-term pass in Singapore, you will need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) to upload your vaccination details.

Step 2: Purchase a VTL bus ticket

The most difficult part of this entire process is purchasing a VTL bus ticket. This is due to the quota that is in place and extreme demand for them.

At the moment, you can buy these tickets officially from Transtar and CausewayLink for RM15 each, for the journey from Malaysia to Singapore. You can also buy these tickets from Transtar’s Shopee page.

VTL bus tickets go on sale every 1 or 2 weeks (no fixed pattern). Both bus companies announce on their social media pages when there are tickets going on sale. Facebook: Transtar, CausewayLink

I strongly discourage buying them from Carousell/black market as there are a lot of scammers looking to profit on desperate travellers. VTL bus tickets are non-transferable (name change not allowed).

HOT TIP: The easiest way to get VTL bus tickets is by joining the VTL Singapore – Malaysia Telegram group to receive alerts on random tickets that are occasionally released by Transtar or CausewayLink.

How a Telegram alert looks like

Step 3: Fulfill travel insurance requirement

If you are a Malaysian without PR or long-term pass in Singapore, you are required to have travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 against COVID-19 related medical charges.

Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and long-term pass holders of Singapore are not required to have a travel insurance to return to Singapore.

Step 4: Fill up SG Arrival Card

Filling up SG Arrival Card before travelling is optional as you can do it upon arrival. However, it is really easy to get it done online and I highly recommend doing it before your journey for a faster immigration process.

This arrival card can only be filled up 2 days prior to your arrival date and on the arrival date itself.

Step 5: Do a pre-departure ART test

You will need to get a professionally-administered ART test done within 48 hours from departure.

The cheapest and easiest way to get a professionally-administered ART test in Malaysia is by using CLEA mobile app for a virtual test at the comfort of your own home. This costs just RM15 per test.

If you are using CLEA, you will need to have your own approved test kit ready. You can buy a test kit easily in pharmacies like Guardian and Watson for about RM5 to RM7.

Additional note: According to what some travellers shared in CLEA’s Telegram chat group, travellers on VTL Land are allowed to use either Saliva or Nasal test kits but travellers on VTL Air can only use Nasal test kits.

Step 6: Prepare for boarding

Boarding for both Transtar and CausewayLink buses is at Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru.

Unfortunately, the boarding situation was really chaotic and unorganized, unlike my previous experience going from Singapore to Johor Bahru.

I saw quite a number of travellers (especially non-Malay-speaking Singaporeans) not knowing what to do and I hope that this guide can ease some of your stress!

Things to prepare before boarding:

  • Passport
  • Bus ticket (print)
  • Pre-departure ART test result (print)
  • Vaccine certificate (digital)
  • Boarding pass (get at Larkin Bus Terminal)
  • Stamp printed ticket and boarding pass (at Larkin Bus Terminal)

Unlike my paperless, one-step experience in Singapore, the process to board the bus was more complicated and messy in Larkin’s crowded bus terminal.

Step 6a: Print your bus ticket and ART test result

Make sure that your bus ticket confirmation and ART test result are PRINTED. If you do not have a printer at home, there is a printing shop in the bus terminal (see photo below).

However, you should know that this shop is taking full advantage of the situation and charging desperate travellers RM1 per paper. The shop will also print all the pages of your email if you do not tell them to print only the first page (which is the only one you need). Sure, it wasn’t a lot of money, but it was an opportunistic and unfair business practice in my eyes.

Step 6b: Get your boarding pass

If you already have your printed documents from Step 6a ready, head over to counters 01 to 04 to get your boarding pass.

Counters 01 to 04

The CausewayLink email that I received mentioned that the counter is only allowed to charge RM0.70 for the boarding pass but I was charged RM2 anyway. When asked, the counter staff just shook her head. 🤷‍♂️

Footnote in my CausewayLink booking email

Step 6c: Get your boarding pass stamped

Once you have your boarding pass from Step 6b, head to the counter of your bus company near the entrance to gates 5-14 (see photo below) for Document Check and to get your boarding pass stamped.

I saw a lot of travellers who missed this step and had to go back out of the boarding area to get it done.

CausewayLink and Transtar’s document check area
CausewayLink and Transtar’s document check area
Stamped documents

Step 6d: Enter the boarding area

Looking at your boarding pass, you will see that your boarding gates are 3-4 (located next to counters 01-04). However, you will enter the boarding area from the entrance of gates 5-14 (see photo below).

You can enter the boarding area 30 minutes before your scheduled departure. Once you have entered the boarding area, turn left to gates 3 and 4.

Entrance to gates 5-14
Entrance to gates 3 and 4

Once inside, you will queue up (again!) at the counter of your bus company for more document checks and to get a sticker, to be pasted on your sleeve (see photo below).

Another document check near gate 3
CausewayLink sticker to be pasted on your sleeve

Step 7: Boarding

Announcements for boarding were made (by shouting staff members, not on speaker) in Malay language and only that. If you do not understand Malay, always ask a staff near you. In my experience, boarding began 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Prepare your boarding pass and MySejahtera app to check in and enter the bus.

The bus left right on time.

Fun fact!

If you are taking a CausewayLink VTL bus, you are allowed to drop off at Woodlands Immigration (instead of Queen Street Bus Terminal). You have to inform the staff right after boarding, when you are in the bus.

Boarding a CausewayLink bus

Step 8: Clear Malaysia’s Immigration

You have to bring along all your belongings to clear Malaysia’s Immigration and Customs.

Clearing Malaysia’s Immigration was fairly quick as a lot of counters were open.

Before going back up to the bus, believe it or not, there was yet another document check!

This entire process took about 15 minutes.

Document after clearing Malaysia’s Immigration and Customs

Step 9: Clear Singapore’s Immigration

Clearing Singapore’s Immigration was quick too as I could use the automated gates. Although the process took just 5 minutes for me, I had to wait about 20 minutes for every one to return to the bus.

At this stage, 40 minutes had passed since the bus left Larkin Bus Terminal.

If you have informed the bus staff (as stated in Step 7) that you are alighting in Woodlands Immigration, you can find your way home and get an on-arrival ART test after clearing the immigration and customs. If not, board the bus and continue your journey to Queen Street Bus Terminal.

Boarding the bus after clearing Singapore’s Immigration and Customs

Step 10: On-arrival ART test

‼️ IMPORTANT UPDATE ‼️

From 15 March 2022, travellers who arrive in Singapore via VTL are no longer required to do a supervised ART test as described below. Instead, you have to do your unsupervised ART test within 24 hours and submit the test result here.

The bus arrived at Queen Street Bus Terminal 1 hour and 30 minutes after leaving Larkin.

As I arrived before 15 March 2022, I had to do a supervised ART test within 24 hours of arrival. I chose to do it at Queen Street Bus Terminal and it costed me $15.

Drop off area at Queen Street Bus Terminal
On-arrival testing area
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Any questions or experience to share?

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2 thoughts on “Complete Guide: VTL Land (Bus) from Johor Bahru to Singapore”

  1. Ofw here in Singapore can visit in Johor Bahru? I would like to know what are those things that need to prepare?fully vaccinated

    Reply

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