Singapore ranks among the top five countries in the world for quality of living. The city-state is considered Asia’s business headquarters with rich racial harmony, a multi-national and multi-cultural society and the continent’s best place to live and work. It has access to some of the best tourist destinations in Asia, which is evident in every traveller’s bucket list. Not only that, but the city-state is known for its remarkable development in healthcare, educational institutions, infrastructure, housing quality, low unemployment levels and abundance of business opportunities.
With such desirable prospects, it makes sense for an individual to apply for a Permanent Residence status in Singapore. The PR status comes with Central Provident Fund benefits, personal tax reliefs, and subsidies. Another benefit for PRs in Singapore is the access to quality education, public housing and healthcare services at highly subsidized rates similar to ordinary citizens.
Available Schemes For Singapore Permanent Residence
- Global Investor Program scheme (GIP Scheme)
- Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers scheme (PTS scheme)
- Foreign Artistic Talent scheme (ForArts)
Foreign Artistic Talent scheme (ForArts)
The National Arts Council (NAC) and the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) jointly administer the scheme, which was established in 1991 and is designed to allow outstanding foreign artists to obtain Singapore permanent residency in recognition of their significance and contributions to the country’s culture.
In order to be eligible for Singapore’s ForArts programme, a candidate must fulfil each of the requirements listed below:
- Outstanding accomplishments in the performing, visual, literary, design, or media fields, together with applicable training, education, and work experience in their field
- Contributions to Singapore’s arts and culture that are noteworthy
- A proven track record of leadership activities at the local level
- Plans that are now in the works to participate in Singapore’s arts and culture scene
Remember that the ICA is the final authority in all PR applications, including those submitted through the ForArts programme. This plan’s success rate is likewise not exceptionally high.
Qualifications for Singapore PR
The following groups of foreign nationals are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Singapore under the PTS and GIP schemes.
- Holders of employment pass and S pass (including personalized employment and entrepreneur pass)
- investors and business owners who fulfil the GIP eligibility requirements, as well as the spouse and unmarried children (under 21) of Singapore citizens or PR
- Elderly parents of a citizen
What is the required processing time?
The ICA states that while specific applications “may take a longer time to process,” the “normal processing time for PR applications is four to six months.”
Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme
This method is popular among owners of the employment pass, S pass, entrepreneur pass, or personalized employment pass to obtain PR in Singapore. More than 95% of professionals obtain their PR status under this plan. Notably, a candidate’s spouse and children may also apply for Singapore PR status alongside the candidate. But after they are awarded the permanent residency, male dependents would be required to undertake Singapore National Service.
National Service Liability
ICA says: “Under the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore citizens and PRs unless exempted, are liable to register for National Service (NS). Following the completion of full-time NS, they will be required to serve up to 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) per year for the duration of their ORNS training cycle till the age of 50 years (for officers) or 40 years (for other ranks).”
As a result, although applicants who get Singapore’s PR status are free from NS, the Enlistment Act imposes NS obligations on their sons, who also receive PR status through the applicant’s sponsorship.
Singaporean authorities are also particularly harsh with NS-liable PRs who attempt to avoid their NS duty.
“Renouncing or losing one’s PR status without serving or completing full-time NS would have an adverse impact on any immediate or future applications to work or study in Singapore, or for Singapore citizenship or PR status. Males who are granted Singapore PR, and who were previously Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents, are liable to be called up for NS regardless of the type of PR status they have been granted,” says the ICA.
Guidelines for submitting a successful PTS scheme application for PR
To obtain a Singapore PR, candidates must first demonstrate the necessary abilities, credentials, and professional and financial background.
What often works best is:
- If the candidate works in a specialized field that needs employees with a certain skill set to operate
- If the applicant’s skill set complements and does not compete with the local labour market
- If the candidate is younger than 50
- The candidate has obtained their credentials from a renowned institute
- If the candidate has relatives in Singapore
- If the candidate participates in volunteer activities and makes general contributions to his neighbourhood and local community
- If the candidate has worked in Singapore for at least a year before applying
Remember that there is no secret recipe for getting a Singapore PR, despite all the marketing hoaxes and exaggerated promises. Unlike nations like Australia and New Zealand, Singapore does not use a points system to evaluate PR applications.
However, SCI can assist you in putting your best effort forward and boosting your chances of persuading the authorities.
Global Investor Program scheme (GIP scheme)
The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) launched the Global Investor Program. It is a programme for people and company owners who are eager to invest in or start new business ventures in Singapore and get permanent residence there in the process. Investors’ spouses and children may also apply for permanent residency in Singapore.
The NS obligations of PRs acquired through the GIP are identical to those acquired under the PTS scheme.
Eligibility for GIP Application in Singapore
An investor may submit a GIP application if he/she has strong entrepreneurial experience and rich history in business.
The applicant has two GIP investment alternatives to select from if the qualifying requirement is satisfied:
Option A: Expand an already operating firm in Singapore or invest a minimum of S$2.5 million in a startup
If the applicant chooses this course of action, they must also present a thorough five-year company or investment plan that includes planned employment and yearly financial predictions.
It’s crucial to note that the applicant must accomplish the goals outlined in the business or investment plan within five years of the investment date. Additionally, the applicant’s entity needs to operate in one of the following industries:
- Arts Businesses
- Visual arts businesses, e.g. auction houses, art logistics/storage
- Performing arts businesses
- Aerospace Engineering
- Alternative Energy/ Clean Technology
- Consumer Business
- Engineering Services
- Family Office & Financial Services
- Infocomm Products & Services
- Logistics & Supply Chain Management
- Marine & Offshore Engineering
- Media & Entertainment
- Medical Technology
- Natural Resources
- Safety & Security
- Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
- Precision Engineering
- Professional Services, e.g. consulting, design
- Sports Businesses
Option B: Invest a minimum of S$2.5 million into a fund approved by GIP that invests in Singapore-based business
GIP application evaluation criteria in Singapore: Following the applicant’s selection of one of the mentioned two options and submission of the GIP application, the authorities evaluate it based on the following four factors:
- The applicant must have at least three years of entrepreneurial and business experience and three years’ worth of audited financial documents for their business.
- The applicant’s business must have had a turnover of at least S$200 million in the year immediately before the application and at least S$200 million annually on average for the three years before the application.
- The applicant must provide the financial statements from the division of their business with the highest annual revenue. In order to achieve the necessary turnover requirements, he or she may also combine the enterprises, provided that each is exclusively involved in one or more of the approved industries.
- If the applicant’s business is privately held, they must own at least 30% of the company’s stock. Additionally taken into account are the applicant’s responsibilities inside the organization, as well as the expansion and success of the business.
Validity of Re-entry Permit of an approved GIP application
Upon acceptance of an individual’s PR status, a successful GIP applicant is given a Re-Entry Permit (REP) valid for five years. This makes it possible for candidates to maintain their PR status when entering and leaving Singapore.
The REP renewal, for either three or five years, is subject to the following requirements after the original five years:
- A GIP applicant must have met the requirements for investments under GIP Option A or Option B; and
- Have established a company in Singapore with at least five local workers and spent at least S$2 million on business expenses annually; and
- A minimum of 2.5 years of residence in Singapore is required for the candidate and any dependents who are also PR under GIP.
PTS versus GIP – Obtaining Permanent Residency in Singapore
The days of quickly obtaining a PR in Singapore are long gone. These days, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) only wants those who want to consider the city-state as their home seriously. The acceptance rates for PR applications have fallen significantly as a result in recent years.
While no one can promise you a Singapore permanent residence, SCI’s expert staff, which is experienced in submitting PR petitions and appealing rejected applications, can help you present your case effectively.
Keep in mind that PTS is the quickest and best method of obtaining Singapore PR. Permanent residence is more or less assured under GIP, although the programme is only available to the very wealthy, who can spend more than S$2 million on business in Singapore annually.
According to our experience, GIP applications typically take six to twelve months, whereas PTS residence applications might take anything from two weeks to two years. However, the GIP process is more cumbersome and involves more paperwork, planning, and interviews.
The longer you have lived in Singapore, and the more you have given back to the community, the better your chances are of receiving a Singapore PR.
Use the alternative immigration options that are available, such as the Singapore Employment Pass, Personalised Employment Pass, or the Entrepreneur Pass, to move to the city-state and pursue permanent residency in Singapore.
Additionally, your odds of success are pretty great if you are from a nearby location, like Malaysia. According to ICA, Malaysians are more likely to adapt to Singaporean society because Malaysia and Singapore share a similar culture, heritage, and history.
When a person seeking Singapore PR has a male kid for whom permanent residency has not been requested, there is one special exemption. Second-generation PRs in Singapore are required to complete National Service; hence the ICA doesn’t view such applications favourably and is likely to reject them.
Even if you feel eligible to be a Singapore permanent resident, your application may still be turned down. This is because Singapore, unlike nations like Australia and New Zealand, doesn’t publicly disclose the points it uses to evaluate immigration applications. But working with a seasoned residency service provider like us can significantly improve your chances of persuading the authorities of your importance to Singapore.
Finally, you can apply for Singapore citizenship if you enjoy living in Singapore and are prepared to make it your permanent home. All Singapore Permanent Residents who have served their two-year residency requirement are qualified for Singapore citizenship.