What Does It Take to Gain Singapore PR Status?

What Does It Take to Gain Singapore PR Status?

Srategically located at the main crossroads of Southeast Asia, Singapore has become one of the unique business centers in the world. The multicultural and cosmopolitan city-state with its mix of the modern and the traditional lures foreign entrepreneurs to make investments in creative and knowledge-based industries. The 2017 Quality of Living ranking and the HSBC Expat Explorer survey have ranked Singapore as the best city in Asia to live in. 

With Singapore being a choice destination to live, work and play, it is understandable that many foreigners look to get permanent residence here.

What are the benefits of a Singapore PR status?

Holding a Singapore permanent residence (PR) status gives the individual peace of mind. This is because the person will no longer have to issue a new work visa each time he changes jobs in Singapore. While on the job, the employer is required by law to make monthly contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) on the employee's behalf. The CPF funds go towards financing various needs such as healthcare, housing, property and investment. In terms of schooling, the person's children will have priority access to Singapore's public education system. Should the individual decide to put down roots in Singapore with his family, he is eligible to buy a public housing flat called Housing Development Board (HDB) flat. In terms of travel, a permanent resident holder is able to move to and from Singapore without visa.

Here is some essential information about the eligibility criteria and application procedure to get a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) status.


Who is eligible?


Foreigners are eligible to apply for permanent residence if they already hold an Employment Pass/S Pass or if they are investors. In terms of family members, the spouse and unmarried children of a Singapore citizen or a Singapore PR, as well as the aged parents of an individual who has been naturalised as a Singaporean, are also eligible to submit applications.


What are the two main schemes to secure PR status?



  • Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme



Individuals who are currently working in Singapore under an Employment Pass or S Pass can apply for permanent residence under this scheme. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) considers each application based on several factors including the applicant's age, marital status, job, salary, qualifications, skills, prior length of stay in the country and family ties in Singapore. It is to be highlighted that male applicants who obtain a Singapore Permanent Resident status will be exempted from National Service. However, should a male child get PR status through his parents' sponsorship, he will be liable for National Service under the Enlistment Act.



  • Global Investor Programme Scheme


Investors can apply under this scheme if they have successful entrepreneurial backgrounds and proven business track records. Through this scheme, the investor must satisfy one of the two options; either investing at least S$2.5 million in a new business entity or in the expansion of an existing business operation; or devoting at least S$2.5 million in a Global Investor Programme (GIP) fund which invests in Singapore-based companies operating in a number of areas.The company must be included in selected list of industries. The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) - Contact Singapore, will evaluate the application based on several factors. The investor must have at least three years of entrepreneurial and business track record with audited financial statements of the company from an accredited audit firm. The company itself must be in one or more selected industries. It must have had at least S$50 million in turnover in the year prior to the application and a minimum of S$50 million per year for the three years prior to the application. If the company is a privately-held entity, the investor must have at least 30% of shares in the company.    


How to apply?


  • Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme 

For this scheme, the duly completed application should be submitted at the Permanent Resident Services Centre of the ICA Building. The applicant will need to first book an appointment online to secure a date for the Singapore PR application submission. The fee for the entry permit is S$100 with a visa fee of S$30, while the re-entry permit costs S$10 per year. The fees can be paid via NETs or Cashcard. The usual processing time for a PR application ranges from four to six months.


  • Global Investor Programme Scheme


For the GIP scheme, a non-refundable application fee of S$7,000 must be paid to the EDB prior to the start of the application process. Thereafter, the duly completed application forms should be submitted online, with additional supporting documents in hard copy to Contact Singapore. If the application is successful, the newly-minted PR will have to make his investment within a six-month timeframe from his personal bank account in his sole name opened in a Singapore-registered bank. The documentary investment of the order of S$2.5 million should be sent to Contact Singapore.


How to maximise the success rate of a Singapore PR application?


Even if the applicant appears to meet the criteria and submits the requested documentation, there is still no guarantee that a PR application will be approved. Hence, it is highly recommended to seek the advice and guidance of a professional services provider to ensure a seamless PR application process and a better positive outcome. This is particularly the case for applicants under the GIP scheme where there are specific steps and instructions for the submission process.



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