From preparing your documents to the fees involved, here is everything you need to know about applying for permanent residence in Singapore.
Becoming a Permanent Resident (PR) in Singapore can open up more job options and benefits if you intend to reside in Singapore for the long term. It can also be a pathway to eventual citizenship, if that is your end goal. We explore permanent residence in Singapore – the requirements, how to apply, and everything else you need to know.
Overview of permanent residence in Singapore
Singapore ranks high in the world when it comes to the quality of life of its citizens. Unemployment and crime rates are low, and there are multiple advantages such as good healthcare, housing, education, and business opportunities that make Singapore attractive for foreigners.
In addition, the multi-cultural society accommodates people from different races and all walks of life. Because of this, the PR scheme is touted as a vital gateway to allow foreigners to enjoy privileges close to that of citizens’ and eventually become citizens.
Advantages of obtaining PR in Singapore
When you obtain a PR status, you'll enjoy multiple benefits. For example:
- Enter the country without needing a different travel- or work-related visa.
- Apply for long-term visas for your parents.
- Apply for PR status for your spouse and children. This will give your children priority in entering schools.
- Apply for and change jobs freely without reapplying for a work permit.
- Along with your employer, contribute to your Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts, which you can use for housing, retirement and medical needs.
- Purchase resale Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats.
Singapore’s Permanent Resident schemes
Singapore has three major schemes through which individuals can apply for permanent residence. Here is more information on each scheme and how to apply for PR in Singapore.
Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) scheme
The PTS scheme is one of the most popular pathways for gaining PR status in Singapore for foreigners. It’s suitable if you are a professional holding a S Pass or Employment Pass.
Currently, many professionals applying for permanent residence have qualified for and obtained PR through this scheme. You can apply for PR alongside your spouse and children aged below 21 years.
You are eligible for PTS in the following circumstances:
- You have a unique or specialised skill that is needed in Singapore, which complements but doesn't compete with the local workforce.
- You offer voluntary work that is beneficial to your local community and neighbourhood.
- You have worked in Singapore for 12 months or more before applying for permanent residency in the country.
- Your family lives in Singapore, for example your spouse, adult children, parents, and any other relatives living and working in Singapore.
- You are below 50 years of age and aren’t dependent on people to support your cost of living.
- Your academic qualifications and skills are from trusted and recognised institutions.
Global Investor Programme (GIP) scheme
The GIP is the brainchild of the Ministry of Manpower and the Economic Development Board.
This programme is meant for entrepreneurs or investors seeking to initiate businesses that will boost the economy in Singapore. Therefore, if you are a business person, this is an excellent pathway to get PR status.
The advantage of this scheme is the fact that your spouse and children can also automatically qualify for permanent residence. However, like any other pathways, children must be below 21 years to be considered.
You are eligible to apply for PR status through GIP if:
- You have a successful business that is consistent in its operations. In addition, your records for the business should have substantial information on its progress.
- You must be a well-known entrepreneur with renowned entrepreneurial skills and expertise.
Upon meeting the eligibility requirements, the next step is to select one of the two GIP investment options available:
- Invest not less than S$2.5 million in an existing business or a new business in Singapore. With this option, you must draw up a five-year investment plan for your business.
- Invest S$2.5 million or more in the GIP-approved fund for Singapore-based companies. This aims at supporting companies in Singapore and enabling them to prosper.
Foreign Artistic Talent (ForArts) scheme
The ForArts scheme was launched in 1991 to allow professional artists to get PR status in Singapore. It is administered by the National Arts Council alongside Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
To qualify under this scheme, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have training and experience in the relevant field.
- Remarkable achievements and recognition in different forms of arts including design, literary, media visual, and performing arts.
- Contribute immensely to Singapore's culture as well as the art scene.
- Have a proven record in various leadership levels and local engagements.
- Have a solid future in Singapore's cultural sector and arts.
Other criteria for applying for PR status
Besides the schemes mentioned above, you can also apply to be a PR if you are the spouse or child (unmarried and aged below 21) of a Singapore Citizen or PR, elderly parent of a Singapore Citizen, or student studying in Singapore.
How to apply for permanent residence in Singapore
To get started, you need to submit your Singapore permanent resident application via the e-Service platform on the ICA website. The website spells out the Singapore PR eligibility requirements.
To submit a PR application, you must have a Singpass account on the ICA website. For students or other long term pass holders, you can access this service using the FIN which is your Foreign Identification Number.
To apply for PR status, you must pay a S$100 non-refundable fee which is for processing your application. The amount is payable when you are submitting your PR application and you can pay via:
- Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards
- American Express credit card
- Internet direct debit (DBS/POSB, OCBC, UOB and Standard Chartered Bank internet banking accounts in Singapore)
Upon approval, there are other charges that you need to pay as highlighted in the table below.
|Type of permit||Charges|
|5-year Re-entry Permit||S$50|
|Entry Visa ( for foreigners in need of a visa)||S$30|
You can pay these charges via CashCard or NETS.
The ICA reviews all the PR request applications, which can take around 6–12 months. Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, it's important to submit all the required documents to avoid delay.
Some cases are complex and can drag on for longer. The programme also doesn't allow for the processing of more than one application per person at the same time.
Regardless of whether you succeed or not, you'll be mailed the results of the application.
You can also access your account on the e-Service to confirm your status. Or you can call the ICA to enquire about the status of your application.
Following a successful application for PR, the good news is, you can apply for citizenship two to six years afterwards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can cause my PR application to be rejected?
There are several things that can jeopardise your PR application. For example, failure to provide necessary documents, falsification of facts, and if you don’t meet the PR requirements for application.
Can my PR be revoked in the future?
Yes, the Singapore government can revoke your PR status in the future if it's discovered that you lied during the application or if you commit a criminal offence. After your PR expires, there’s also no guarantee that it will be renewed.
While applying for PR may be a lengthy process, taking note of the information and steps detailed above should help your case and hopefully secure you the benefits of a PR status.
If you’re keen to secure yours and your family’s future, besides the option of getting PR status in Singapore, ensure that you have appropriate insurance coverage. Compare and apply for the best home insurance plans so your family will always have something to fall back on.
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