So you’re living in Singapore and loving your expat life. Once you settle into the rhythm of the city, the idea of sowing deeper roots in your new home may cross your mind. In time, you might even consider applying to be a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR). It comes with a host of attractive benefits and considerations. Here, we take a look at those benefits, the process and companies that can help you apply for PR
10 PR benefits
Here are some of the main goodies that Permanent Residents can benefit from:
#1 You can change jobs without having to reapply for a work pass (such as an Employment Pass, Work Permit or Letter of Consent). Currently with a work pass, you need to go through cancellation and re-application every time you change jobs. However, this process can take time – there’s no guarantee of a quick response or approval.
#2 You’re free to re-enter Singapore to live and work without needing to apply for additional visas.
#3 You can include your immediate family (children under 21) within your application.
#4 School-aged children become eligible to apply for local school options. With a robust curriculum, and a price point that can be very appealing compared to the international school system, Permanent Residents have a larger pool of school options – international and local alike – to choose from.
#5 Your parents are eligible for long-term visas when they visit.
#6 You can participate in Singapore’s CPF (Central Provident Fund) scheme. This way, both you and your employer make monthly contributions towards your retirement.
#7 You can use your CPF funds towards purchasing local property, healthcare, family protection and asset growth.
#8 You become eligible to buy second-hand housing units from the government (HDB units). This lowers the barriers to entering the Singapore property market.
#9 You jump up the priority list for obtaining housing loans, and you pay lower stamp duty on your property purchase.
#10 You can benefit from various government incentives, discounts and subsidies that are also offered to Singapore citizens.
If you’re including your son or sons on your PR application, one major consideration is that he will have to serve a mandatory two years of national service when he turns 18 years old.
There can be long-lasting implications if you renounce your PR and/or leave Singapore before your son has completed his national service. (Read this feature for an expat’s personal perspective on the national service.)
Eligibility for Singapore PR
If you decide to go for PR, you can apply if:
- You hold an Employment Pass or S Pass
- You are a student studying in Singapore
- Your spouse is a Singapore citizen (SC) or Singapore permanent resident (PR)
- You have unmarried child below 21 born to (or legally adopted) by a SC or PR
- You’re an aged parent of a SC
- You’re an investor in Singapore
Criteria for applying for Singapore Permanent Resident
The ICA (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority) will take into account the following:
- Your economic contributions
- Age and family profile
- Length of your stay
- Your ability to integrate into the community
- Your commitment to deepen your roots into society
While the exact ‘approval formula’ is unknown, including evidence of your contributions to society, charity, volunteering and testimonials from Singaporeans and PR may help support your application.
Singapore as a Smart Nation
It’s worth considering Singapore’s grand vision as a smart nation. Certain skill sets and qualifications are more coveted than others. So, it may be worth up-skilling/re-skilling to ensure your qualifications and memberships provide economic benefits.
Procedure for PR applications
In true Singapore style, applications are relatively straightforward and can be made online via the ICA website using your SingPass. While the ICA website states the application process can take four to six months, be prepared to wait, as there have been reports of longer processing times.
Become a PR or pass holder with the help of an immigration agency
Need a little help with your application process for PR or passes? If so, these are some experienced immigration specialists that can help you achieve your dream of living in Singapore.
Hiring foreign talent in Singapore can be difficult to navigate as there is a multitude of options and ever changing rules to understand. Whether you have an employee on an expiring LOC and need help keeping your employee on board, or you’re hiring foreign talent and need a trusted partner to provide the best available options, White Glove has you covered. Jennifer Yarbrough, the owner of White Glove, has previously worked in Silicon Valley and understands the unique needs of technology and fintech companies.
White Glove understands the needs of small business owners, and can help recommend the best available options to help make your business a success. Hence, they manage the entire application process with MOM, and can recommend the most appropriate pass for your particular situation. So you find the talent, and With Glove will guide you through the entire MOM work pass process.
White Glove is fully licensed with the Ministry of Manpower. EA #19C9581.
Obtaining a work permit or visa to stay can be a problem for expats living in Singapore. Often, a lawyer with connections is needed to help deal with the paperwork and red tape. Fortunately, Sulochana Uthirapathi of Transform Borders is here to help! She’s a lawyer who specialises in Singapore immigration matters of all types. She knows first-hand how stressful it can be when you have a work permit or immigration issue. Also, she’s all over the work permit requirements for the new Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) being introduced for Employment Pass (EP) holders in 2023.
Transform Borders’ services include applications for Singapore PR, Singapore Citizenship and Letters of Consent (LOC). The consultancy also helps highly qualified individuals not tied to a specific employer to attain a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP). This would allow the pass holders to stay in Singapore after a job loss. They can then look for a new position.
Other areas of expertise include assessing eligibility for an S Pass for mid-level skilled workers, and Long Term Visit Passes (LTVP) for foreign spouses.
The Immigration People
With over 25 years of collective experience with Singapore’s immigration policies, the team at The Immigration People’s (TIP) are equipped with knowledge contributed by ex-ICA and government officers. Despite just opening in 2019, TIP has already assisted over a thousand foreign clients with their Singapore immigration applications.
TIP’s services include Singapore PR and Citizenship applications, Work Pass (mainly Employment Pass (EP), S-Pass, Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)), Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) applications and relocating of overseas businesses to Singapore. The team follows their tried-and-tested strategies while upholding strong moral standards. The company was also the winner of the ‘Best Start-up in 2020’ in The SME 100 Awards, and ‘The Fast Enterprise Award Category 2021’ in the Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards (APEA). Free first-time consultations are made available to eligible applicants.
Immigration@SG (IASG) is a multiple award-winning, Singapore-based consultancy. It provides comprehensive immigration solutions to cater to the varying needs of businesses and individuals who wish to work and live in Singapore long-term. These include Singapore PR, Citizenship and work pass applications, incorporation of businesses, single family offices and applications for the Global Investor Programme (GIP).
The team comprises of well-trained immigration professionals with close to 5 decades of combined immigration experience in Singapore and continues to work in close accordance with the guidelines set by the relevant government agencies.
IASG has also successfully represented clients from over 70 nationalities including India, Malaysia, China, UK, and Japan. Major sector representation includes Financial Services, Information, Communications & Technology, and Consumer Services.
Strengthening your PR application
The process to become a Permanent Resident has become more challenging over the years. But you can improve your chances by writing a strong accompanying cover letter, and by providing genuine evidence to support your application.
British expat Babs Khanduja told Expat Living, “My PR application took around seven months. I made sure I could demonstrate my historic contribution to Singapore’s economy and society. So, I included several testimonials from well-standing/educated Singaporeans and PRs to vouch for my credentials, character and participation within the community. I also documented my local charitable and voluntary work to support my overall application”.
If you’re thinking of applying for PR, you should genuinely consider how you and your family can participate and contribute to the wellbeing and growth of Singapore as a nation.
For a full list of required documents, fees and National Service obligations, refer to the ICA website, here.
For more helpful tips head to our Living in Singapore section.
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