Ever since its independence, Singapore has built a steady reputation on the global stage as a cosmopolitan nation whose residents have access to a high quality of life, world-class medical facilities and services, and an education system the envy of other countries. These factors, alongside many others, have contributed to the rise in the number of foreigners who are keen on making this little red dot their home for the long-term. According to the 2018 Population in Brief report published by the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group Singapore, the proportion of permanent residents in Singapore currently stands at over half a million.
Of course, attaining the coveted permanent resident (PR) status in the Lion City is not an easy feat. It involves a relatively lengthy application process (about four to six months, sometimes longer), in which you have to first fulfil the minimum requirements laid out by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority Singapore (ICA). These requirements include:
- Spouse of a Singapore citizen or PR
- Unmarried child(ren) below 21 years old born within the context of a legal marriage, or have been legally adopted by a Singapore citizen or PR
- Aged parent of a Singapore citizen
- Employment Pass or S Pass holder
- Student studying in Singapore
- Foreign investor in Singapore
Besides these minimum requirements, there are additional factors that contribute to the success rate of your application. These factors range from submitting supporting documents, such as a cover letter, to engaging a professional to help you navigate through the process. Keep reading to learn more about these additional factors so you can get your Singapore PR application in tip-top shape.
4 Things to Include in Your Cover Letter For Singapore PR Application
The documents you are required to submit when applying for permanent residency in the Republic (such as your birth certificate, educational certificates, and payslips) do not reflect on yourself as an individual. Without any sense of who you are as an individual and how you can contribute to Singapore’s progress as a PR, how then will the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) decide whether to approve your application?
This is why preparing a cover letter to submit with your forms and documents is essential. A cover letter allows you the opportunity to elaborate on your personal qualities as well as highlight the reasons why you deserve to be granted permanent residency in the little red dot, thus increasing your chances of attaining PR status in the country.
There are several points you should include in your cover letter to ensure it will be of benefit to your PR application. Below, we go into greater detail on each of these points to help you improve on the quality of your cover letter.
1. Your Reasons for Applying for Permanent Residency in Singapore
Whether you are applying to be a PR in this little red dot for work, to invest in the country’s economy, or to be with your family, stating your reasons for wanting to gain PR status will give the ICA officer a better idea of why you are choosing to make Singapore your long-term home. Besides stating your main reason for wanting to be a PR in the country (such as for school or work), elaborate on other factors like what you love about Singapore, or how staying in the Republic for the long haul will benefit your quality of life.
2. Your Ability to Be an Asset in Singapore
A multitude of benefits awaits you once you have successfully been granted PR status in the Republic — this the ICA officer knows all too well. What the officer does not know, however, is how you as an individual can be of benefit to the country. For instance, if you are applying under the PTS scheme, you might wish to emphasise on your financial stability. If your family is staying with you in the little red dot as well, highlight your ability to support your entire family too. If you are creating a new start-up in the Republic or expanding an existing local business, then explain how your company will be able to contribute to the country’s economy and how it will generate jobs for locals in Singapore.
3. The Positive Contributions You have Made in Singapore
The benefits you will be able to bring to the table if you are granted permanent residency in the Republic can be further backed up if you have made some positive contributions during your time in the country prior to your application. This not only shows your willingness to truly make a positive impact on society during your time in Singapore but also reflects your good character as an individual. For instance, if you have done some volunteer work, provided financial support to a local start-up, or made sizeable donations to charitable organisations, be sure to highlight them in your cover letter. As a nation that values displaying care and compassion toward others, and actively spending one’s time with the local community, your positive contributions will be looked upon favourably, thus increasing the success rate of your application.
4. Your Reasons for Applying for Permanent Residency for Your Family
If you are applying for permanent residency in the lion city, you can apply for your spouse as well as your child(ren). In the case of your kids, they have to be below 21 years old, and born within the context of a legal marriage or legally adopted. Being a country that upholds the family nucleus as central to the longevity and cohesiveness of a society, applying for Singapore permanent residency for your entire family will give you an added advantage. Therefore, explain your reasons for applying for permanent residency for your spouse and/or child(ren), and try to explain how they will be an asset to the country.
3 Supporting Documents to Include in Your PR Application
According to the 2018 Population in Brief report by the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group Singapore, the country grants permanent residency to approximately 30,000 individuals a year. This follows the stringent adjustments that have been made to the country’s immigration framework in late 2009. Maintaining a steady number of approvals annually ensures the Republic is able to keep its proportion of PR population at a stable rate. In turn, this helps to moderate the effect of a growing ageing population as well as low birth rates in the country.
With tighter regulations put in place to control the number of immigrants being granted PR status in the Lion City, it is safe to assume that the rate of approval of PR applications is now lower than before. This means it is more important than ever to make your own application stand out from the rest to increase your chances of being granted PR status in the country.
Apart from submitting a cover letter, there are other documents you should include to increase your own application’s approval rate. These additional supporting documents should serve as proof as to your decent character as an individual and how you will be an asset — rather than a liability — to the Republic.
Below, we will go through the three supporting documents you should include to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
1. Request for a Letter of Recommendation from Your Employer
If you are applying under the PTS scheme, you can have your current employer write you a letter of recommendation. A good letter of recommendation should provide an elaboration on your admirable qualities as an employee, and how those qualities will make you a positive addition to this little red dot. Just be sure to revise through the letter of recommendation thoroughly once you have received the final drafts — check for grammatical and spelling errors, and ensure it does not contain any parts that might shed you in a bad light.
2. Obtain Performance Evaluation Reports from Your Previous Employer(s)
A performance evaluation report serves a similar purpose to a letter of recommendation by providing an overview of your character as an employee throughout your time in the company. It shows how well you performed your day-to-day duties, how you interact with your peers and superiors, and whether you played an active role in the progress of your company. An individual whose performance evaluation report displays his positive work ethic as well as overall behaviour while working in the company will be looked upon more favourably, thus increasing the success rate of your PR application.
3. Request for Written Testimonials
Your employment history is not the only factor that will play an important role in the success rate of your application. If you have taken part in activities unrelated to your employment such as volunteer work, request for the person-in-charge from that particular organisation to write you a testimonial regarding your time volunteering for them. A testimonial is another opportunity for your positive character to be put on display to the ICA officer, thus putting you in a good light and making it more likely for your application be approved.
3 Contributing Factors to Improve Your PR Application
Apart from the three supporting documents we have covered above, there are several other factors to consider before applying for permanent residency in this little red dot. Remember, you will be competing against tens of thousands of applicants each year, thus just meeting the minimum requirements laid out by ICA might not be enough to set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Keep on reading to find out more about the three different factors you should consider to improve your PR application.
1. Do Not Rush the Process
The entire process of applying to be a PR can be a tedious and time-consuming one. There are a couple of lengthy forms to complete, one of which is for your employer, if you are currently working. Plus, there are various types of documents — those required by ICA as well as additional supporting ones — you will need to prepare to submit with your application. This includes having non-English documents translated into English, procuring your official certificates from your home country should you not have them on hand (e.g. birth certificate, educational certificates), and writing a cover letter. With all these in mind, it is easy to make mistakes or miss out on important information if you do not give yourself sufficient time to complete every aspect that needs to be done. Therefore, be sure to set aside at least one to two weeks for you to get everything in order before submitting your application.
2. Consult Someone Whose Singapore PR Application Was Successful
The whole process of applying for permanent residency in the Lion City is one that is shrouded in secrecy. Besides meeting the minimum requirements, there are no other specific guidelines stated by the ICA with regard to increasing the success rate of one’s application. Therefore, why not approach someone who has been through the process and was successfully granted permanent residency in the country? Consult them on the different additional documents they submitted to ICA, have them look through your own application and advise you on the areas you can improve on.
3. Engage an Immigration Specialist
If you do not know anyone personally who has successfully attained PR status in the Republic, then what about consulting a professional? There are several agencies nowadays dedicated to helping those who are interested in making the Lion City their home for the long haul. An immigration specialist from these agencies has the expertise of knowing how best to help you improve your application according to your own circumstances, thus ensuring it is customised to your individual strengths.
We know how overwhelming the task of preparing your Singapore PR application can be. With the forms you have to complete as well as documents that need to be prepared, the entire process can feel like a burden for one person. But, fortunately, there are experts out there who are more than happy to lighten that load and help you through the process each step of the way. Simply approach the professionals at Paul Immigrations and they will guide and advise you on how you can improve the approval rate of your PR application.