As of June 2017, the number of Permanent Residents (PRs) in Singapore is estimated to be around 526,600. It is also safe to assume that the number is increasing over the years — and it is no surprise to see why. Becoming a PR will not only open more doors for you, but also provide you and your dependants with a better life in general. As a PR in Singapore, you will enjoy a range of benefits including living in Singapore without any visa restrictions, freedom to buy property, access to a retirement fund, and public schooling for your children. Known to be one of the best city to work, live and play makes the lion city a highly-sought-after place to make one’s permanent home. If you are considering how you can begin your journey to get the coveted status as a foreigner coming to the country for the first time, here are four types of work visas that will get you a step closer to becoming a Singapore PR.
4 Work Visa Schemes That Will Allow You to Apply for Singapore PR
There are four work schemes that you can potentially use to your advantage to become a PR in the country, whether you are a foreign working professional or an entrepreneur, read on to find out that they are.
1. Employment Pass (EP)
The EP is one of the most popular and preferred ways for working professionals to attain PR status in the little red dot. It is suited for a large spectrum of professionals including, but are not limited to, skilled employees, managers, foreign professionals and executives who earn at least $3,600 a month. As of now, there is no official quota for the number of EPs issued.
2. Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)
As a variation of the EP, the EntrePass functions as the primary type of work visa for individuals who own newly established businesses or companies in their country and wish to relocate their business to Singapore.
3. S Pass
The S Pass is suitable for mid-skilled employees who take home a fixed minimum salary of S$2,200 every month. Additionally, applicants who hold this permit are typically assessed based on individual qualifications and the employers’ hiring quota eligibility.
4. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
Unlike other schemes, the PEP is a special type of EP that does not require being tied to a specific employer. With a PEP, an applicant does not need to re-apply for a new visa when switching jobs. However, do note that this condition is only applicable if you have not been unemployed for six months or more. One downside to note is that you will not be able to establish your own company as this scheme is meant for individuals employed by a third-party employer.
1. Employment Pass (EP)
Typically, an EP has a validity period of one to two years, after which a renewal is required should you wish to remain employed in the country. Holding an EP will make it easier for a person to attain their Singapore permanent residency, and citizenship, in the long term. This is definitely an important step if you plan to stay here in the lion city and sink your roots.
How to Qualify for an EP
There are a few ways one can qualify for an EP. Firstly, you need to draw a minimum fixed salary of S$3,600 a month. This is usually expected of young graduates, whereas more experienced candidates are required to draw a higher salary to qualify for an EP. Apart from that, you will also have to work in an executive, managerial or specialised job. Finally, to qualify for an EP, you will need to hold a tertiary degree from a university that is reputable and recognised. If you do not meet this criterion, you may make up for it with a strong and professional employment history and high salary. Keep in mind that these serve as general guidelines and authorities are likely to review all applications thoroughly, on a case-by-case basis before deciding to approve or reject an application.
Documents Needed to Qualify for an EP
There are several documents that you need to consolidate before applying for your EP. The first and foremost document that is crucial for your application is the EP Application Form 8, which is sponsored by the local company that has hired you. You will need to submit your most recent resume, relevant educational certificates, testimonials and references from former employers. You will also include a passport-size photograph of yourself that was taken within the past three months and a copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. Submitting a copy of the employing company’s business profile, a detailed description of your job scope and a clear description of the products and activities of the employing Singapore company.
2. Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)
Like the EP, there is no official quota system for the EntrePass. The work scheme is suitable for business owners who are interested in starting a new company or have started a company that is less than six months old. However, do note that the business must fulfil one of the innovative criteria that was introduced in September 2013.
How to Qualify for an EntrePass
You will need to be 21 years old and above with relevant qualifications and professional experience to qualify for this scheme. You must also have a business proposal that is both innovative and entrepreneurial and is able to encourage local employment. Another criterion is the willingness to relocate to Singapore to run the business. It is important that you register your business in the country as a private limited company. Your company should not be established or should not be more than six months old at the time of your application. Last but not least, you need to hold 30% of shares in the business you proposed.
Documents Needed to Qualify for an EntrePass
To apply for this type of work scheme, you will need to first complete an EntrePass application form. You must also have documentary evidence that proves you have successfully fulfilled one of the eligibility criteria under the innovator, entrepreneur and investor categories. You should also include a business plan that follows an approved format. On top of that, you will need to get your hands on a passport-size photograph taken within three months from the time of application and a copy of the personal particulars page of your passport. You should also be able to provide documentary evidence of your previous employment(s) and business venture(s). Do not forget to add copies of your relevant educational certificates as well.
Additional Documents to Include
If you have established or incorporated your business before the submission of your application, you will need to send in a copy of the company’s business profile. Apart from that, these documents will go a long way in strengthening your application. Licensing agreements, relevant product certifications, endorsements and a copy of the company’s latest bank statement will also be required. Note that all documents submitted for your application need to be in English, if not, you will have to get it officially translated by a certified professional.
3. S Pass
This is only renewable as long as the applicant is employed by his or her employer. It is issued to the worker for one to two years and unlike the EP, it does have a quota. As with the EP, holders of this scheme will be eligible to apply for PR in the country. Note that the PR application will be reviewed based on the criteria set by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
How to Qualify for an S Pass
First and foremost, to qualify for the application of the S Pass, you have to be a mid-level skilled professional or staff who earns a minimum salary of $S2,300 monthly. Keep in mind that when an applicant changes jobs, it will be up to the new employer to apply for a new work scheme for them. Another qualifying factor will be that applicants should possess a diploma, degree, or technical/specialist qualifications. If you are a candidate from the People’s Republic of China, you will need to send your qualifications for authentication and translation. Apart from that, you will need relevant work experience and skills in your field of profession and study.
Documents Needed to Qualify for an S Pass
To apply for an S pass, you will need to submit copies of your passport details, specifically a copy of the personal particulars page along with your educational certificates. If for some reason the name on the passport provided does not tally with the information from the other documents, you will be required to provide an explanation letter and supporting documents, as well as an affidavit. As far as your educational qualifications go, it really depends on which country you are from. For instance, if you have attained your qualifications from India, you will need to submit a set of transcripts, which indicate the college or institution that you attended. If you have qualifications from China, you need to provide proof of your diploma. An online verification report of the Higher Education Qualification Certificate from China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHSI) will suffice. If you have a degree and/or anything above that, you will need an online verification from the China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Information (CDGDC). Essentially, it is the responsibility of the employer to verify the authenticity and quality of the applicant’s qualifications.
4. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
Unfortunately, unlike other work visas, the PEP is non-renewable and has a validity period of three years. It is catered for professionals who are well-paid and are willing to work in Singapore for an employer. Do take note that holders of the PEP will not be able to start their own business in the little red dot and are required to earn a fixed salary of S$ 144,000 per annum. There is also no official quota system for the number of PEP holders in a company or under an employer.
How to Qualify for a PEP
The list of things to check off for qualifying for a PEP is probably the shortest of the lot listed. There are two key criteria you will have to meet to qualify for a PEP. The first and foremost of the two criteria is to be an EP holder. Next, you will have to earn S$12,000 per month, and in the previous year, your earnings should sum up to at least S$144,000. Secondly, you need to be an overseas professional who has a last drawn fixed salary of at least S$18,000 a month. Finally, your last drawn should not be more than six months from the time of your PEP application.
Documents Needed to Qualify for a PEP
Note that if you are an existing EP Holder, you will not be required to present any additional documents with your application. However, you will be required to complete the following details on your PEP form. The most important information include the details of your passport, the name and address of the employer (if applicable), information about your job and salary details (if applicable), contact information (local address unless you are an overseas professional, then you can include your local contact details once your PEP is approved), other details include information of dependant visa holders (if applicable), and information of long-term social visit visa holders (if applicable).
What If I am Not an EP Holder?
You will need to provide the following documents if you are not an EP holder. The first is a copy of your personal particulars page of your passport. Following that, you need to provide an employment contract of your new and/or previous employment if you have any. After which, you will have to present bank account statements and the past three month’s salary slips. Finally, your latest tax statement and a copy of your resume and relevant academic qualifications will be necessary for your submission.
Since attaining all the aforementioned work schemes can help in increasing your chances of becoming a PR in Singapore, the next thing you have to think about and consider which visa is the right one that suits your needs the best. After which, you will need to prepare for your PR application process. This will then require a considerable amount of time and energy from you to put together. It surely can be tedious work given that there are so much to consider and paperwork to go through, especially if you are doing it alone. As all wonderful things in life are, the process to finally getting your first step deeply planted in the soil of the land is never easy.
So if you are still unsure about which visa to attain or have any questions about the PR application process, perhaps talking to an immigration consultant will shed some light in the right direction that you should pursue. At Paul Immigrations, our consultants are equipped with the knowledge and expertise necessary to aid you through the entire Singapore PR application process. The sound advice and guidance you receive from our consultants will not only give you the confidence you need to take the next step, but also take you a step closer to achieving your dream of becoming a Singapore Permanent Resident. Speak to us today and take your first step in making the little red dot your permanent home.