With an ever-growing economy, world-class healthcare industry, and leading education hub, Singapore has positioned itself as a nation that can hold its own among its larger international counterparts. Despite its size, this city-state continues to appeal to foreign talents as a potential place to call home for the long-term, making the permanent resident (PR) status in this little red dot a highly coveted one.
If you are considering moving here for the long haul, keep on reading to find out more about the different PR schemes available as well as the various factors that will contribute to the success rate of your application.
Are You Eligible to Apply for Permanent Residency in Singapore?
If you are a foreigner who wishes to make this little red dot your home, there are certain criteria you will need to fulfil before you can apply to be a PR in the country. According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority Singapore (ICA), you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency in the Republic if you belong to one of the following categories:
- Spouse of a Singapore citizen or PR
- Unmarried child who is below 21 years of age, and was born in a legal marriage or legally adopted by a Singapore citizen or PR
- Elderly parents of a Singapore citizen
- Employment Pass or S Pass Holder
- Student studying in Singapore
- Foreign investor in Singapore
Which Singapore PR Scheme Should You Apply Under?
If you fall into one of the above categories, there are specific PR schemes you may wish to consider looking into when applying for permanent residency. These schemes include:
- Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker Scheme
- Global Investor Programme
- Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme
Each of these three schemes has its own additional eligibility criteria you will need to fulfil (all of which you may find on ICA’s website).
In addition to the eligibility criteria, there are other factors that may contribute to the success rate of your application. However, is that these factors are not specifically outlined by ICA for applicants. In this article, we will discuss the various factors that may help improve the success rate of your application, depending on which scheme you will be applying under.
Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker Scheme
This is the most popular scheme among individuals who wish to apply to be a PR in the Lion City. Also known as the PTS scheme, this is a potential route you can take towards attaining PR status if you are a foreigner working in the city. You may be eligible if you hold one of these four work passes — Employment Pass, S Pass, Entrepreneur Pass, or Personalised Employment Pass.
This scheme allows you to apply for permanent residency for your spouse as well as your children who are below 21 years old and unmarried. Do take note, however, that male children will be required to register for National Service if they are granted PR status in Singapore.
Seeing as how this is the route the majority of foreign professionals working in this city-state would take if they wish to attain PR status in the country, this makes it all the more important for you to set your application apart from the rest. Fulfilling the required criteria as outlined by ICA is really just the bare minimum you can do to have your application approved. To help you raise your chances, you might like to consider these factors that ICA may take into account when going through your application, including but are not limited to:
1. The Job Industry You are In
In the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI) Economic Survey of Singapore for the first quarter of 2019, the two industries that made the largest contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth were the finance and insurance industry, as well as the business services industry. Meanwhile, the information and communications industry experienced the highest level of growth — at 6.6% — from the previous quarter. With the good results and contributions of these industries to the economy, being a talent in one of them can help you better your chance at attaining the PR status, as you will be deemed valuable with a part to play in yielding the positive results.
2. Your Age
According to the Population in Brief 2018 report published by the Strategy Group in the Prime Minister’s Office, the percentage of citizens who are 65 years of age and above has risen from 14.4% in 2017 to 15.2% in 2018. Meanwhile, the old-age support ratio — an indicator of the proportion of working-age adults supporting the economically inactive group — has fallen from 6.7% in 2008 to 4.2% in 2018. This figure is projected to drop even further to approximately 2.4% in 2030. The growing ageing population in the little red dot makes it more vital for its government to accept younger individuals to migrate to the country. Therefore, if you are currently in your prime working age, this would be a good time to apply to be a PR in the Lion City.
3. Your Duration of Employment in Singapore
Officially, you can apply for permanent residency after you have been employed for six months at your current job in Singapore. However, your application’s success rate would be much higher if you applied for permanent residency after working for at least one year, in your current employment position. This proves your commitment to staying in the country and contributing to the country’s economy, thus shedding a better light on you as a foreign professional. Furthermore, it shows that you are in a stable employment position and earning a steady stream of income, which brings us to our next point.
4. Your Financial Ability to Support Yourself (and Your Family)
You will have a better chance of being granted PR status in the city if your application shows that you are financially stable. This is especially so if you plan to apply for permanent residency for your spouse and/or your children at the same time. It is not news that the cost of living in any city can get high at times — therefore, it is essential for you to have the financial means to support yourself as well as your family while living here. Waiting to submit your application until you have earned a significant amount of money to have a somewhat comfortable life in the country will put you in a better position to become a Singapore PR.
5. Family Ties in and/or Near Singapore
Singapore might be a rather westernised nation compared to its international counterparts in the Southeast Asian region, but the city-state still holds its traditional Asian family values in high regard. Maintaining kinship is of utmost importance in the country — there are even certain subsidies implemented to encourage married children to live closer to their parents, such as the Proximity Housing Grant. Hence, you can see how having family ties in the country might help you tremendously in attaining PR status as having family members or relatives residing in the Lion City might increase the possibility of you growing your roots permanently in the country, thus contributing to the city’s growth in the future.
Global Investor Programme
Are you a savvy entrepreneur who is always keen on financially supporting the next start-up company or enrich an existing business? If this sounds like you and you are planning to make this little red dot your home, then applying for permanent residency through the Global Investor Programme (GIP) might just be the right move for you.
Regulated by Contact Singapore — a division of the Singapore Economic Development Board(EDB) — the GIP is a PR scheme for foreign investors with a successful entrepreneurial background and proven business track record who are interested in setting up a business or invest in the country. You can apply through this scheme under one of two options:
- Option A: Invest $2.5 million and above in a new start-up or in the growth of an existing company
- Option B: Invest $2.5 million and above in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based corporations
Depending on which option you choose to apply under, there will be additional criteria you will need to fulfil when submitting your application.
If you are considering applying for permanent residency through the GIP scheme, it is only wise to do so if you have the funds to invest in the country, and that you have applied your entrepreneurial skills in the past with positive results yield. Give your approval chances another booster by considering these other factors such as the following:
1. Investing in a Growing Industry in Singapore
Like we mentioned earlier on in this article, the Information and Communications industry experienced the highest level of growth among the different industries in the city-state in the first quarter of 2019. In addition, findings published in the Annual Survey on Infocomm Media (ICM) Manpower by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) predict that there will be an increase in demand for Infocomm Media professionals between 2018 and 2020. Based on these results, you will more likely be granted PR status in the country if you were to start a business or invest in an existing one in the increasingly growing information and communications industry.
2. Creating a Business Plan Aligned with Singapore’s Economic Trends
The results of the Economic Survey of Singapore for the first quarter of 2019 conducted by MTI conclude that the economic growth in the country is becoming increasingly dependent on the market in China as well as those in the five largest economies in the ASEAN region — Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. If you are planning to invest in a new start-up or an existing business in this little red dot, it would be wise for you to align your business plan according to the country’s economic trends. This will show your awareness of both the local and global markets as well as your keen interest in truly helping Singapore’s economy thrive.
Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme
Jointly administered by the National Arts Council (NAC) and ICA, the Foreign Artistic Talent scheme — also known as the ForArts scheme — was established in 1991 to encourage outstanding foreign professionals in the arts industry to become Singapore PRs and help advance the country’s arts and cultural scene.
To be eligible for this scheme, you have to meet every one of the criteria below:
- Have relevant education/training in your field of speciality
- Have relevant professional experience in addition to exceptional achievements in your field of speciality
- Have contributed significantly to Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape
- Have concrete long-term plans to be active in Singapore’s arts and cultural industry
Aside from fulfilling these minimum criteria, other factors that might play a role in whether your application is successful are:
1. Duration of Your Professional Experience
Having professional experience in your field of speciality that spans years will no doubt place you in a better position to be granted PR status in the Lion City. It not only displays your commitment towards your chosen career, but also is a reflection on the wealth of knowledge you carry in your field of speciality and your ability to put that knowledge into practice as a PR, thus improving the local arts and cultural scene.
2. Volunteer for Local Arts Groups in Singapore
Your dedication towards lifting and supporting Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape will be more apparent if you have been engaged in voluntary activities for local arts groups in the country. Whether it be taking part in community engagement efforts to raise arts awareness in local neighbourhoods or volunteering for arts events on a national level, accumulating a significant proportion of your time on these activities shows your willingness to drive the local arts and cultural landscape.
The process of applying for permanent residency in the Lion City can be a complex one, so what about alleviating this task for yourself by consulting with an immigration specialist? They are the ones who can guide you through the entire process as well as advise you on ways you can improve your application for a higher success rate.
If you are looking to engage professional help, look no further than Paul Immigrations. Our dedicated team of specialists will be more than happy to review your application, ensuring every part of your application is in order and easing your path towards gaining the covered PR status in the little red dot.