Does My Spouse Fulfil Singapore PR Requirements and How to Apply?

If you are married to a Non-Resident, you have probably long had That Talk with your significant other — should you move to their home country, or should they move to Singapore? But you already know that the Lion City is one of the safest countries that offers high-quality yet affordable healthcare for everyone, regardless of social class or ethnicity. Why should you move when you have experienced the best?

On top of this, Singapore houses an education system that has made headlines everywhere for its innovation and effectiveness, creating an ideal environment for any little ones down the line. Anyone can see that choosing this city-state is the right move to make for the future.

Naturally, applying for permanent residency is the next step for Non-Resident spouses with plans to set roots in Singapore. But does your spouse fulfil the Singapore PR requirements, and how do they apply?

 

Singapore PR Requirements for Non-Resident Spouses

Let’s talk about the requirements first. The good news is that the eligibility criteria for permanent residency in Singapore are crystal clear, leaving little room for any shadow of a doubt. For your spouse, he or she is eligible for PR status under the Family Scheme as long as you are either of the following:

  • Singapore Citizen
  • Singapore Permanent Resident

However, things are a little different for those of you with common-law spouses. Since you are not technically married, your other half is not eligible for permanent residency under the Family Scheme. He or she would have to apply for PR status on his or her own merits under these schemes:

  • Professionals, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme
  • Global Investor Programme
  • Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme (ForArts)

Aside from that, your application will be assessed based on the following factors:

1. Economic Contributions

Economic contributions relate to a few matters, including your employment history in Singapore as well as your level of income. Consider where you are in terms of your place in the workforce — this applies to both of you. Is your spouse employed on a full-time or part-time basis? Is he or she contractually employed or unemployed? If it is anything but full-time employment, they are less likely to become a PR unless you earn a significant monthly income.

2. Skills and Qualifications

Of course, salary is not everything. There have been plenty of applicants who did not become PRs in spite of their paychecks. Meanwhile, others still managed to become PRs, partly due to their skills and qualifications, even if they form part of the average income bracket. Take a look at hiring trends as well as industries that are looking for those with a niche set of skills to find out where either of you stands here. Generally speaking, the authorities might be less willing to reject your spouse’s application if your skills are highly regarded and in high demand.

3. Your Spouse’s Age

The next factor concerns your spouse’s age. PR applicants who are above 50 years old are at a clear disadvantage here, given Singapore’s ageing population. As long as your other half has a long way to go before hitting their silver years, he or she would face few issues here.

4. Duration of Residency

Equally important is your spouse’s duration of their residency in Singapore. How long has your significant other been living in the Lion City? If it has only been a few months, he or she is less likely to become a Singapore PR. Part of this restriction is due to sham marriages, where PR hopefuls attempt to meet the PR requirements by marrying a Singaporean. Unfortunately, in ICA’s efforts to curb such a practice, these restrictions affect genuine couples as well. Newly wedded couples should look into applying for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) beforehand to overcome these regulations in the future.

 

Step 1: Compile All Your PR Application Documents

When you are ready to apply for permanent residency, kick-start the process by compiling all your PR application documents. Note that you would only have a limited period of seven days (168 hours) to complete the online PR application once it begins. Therefore, you should prepare everything you need ahead of time, especially if you do not have all the necessary paperwork with you.

In addition to this, make sure that your files adhere to the following requirements:

  • Each file size has to be under 2MB
  • Save each file in PDF or JPG/JPEG format
  • Save your passport-sized photograph as a JPG/JPEG file under 1MB

Read on to learn more about what you ought to do in preparation for the application.

1. Applicant’s Identity and Educational Documents

As the main PR applicant, your spouse has to provide copies of their identification and educational paperwork, including:

  • Valid travel document along with the biodata page from their passport
  • Birth certificate or official household census list or family register (with both parents’ names)
  • Identity card (if they have one)
  • Change of name certificate or Deed Poll (if they have changed their names)
  • Highest educational certificates

2. Documents Related to the Applicant’s Employment

If your spouse is currently employed, their application should include:

  • Work pass
  • Payslips for the last six months
  • Employer’s letter that states your spouse’s job position, date of employment as well as a detailed breakdown of their income (basic, overtime and allowance). Address this letter to the Controller of Immigration, and ensure that it is dated within a month of the application.

3. Documents Related to the Applicant’s Self-Employment

If your spouse is currently self-employed, provide copies of the following documents:

  • Work pass
  • Valid Business Registration Certificate that shows the names of their partners
  • Occupational license that pertains to their employment

4. Sponsor’s Identity and Educational Documents

As the sponsor, you must include copies of your identity and educational documents, including:

  • Identity card
  • Official marriage certificate
  • Highest educational certificates
  • Custody papers as well as divorce or death certificate pertaining to children from any previous marriages

5. Documents Related to the Sponsor’s Employment

If you are currently employed, you must include copies of these documents:

  • Payslips for the last six months
  • CPF/IRAS consent form
  • Employer’s letter that states your spouse’s job position, date of employment as well as a detailed breakdown of their income (basic, overtime and allowance). Address this letter to the Controller of Immigration, and ensure that it is dated within a month of the application.

6. Documents Related to the Sponsor’s Self-Employment

If you are currently self-employed, you must include copies of the following:

  • Valid Business Registration Certificate that shows the names of your partners
  • Occupational license that pertains to your employment
  • CPF/IRAS consent form

7. Documents Related to Your Children

Should you wish to include children in your application, furnish it with copies of the following:

  • Valid travel document along with the biodata page from their passport
  • Birth certificate with both parents’ and child’s name
  • Adoption papers (if they were adopted)
  • Identity card (if they have one)
  • Custody papers as well as divorce or death certificate pertaining to children from any previous marriages
  • Highest educational certificates

8. Translations of Non-English Documents

English translations must accompany all non-English documents. However, bear in mind that ICA only accepts translations from the following sources:

  • Embassy of the document’s country of issue
  • Public notary based in Singapore or the document’s country of issue
  • Privately hired translators whose final work is later attested by the embassy of the document’s country of issue or notarised by a notary public based in Singapore or the document’s country of issue

9. Other Documents

While including too many additional paperwork is not recommended, consider including a cover letter in your Singapore PR application. A well-written cover letter can fortify your case by drawing attention to your strengths and achievements and, therefore, paint a clearer idea of who you and your spouse are. However, steer clear of templates that you might find on the internet. Anyone who has ever written a cover letter would have come across such templates before, including the ICA officers. Instead, take the initiative to draft a personalised one from scratch.

 

Step 2: Proceed with the Online PR Application

The next step is to apply for permanent residency. ICA no longer accepts hard copies of PR applications, which means that you need to complete the online PR application by yourself. Remember, once you begin, you cannot take more than seven days (168 hours) to complete the process. Knowing what to expect can help you navigate the system smoothly and quickly.

For your reference, here is an overview of the e-PR system:

1. Access the e-PR System

To find the e-PR system, head to ICA’s official website, and click on the red ‘MyICA’ button first. Use your SingPass to log in. If you struggle to keep track of your SingPass credentials, consider downloading the SingPass app on mobile — all you would need to do is scan the QR code using the app. Once you are logged in, you can access e-Services from your dashboard, where you can find ‘Apply/Sponsor for Permanent Residence’ under ‘Permanent Residence’. Select ‘My Spouse and Child(ren)’ to apply for PR status on behalf of your spouse.

2. Complete the First Three Sections

At this point, the e-PR system will instruct you to complete three sections: the PR application form, disclosure form and personnel list. Take your time with them, and ensure you do not leave any fields in these sections blank. Otherwise, the system will not be able to generate the right list of documents based on the information you have provided. Do note that when completing the application form, enter ‘NA’ for any sections that do not apply to you. Failure to do so may lead to a non-acceptance of your PR application.

3. Upload Your Supporting Documents

After verifying that your information is correct, you may then upload your supporting documents. Be sure to provide reasons if you select ‘I do not have the document’ for any of them. If your attempt is successful, the e-PR system will state that ‘You have successfully uploaded your documents’ at the end of this section.

4. Submit the Application

Submit the application once you have uploaded your files. The application is complete when you pay the non-refundable fee of S$100, payable via one of the following:

  • Visa or MasterCard debit/credit card
  • American Express debit/credit card
  • Internet banking

 

Step 3: What Happens After You Apply for Singapore PR Status?

Following an application, the ICA officers will take over from here and start assessing your case. This part of the process can take approximately four to six months, but since every case is unique, yours might take longer. If you would wish to keep an eye on it, return to the e-PR system and select ‘Enquire Application Status’.

Here is what you can expect from here on:

1. Will ICA Request an Interview?

ICA officers may, indeed, request an interview if they require more information or verification of your original documents. Bring along all hard copies of these documents (as well as any requested ones) to the interview at the Permanent Resident Services Centre, located on the fifth floor of the ICA building. Both you and your spouse should be present during this interview.

2. How Will I Know the Outcome of My Application?

ICA will inform their decision via post, during which you can expect either an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter or a rejection letter. If you receive an IPA letter, proceed to book an e-Appointment and complete the formalities within the stated validity period. Bring along all your original documents in case they need to verify them, and be prepared to pay for your new paperwork, including the following:

  • S$50 for your new identity card
  • S$20 for an Entry Permit
  • S$50 for a five-year Re-Entry Permit
  • S$30 for an Entry Visa (if you require one)

3. What to Do If My Application for Singapore PR is Rejected?

If your application is not successful, you may wish to re-apply for permanent residency after a cooling period of six months. To avoid further disappointment, do not, under any circumstances, ignore ICA’s instructions and attempt to re-apply for Singapore PR prematurely. Instead, consider waiting until there have been significant changes in your life, such as a salary increment or new employment.

 

A Final Note

Are you worried that ICA might reject your spouse’s application for permanent residency? Or are you, perhaps, unsure of where you currently stand? Consider speaking to a Singapore PR application consultant to find out how your spouse can become a PR. Besides evaluate your chances accurately, our consultants at Paul Immigrations can guide you through your application and even draft a professional cover letter for you. Contact us to find out how we can enhance your spouse’s PR application today.