Is Your Spouse Entitled to Singapore PR?

Have you found love beyond the shores of Singapore? If so, thoughts of persuading your better half to settle down here with you by becoming a Permanent Resident (PR) might have crossed your mind before. Given our country’s impressive track record when it comes to matters of education, health, safety and cleanliness, why should you leave home when this city-state is precisely the best place to start a family? Or perhaps you are looking to apply for permanent residency for yourself, and have been wondering whether your other half can also do the same. After all, if you are going to move here for good, it is only natural to wish for your loved ones to be with you.

To learn more about the odds of building a future together with your spouse as Singaporeans, read on and discover whether they are entitled to Singapore PR.

 

PR Eligibility of a Spouse: Which Passes Do They Hold?

Begin by assessing the type of passes that your better half is holding on to. Some of these passes may enable them to be eligible for permanent residency under the Professionals, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme. Under this scheme, they would be primarily assessed on their own merits, based on a wide range of influencing factors such as their monthly income and skill set. Your relationship would, nevertheless, be taken into consideration.

However, if they do not hold the necessary work passes, they would still be entitled to permanent residency under the Family Scheme. Compared to the PTS Scheme, though, your involvement would take on a far greater weight under this scheme as you are required to sponsor their application. Find out where your other half stands in the section below:

1. Employment Pass (EP)

EP holders are eligible for permanent residency under the PTS Scheme. To hold an EP, your spouse must be a foreign executive, manager or professional who is based in Singapore, and earns a monthly basic income of at least S$3,600, along with the necessary qualifications and level of experience. This amount should not include remuneration for overtime or allowance. In most cases, his or her employer or an authorised third-party would have to be the one applying for the EP on their behalf through the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) e-Service.

2. Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

PEP holders are eligible to apply for PR status under the PTS Scheme. To be a PEP holder, your spouse must be an EP holder or a foreign professional who earns a monthly income that exceeds the required minimum salary baseline for EP holders. If he or she meets these requirements, they may apply for the PEP on their own through MOM’s e-Service without having to depend on their employer to do so.

3. Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)

EntrePass holders are eligible for permanent residency under the PTS Scheme. To hold this, your other half has to be a foreign entrepreneur who intends to kickstart and run a new business entity that is based in Singapore. Alternatively, they may be interested in the Global Investment Programme (GIP) if they are able to invest at least S$2.5 million with a sound business plan. However, it should be noted that GIP is separate from the PTS Scheme and falls under the purview of the Economic Development Board (EDB), rather than the  Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

4. S Pass

S Pass holders are eligible to apply for PR status under the PTS Scheme. To hold this, your spouse has to be a mid-level skilled staff who earns a monthly income of at least S$2,300. However, this amount should not include remuneration for overtime or allowance. In most cases, their employer or an authorised third-party employment agent would be applying for it on their behalf through MOM.

5. Work Permit or Any Other Work Passes

Foreigners who do not meet the requirements cited above and, instead, hold other types of work permits are not eligible for permanent residency under the PTS Scheme. Nevertheless, your spouse may still apply for PR status via the Family Scheme with you as their sponsor.

6. Dependant’s Pass

The Dependant’s Pass is given to the spouse or child of an eligible EP or S Pass holder, or Citizen. Since this pass is tied to yours, and you are entitled to a Singapore PR status under the PTS Scheme, your spouse may also be included in your application.

7. Long Term Visit Pass

The Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) is typically granted to the spouse, child, or an aged parent of a Singaporean. Hence, while the LTVP holder is not eligible for permanent residency under the PTS Scheme without the relevant work permits, they may still apply for the status via the Family Scheme if they are the spouse or child of a Singaporean. However, only an aged parent of a Singapore Citizen (SC) would be eligible for permanent residency — this is not a privilege that has been extended to a PR’s aged parents.

 

PR Eligibility of a Spouse: The Family Scheme

According to ICA, the spouse of an SC or PR is entitled to Singapore PR status through the Family Scheme. Under this scheme, you may use your SingPass to gain access to ICA’s e-PR system through ‘MyICA’. You can find the e-PR system under the header ‘e-Services’, followed by the link ‘Sponsor for Permanent Residence’. Do note that you would only have seven days (168 hours) to complete the online PR application once you have begun. Therefore, you should ensure that you are thoroughly prepared before proceeding with the application process to avoid exceeding this stipulated period. Additionally, keep the following in mind when applying for permanent residency under this scheme:

1. Success Rate of PR Application Under the Family Scheme

The elusiveness of a Singapore permanent residency approval is one that has plagued many, including spouses of Singaporeans. From 2009 to 2018, wives and husbands of SCs and PRs have had to take their chances with a success rate of merely 49%, says the Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam. To make matters worse, ICA does not disclose reasons for either a rejection or approval, which has left applicants frustrated by the outcome of their application. Nevertheless, the authorities do have grounds for such a stringent and secretive screening process. Most significantly, this includes the high incidence of applicants who resort to sham marriages.

2. Raising the Odds of a PR Approval Using the LTVP

Although the system places foreign spouses at a disadvantage, there is still hope for genuine couples who wish to become PRs — the LTVP. Married couples can use the LTVP or LTVP+ as stepping stones towards attaining the PR status. With a list of requirements that are relatively more lax than those for a PR application, the LTVP or LTVP+ are far more attainable. This would allow your wife or husband the opportunity to reside in Singapore for at least a few more years, improving their chances of integrating into society through steady employment. Furthermore, you would have more time to build a new family with them and raise children of your own, which would raise the odds of receiving that much sought-after letter of approval from ICA.

3. Documents Required from Your Spouse

If your spouse is applying for permanent residency under the Family Scheme with you as their sponsor, they are required to furnish their application with accurate copies of the following documents:

  • Passport-sized photograph
  • Valid travel document with a valid Immigration Pass and passport biodata page
  • Identity card (if applicable)
  • Birth certificate or family register with their parents’ names or official household census
  • Deed poll or change of name certificate (if they have changed their name before)
  • Death or divorce certificate of former spouse for children from previous marriages
  • Custody papers of their children from previous marriages
  • Highest educational certificates (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Valid work pass (if they are self-employed or employed)
  • Valid Business Registration Certificate (if they are self-employed)
  • Occupational license (if they are self-employed)
  • Payslips for the last six months (if they are employed)
  • Unless they are self-employed, an employer’s letter, dated within a month of the application and addressed to the Controller of Immigration. This letter must state their current job position, date of employment as well as a detailed breakdown of their monthly income (basic, overtime, allowance).

4. Documents Required from You as Their Sponsor

Since you are their sponsor, copies of the following documents will be required from you:

  • NRIC
  • Official marriage certificate
  • Death or divorce certificate of former spouse for children from previous marriages
  • Custody papers of their children from previous marriages
  • Highest educational certificates (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Valid Business Registration Certificate (if you are self-employed)
  • Occupational license (if you are self-employed)
  • IRAS consent letter (if you are self-employed or employed)
  • CPF consent letter (if you are self-employed or employed)
  • Payslips for the last six months (if you are employed)
  • Unless they are self-employed, an employer’s letter, dated within a month of the PR application and addressed to the Controller of Immigration. This letter must state their current job position, date of employment as well as a detailed breakdown of their monthly income (basic, overtime, allowance).

 

PR Eligibility of a Spouse: The PTS Scheme

Your spouse is potentially entitled to a Singapore permanent residency under the PTS Scheme in two different scenarios. The first scenario would be as the holder of the EP, PEP, EntrePass or S Pass, while the second one would be as the dependant of the holder of the above passes — that is, you.

To apply, applicants may use their SingPass to access ICA’s e-PR system by first logging into ‘MyICA’, easily found on the top right-hand corner of the ICA website. They should be able to find the e-PR system under ‘e-Services’, followed by the link ‘Sponsor for Permanent Residence’. Do note that applicants would only have seven days (168 hours) to complete the online PR application once it has begun. Therefore, please ensure that all documents have been compiled before proceeding to avoid exceeding this stipulated period. Keep the following in mind when applying for permanent residency under this scheme:

1. Why Your Spouse has the Advantage Here

If either of you meets the criteria under this scheme, you are in an excellent position to use your skills to your advantage. A large part of this is due to our country’s old-age support ratio, which refers to the ratio of working adults to the elderly who are likely to depend on others for support. Through the years, Singapore has seen a decline in this ratio from 13.5 to 5.1 between 1970 to 2017. Hence, your potential role in raising this number may be seen as a highly desirable trait, especially if their skills are in high demand. As of 2019, those who are trained in the health industry and cybersecurity are particularly sought after.

2. Raising the Odds of PR Approval through Family Ties

Although applicants under the PTS Scheme are generally at an advantage, your spouse would not merely be assessed based on their set of skills. Instead, ICA takes a holistic approach when making their final decision on each application by taking into account other factors such as family ties to Singaporeans and children in your household. Therefore, your wife or husband is even more likely to be accorded the status if you have been married for a significant duration and have been blessed by the presence of children, alongside their own employability.

3. Documents Required from the Main Applicant

The main applicant is expected to provide these supporting documents:

  • Passport-sized photograph
  • Valid travel document with a valid Immigration Pass and passport biodata page
  • Identity card (if applicable)
  • Birth certificate or family register with their parents’ names or official household census
  • Deed poll or change of name certificate (if they have changed their name before)
  • Official marriage certificate
  • Death or divorce certificate of former spouse for children from previous marriages
  • Custody papers of their children from previous marriages
  • Highest educational certificates (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Testimonials from past employers, with details of their employment (if any)
  • Valid work pass
  • Valid Business Registration Certificate (if they are self-employed)
  • Occupational license (if they are self-employed)
  • Payslips for the last six months (if they are employed)
  • IRAS consent form
  • Unless they are self-employed, an employer’s letter, dated within a month of the application and addressed to the Controller of Immigration. This letter must state their current job position, date of employment as well as a detailed breakdown of their monthly income (basic, overtime, allowance).

4. Documents Required from the Main Applicant’s Spouse (Non-Dependant)

This category concerns those of you whose spouses are applying for PR without you as their sponsor. Even if your better half is the only one mainly involved in the application, you are still required to provide the following:

  • Highest educational certificates (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Highest educational transcripts (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Membership certificates or professional license (if you have any)
  • Vocational trade certificates (if you have any)

5. Documents Required from the Main Applicant’s Spouse (Dependant)

This category concerns spouses who are applying as a dependant, with you as the main applicant:

  • Passport-sized photograph
  • Valid travel document with a valid Immigration Pass and passport biodata page
  • Identity card (if applicable)
  • Birth certificate or family register with their parents’ names or official household census
  • Death or divorce certificate of former spouse for children from previous marriages
  • Custody papers of their children from previous marriages
  • Highest educational certificates (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Highest educational transcripts (including all tertiary qualifications)
  • Membership certificates or professional license (if you have any)
  • Vocational trade certificates (if you have any)

 

A Final Note

Your spouse is entitled to Singapore PR if they meet the criteria lists for either the PTS Scheme or Family Scheme. Regardless of the scheme that they fall under, ICA will assess you and your other half based on a wide range of factors that are not at all limited to your relationship. As such, it may be challenging to gauge their chances and aid them in securing this status, especially given the sheer volume of submissions that ICA regularly receives.

Allow our capable specialists at Paul Immigrations to assist you with these concerns through an in-depth one-on-one consultation. Our full range of services does not simply end with determining your spouse’s PR eligibility, either. Contact us today and we will share with you how to make your application stand out among the crowd.