For all foreigners who are looking to invest in an operating or start up business in Singapore, you can apply to be a Singapore permanent resident via the Global Investor Programme (GIP Scheme).
For foreigners who plan to set up a business in Singapore, if you have enough funds and a solid business plan that meets the eligibility criteria of the Global Investor Programme scheme, you should consider applying for permanent residence in Singapore. There are many benefits to business owners in Singapore who hold a permanent resident status.
For investors who are looking to invest in a business in Singapore, you should know that Singapore has very attractive policies that make for a business-friendly environment, along with lower corporate tax rates and a host of other policies that make Singapore a great place to invest in or to start up a new business.
However, you may also find the eligibility criteria of the Global Investor Programme scheme (GIP scheme) to be somewhat prohibitive. The screening process does not only assess your professional experience and track record as an investor or entrepreneur, it will also take your future investment and/or business plans into consideration. In addition, your business or investment has to fit into one of the approved business sectors as listed below under ‘Approved Business Sectors’.
GIP Investment Options
There are 2 options under the Global Investor Programme scheme:
In order to qualify and submit an application for any of the 2 options, you first have to meet the requirements. You will need to have an outstanding track record as an entrepreneur and a solid business/investment plan.
To qualify for the GIP Scheme, you must:
- Meet the minimum investment requirement of S$2.5 million with regards to one of the investment options
- Have a business or entrepreneurial track record of at least 3 years
- Existing business must have a minimum turnover of S$50 million in the most recent year and at least S$50 million per annum on average for the last 3 years
- Have at least 30% shareholding in the company if it is privately owned
- Submit audited financial statements of your company for the last 3 years
If you own multiple businesses, you can either submit the audited financial statements of the company with the highest revenue, or even consolidate the financial statements of your businesses to meet the minimum required turnover of S$50 million.
During the screening process, various other factors will be taken into account. To name a few, you will be assessed on the profitability of your existing company, your role and position in the company, and the future plans that you have laid out to achieve in Singapore.
Investment Criteria for Option 1
- Minimum investment of S$2.5 million in a new business start-up or expansion of an existing business operation
- You must submit a 3 year business/investment plan with employment and annual financial projections
- Additionally, you are required to meet the employment and financial milestones that you have set in your business/investment plan at the end of a 3-year period
If your business plan involves the investment into an existing Singapore-based company, there are additional third year milestones that the company is required to fulfill:
- Hiring of at least 5 additional employees
- Additional annual total business expenditure of at least S$1 million
Investment Criteria for Option 2
Get Your Singapore PR
Approved Business Sectors for GIP Scheme
Your investments/businesses must be engaged in one or more of the industries listed below (updated May 2017):
- Aerospace Engineering
- Alternative Energy/Clean Technology
- Consumer Business (e.g. flavours and fragrances, food ingredients, nutrition, home and personal care)
- Engineering Services
- Infocomm Products & Services
- Logistics & Supply Chain Management
- Marine & Offshore Engineering
- Media & Entertainment
- Medical Technology
- Natural Resources (e.g. metals, mining, agri-commodities)
- Safety & Security
- Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
- Precision Engineering
- Professional Services (e.g. consulting, design)
- Arts Businesses
- Visual arts businesses, e.g. auction houses, art logistics/storage
- Performing arts businesses
- Sports Businesses
- Family Office & Financial Services
Including Family Members for PR Application
When applying for permanent residence under the GIP scheme, you are able to include your family members as part of your application to obtain PR status for them as well.
- You can include your spouse and children under 21 years of as part of your PR application. Take note that male dependents will be liable for National Service.
- While your parents and children above 21 years old are not eligible, you can still apply for a 5-year Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP). The LTSVP is renewable and the validity of the pass is tied to the validity of your re-entry permit.
You will first need to prepare the following list of documents required for PR application under the GIP scheme:
- Form A (Personal Profile)
- Form B (Proposed Investment Plan)
- Form C (Payment Details)
- Undertaking on the Terms & Conditions of the programme
- Form 4: Application for An Entry Permit to Enter Singapore
- Other supporting documents, wherever applicable
Please note that any non-English documents will need to be properly translated and official endorsed before they can be submitted.
The usual processing time for an application is about 6-8 months.
During the first 2-4 months, while application is being assessed by the relevant authorities, you will be invited for an interview.
After the interview, if you meet all assessment criteria, you will be issued an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) status, which is valid for 6 months. Within the 6 months, you are to make the necessary investments and submit evidence of the investments made, such as bank statement, share certificates and other legal documents. Additionally you are required to submit the Investment Undertaking on the Terms and Conditions of the investment made.
Upon receiving the relevant documents, the authorities will issue a final approval letter for your PR status.
Once you have obtained the final approval letter, you must complete the formalities within 12 months, after which you will be given your blue NRIC and become fully local as a Singapore permanent resident.
You are now able to enjoy various benefits of being a Singapore PR and can continue to contribute towards the country via investments and/or work on successfully achieving the various milestones you have proposed during the application.