Singapore is a world-class city to live, work and play. As a metropolitan city, the globally connected cosmopolis has the best business environment and plenty of business opportunities.
Singapore’s high standards of living, in terms of its low crime rate, quality housing, first-rate healthcare, clean and green environment, outstanding public transport and international connectivity, will strongly appeal to any foreigner who has been in Singapore for a while.
So it is no surprise that many foreigners who have been working in Singapore are keen on becoming permanent residents. Obtaining a PR status will enable them to stay in Singapore for an indefinite period of time and also enjoy some of the special privileges reserved only for the citizens.
Holding a PR in Singapore renders a sense of stability to your immigration status and you will be free to pursue any employment or business of your interest in Singapore. Unlike work passes that shackle you to a specific employer, the PR status will lift the restrictions and empower you with numerous choices.
Foreigners with PR status are entitled to Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution from their employers. Besides CPF, they can also have access to public housing and subsidized education and healthcare.
Although not comparable to the citizens, the subsidies come in handy when compared to foreigners who do not have the PR status. The foreigners with PR status may eventually apply for a citizenship as well.
Generally the following people are eligible to apply for Singapore PR status:
- Spouse and unmarried children (below 21 years old) of a Singapore Citizen (SC)/ Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
- Aged Parents of a Singapore citizen
- Employment Pass/ S Pass holders
Professionals/Technical Personnel & Skilled Worker Scheme
For foreigners who are gainfully employed in Singapore under an S Pass or Employment Pass, the most common and straightforward scheme you would apply under would be the PTS scheme.
This also includes entrepreneurs working in Singapore under an Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass). During the PR application you may also include your eligible family members such as your spouse and children under 21 years of age.
Factors Influencing Your PR Application
If you are a working professional who is holding an Employment Pass, Personalized Employment Pass, S Pass or EntrePass in a highly sought after business sector, your potential contribution to the country may be valued higher than other applicants.
It may be in the government’s best interest to enable you to continue to live and work in Singapore, to further improve and advance the relevant sector that you specialise in.
If you have outstanding educational qualifications from highly reputable academic institutions, or professional/technical certification at a high level, it may very well be the deciding factor in your PR application.
While your age will not prevent you from submitting an application, it is definitely one of the determining factors. Your age may be used to evaluate your economic value to the country as well as your willingness to continue to reside in Singapore and contribute to the country.
Length of Stay
Although you can still technically apply for PR only after working in Singapore for a short time, it is recommended to stay and work for a longer time before making the application.
By staying and working in Singapore for a longer, extended period of time, you are showing that you are a capable employee and are committed in making a living in Singapore.
Your employers are also more likely to endorse your PR application when you have been working for the company for a longer time. Simply put, you have better chances of approval the longer you stay in Singapore.
Even though there is no minimum required salary to be eligible, you still need to have sufficient income that enables you to provide for yourself and your family.
If your income level is too low, you may be rejected due to the fact that you are most likely unable to meet the relatively high costs of living in Singapore and maintain adequate living standards for your family.
Your Family Ties
Having local family ties in Singapore can give you a significant boost in approval chances. It shows that you are inclined to stay and continue to making contributions to the country, along with your family members. It is also very likely for PR holders with family ties to eventually become citizens, contributing to the country beyond their generation.
Your Contribution to Singapore
Having a good track record of engaging in voluntary services and making donations will definitely improve your profile.
However, these actions has to be done with genuine intentions and you have to be consistent in your contribution to the society. Isolated incidents of short-term voluntary work or sporadic donations in small amounts will most likely not be recognised as genuine contributions.
The Singapore PR Application Process
Currently the only way to apply for Singapore PR is through the ICA’s official e-PR system.
1. Prepare Documents
The documents that needs to be submitted varies for each individual, however there are some documents that are mandatory for all applicant. These are documents such as your passport, birth certificate, payslips from your current employer, etcetera. You will be made aware of the documents necessary as you go through the e-PR system.
In addition to the documents required for submission, we recommend including a cover letter summarising your character and professional achievements, as well as any recommendation letters from previous employers.
Important note, any documents that are not in English has to be translated and officially certified by a notary or the relevant embassy in order to be submitted.
2. Submit the Application
You can either download the application form from the e-PR system and attach it along with other supporting documents,
Or complete the application form online through the e-PR system, attaching your supporting documents as when instructed.
After you have properly completed all the forms and attached all relevant documents, you will be brought to a payment page where you can make payment of the S$100 application fee towards ICA.
The usual processing time on PR applications are 4-6 months, but it may take longer for some applicants.
You can logon to the ICA’s e-PR system with your SingPass and check on your application status online.
3. Approval and Formalities
The application process takes about 6 – 12 months on average. When your application is successful, you will be notified by ICA and soon receive a Letter of Approval.
After receiving the Letter of Approval, you will have a 2 month period to visit the ICA to complete the formalities. During this visit, you will need to bring down a list of documents indicated in the Letter of Approval to formalise your Singapore Permanent Resident status.
Here is a list of the documents that are typically required:
- Letter of Approval
- Travel documents (Passports) of all the applicants
- 2 recent color passport-size photos of applicants
- Employment Pass Card and/or Dependent Pass Card
- Results of the medical check-up as specified in the approval letter
(It is recommended to get these tests done at clinics that are specially accredited or any local hospital in Singapore)
- Form EP 152 – duly completed and signed by your employer
After you have successfully submitted all the required documents and completed the formalities, you will be given a date to collect your National Registration Identity Card (NRIC).
Do note that the NRIC is a very important document that will be required for many circumstances in Singapore, especially when dealing with government agencies or hospitals.
Other than the NRIC, you will also be given an official PR certificate, a customary document that certifies your status as a permanent resident of Singapore. Your passport will also be stamped with a Re-Entry Permit (REP), which will enable you to travel in and out of Singapore without any hassle. Each REP stamp will be valid for 5 years and can be renewed online.
It is imperative to ensure that the REP validity does not expire while you are outside of Singapore. If you happen to renew your passport, you must remember to link your new passport with your REP, which can also be completed online via the ICA website.
After you have finalised your PR status, be sure to inform your employer. You will then be included in the CPF contribution scheme. Be sure to also inform all other relevant agencies and/or institutions, such as the banks, schools, and hospitals etc.
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Rejection and What To Do Next
If your PR application gets rejected, do not worry, we will help you!
Metawave Immigration provides you with a lifetime of FREE re-submissions in the event of a rejection. Do note that re-submissions can only be made after 6 months of the rejection.
If there were value-added changes in your application profile that took place during the 6 – 12 months processing time, we can do an appeal to ICA to reconsider their decision. In doing so, we can potentially avoid waiting for another 6 months to re-apply. However, it is often unlikely for ICA to change their decision unless the reason or change in your profile was very significant.
If a rejection occurs, do not feel discouraged. There is no limit to the number of applications that you can submit. Also keep in mind that with the extensive experience of our expert consultants, we always make it work for you at Metawave Immigration!