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What Is Singapore Permanent Residence Visa?

The Permanent Residence is a premium visa solution that enables holders of employment visas, entrepreneurs and investors to live and work in Singapore indefinitely enjoying flexibility and freedom in pursuing career pinnacles as well as other pleasant perks such as decent and more affordable housing and healthcare, privileges of CPF fund, better education for kids, business freedom, and so on. Investors and holders of the EntrePass/PEP/EP/S Pass are eligible for PR; however, getting qualified will take each of them different periods of time and efforts.

Working on the most premium employment visa is pale in comparison with perks the permanent residence gives. If you don’t feel like leaving after having worked for a long time in SG and constant renewal procedures wear out you and your family, PR must be your ultimate destination. 

Overview of Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) Schemes

Annually thousands of foreigners become Singapore permanent residents (SPR). However, not everyone goes through the same application steps. A key financial hub in Asia, foreigners from all over the world have been lured by the possibility of obtaining Singapore permanent residency through a variety of ways.

As of June 2017, there were more than half a million PRs in the country and the numbers are predicted to increase steadily. Although majority only apply for Singapore PR after spending a few years working in the country, other paths can help you get that highly pursued Singapore PR status.

Eligibility Criteria for SPR

Foreigners are eligible to apply for Singapore PR if they are:

  • A spouse of a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident
  • Legitimate, unmarried children below the age of 21 or children who have been legally adopted by a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident
  • Aged parent of a Singapore citizen
  • Holder of an S Pass or Employment Pass
  • A student studying in Singapore
  • Foreign investors in Singapore

Singapore PR Options

It is easy to see why a lot of foreigners want to become a permanent resident of Singapore. There are several benefits and hardly any disadvantages of holding a PR status. However, it is a must to know that not all applicants go through the same process. Below is the myriad of options available to obtain a Singapore PR.

  1. Skilled Migration Scheme under the EP or S-Pass Scheme

    Foreign individuals who are working in Singapore under the EP or S-Pass scheme can apply for permanent residency through the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker also known as the PTS scheme. It is the easiest and the best route to getting that much-coveted Singapore PR.

    To qualify, you must be working in Singapore at the time of application. You must be a holder of either an Employment Pass, Entrepreneur Pass, Personalised Employment Pass or S-Pass. An essential document that needs to be submitted during application is a pay slip noting at least six months of salary. This acts as proof that you have lived and worked in Singapore for a minimum of six months before applying.

  2. Singapore PR Scheme for Investors

    The investment scheme known as the Global Investor Programme or GIP is also another way to apply for Singapore PR. Under this scheme, a person may apply for PR for themselves, as well as their family members by establishing a business with a minimum amount of $2.5 million or investing the same amount of money in a business in Singapore. At present, there are two options for investors to choose from:

    • Option A: $2.5 million investment in a new or startup business or expansion of an existing business operation.
    • Option B: $2.5 million in a GIP-approved fund.

    Aside from investing the minimum amount required, there is also a must to meet minimum criteria such as an entrepreneurial background, a business proposal and investment plan, and a good business track record.

  3. Family Sponsor Scheme

    Permanent residents who are married and have children are encouraged to apply PR for their spouse and children. However, it is important to consider that there is a requirement to send your sons to the National Service before applying PR for them. You also have the option to apply for PR for your aged parent if you are an existing Singapore PR.

  4. Foreign Artistic Talent Programme

    The country’s art scene has seen rapid growth in the last few years and in line with the country’s aim to be a regional hub for the arts, Singapore is opening its doors for foreign artistic talent who would like to obtain permanent residency. Individuals who have talents in music, dance, photography, theatre, film or literature, can apply through the Foreign Artistic Talent scheme.

    To qualify for the scheme, you have to be a well-established artist in your home country and preferably with international prominence. You should also possess relevant training in your field of practice. It is also a necessity to have made important contributions to Singapore’s cultural and art scene with a proven track record of local engagements. You must also possess concrete plans when it comes to the involvement in the country’s art and cultural sectors.

  5. Student Option

    Another way to obtain Singapore PR is to apply if you are a student studying in Singapore. Foreign students may apply to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority or ICA. They must have resided for at least 2 years at the time of application, have passed a minimum of 1 national exam or are in the integrated program.

Benefits of Applying Singapore PR

There is a myriad of benefits that comes with being a SingaporePermanent Resident, which is why a lot of people apply for it. Here are some of the things you are entitled to if you become a Singapore PR.

  • You can live in the country for five years, as well as enter and exit the country freely without the need for additional visas.
  • You are able to enjoy safety, security and economic stability in the country.
  • You will be able to change jobs freely without the additional worry of reapplying for work permits. There are also more jobs open to Singapore PRs that offer higher salaries compared to those available to full foreigners.
  • The Central Provident Fund or CPF which employers contribute an additional 16% to 17% to. The CPF funds can be used for investments and give permanent residents tax reliefs. Should a PR decide to renounce their permanent residency, he or she is entitled to the full amount of accumulated CPF funds.
  • You are able to purchase resale Executive Condominiums or HDB homes. PRs can choose and easily secure loans from various purchase loan schemes. You can also use your CPF funds to pay mortgages or deposit, if need be.
  • You will be entitled to subsidized rates for public polyclinics, hospitals, and national centers. PRs are also entitled to Medisave and can use Medisave to offset or pay medical bills.
  • You or your children can enjoy subsidized fees or tuition grants in most tertiary educational institutions. Your children are also given priority for enrollment to local public schools, just behind citizens.
  • You can register or start a company without the need of a local partner or representative and are subject to lesser regulations imposed on full foreigners.
  • You can also apply Singapore permanent residency for your spouse and unmarried children who are younger than 21 years old. Children who are of school-age will be given high priority, next to citizens, to enter public schools of their own choice.
  • Apply for long-term visas for your parents.

It is a must to remember that conversely, being a Singapore PR also gives the government some rights. For examples, young sons who are PRs must enlist in the military service by the age of 16.5 years old and serve for 2 years upon turning 18. There is also a need to participate in the Operationally Ready National Service training, also known as Reservist training, annually until they reach the age of 50 (for officers) and 40 (for other ranks).

Singapore welcomes foreigners with a significant contribution or certain ties to stay in Singapore so selecting the best option is crucial to support your Singapore PR case as there is quota for different SPR options.



Naturally enough, due to such remarkable advantages, Singapore PR visa is pursued by crowds of foreigners, but the government gives the desired visa only to the most valuable expats. This value is measured by the contribution foreigners make to the Singaporean economy (skills, knowledge, coaching) and by how well their mindset matches the local community. Of course, the authorities play safe and reject applicants who look mediocre in comparison with their more promising counterparts. If you haven’t done your best to promote your personality for getting the permanent visa, they ask you to come back in one year or so. This can be distressing because you lose precious time.

The government keeps information about the requirements quite obscure and usually doesn’t disclose the reason for the negative result. Pleasing their tricky demands isn’t about the method of thumb, but rather finding a unique key for every specific situation. During years of working shoulder to shoulder with the approving authorities, we were able to study the trends that impact their decision as well as mistakes many applicants make. They are, for example, poorly compiled application that doesn’t reflect the value this applicant means to the SG economy and society (this includes a lack of argumentation and general mistakes), badly-represented skills, unpersuasive business plan, salary insufficiency and so on.

As there is no official advisory for the rejection from the ICA, we usually re-apply for this visa instead of appealing it. From our experience, blind appeals work much worse than newly strategized applications. Sometimes a strategy must be changed totally to achieve approval. After we investigate into the issue, fix it and prepare a solid documentation, you can come back to the ICA with a strong profile that stands out and save lots of time.

There are a lot of schemes that lead to the permanent residence, but we will outline the main three and advise you on getting the PR with minimum efforts from your side.

1. PR scheme for expats holding work visas (PEP, EP, S Pass, and EntrePass)

Different working visas imply having worked in SG for a specific period. The government requires only salary slips for the last 6-month period you have worked in SG, but from our experience, there are lots of other latent requirements the authorities never share (including how long the foreigner has to work in the country to deserve the status of PR). To boost your chance and save your time, it’s better to reason out your PR application in advance: please find out from our visa professional your best “due” time and how you can make your application really outstanding.

2. PR scheme for investors aka GIP (Global Investor Programme)

Investors who funnel over 2,500,000 SGD into the Singaporean economy (either a new/existing company or a govt-approved GIP fund) immediately become eligible for the permanent residency for themselves and their family members. Applying for the PR is possible at the same time as applying for the GIP, but the final approval of the PR status happens only after the investment was verified. For this scheme, it is crucial to ensure your entrepreneurial background, investment portfolio and business plan for the prospective investment are polished and well-considered. We serve both the GIP and PR applications for investors to make their relocation to Singapore smooth.

3. PR Scheme for overseas artists

Performing artists committed to Singapore’s society have an opportunity to settle in the country permanently. The crucial point here is to persuade the govt that the country ready needs your talents and that your unique skills will help to upgrade the local culture.

The peculiarity of the PR application is that it must be submitted during a special appointment with the ICA. The documents must be compiled in impeccable English and reflect your merits and prove all claims you make in your PR application. We will shoulder your paperwork, assist you in making this appointment and teach you how to behave and how to submit your papers correctly.

Processing of the PR application is very time-consuming: the authorities need up to 6 months to analyse your situation and come up with a decision. Issues with documents can cause delays and even lead to rejections so you should ensure that you wring the maximum from your case and use your all trump cards.

Only having worked in SG for a 6-month period doesn’t guarantee you getting a permanent visa. The same as being a successful and wealthy entrepreneur in your native country still doesn’t mean you will definitely be begged to stay here permanently. The government seeks for certain and far-seeing benefits, and your profile (application) must reflect them if you want to get the PR approved. What is more, there are a lot of certain rules the govt wants to see your documents compiled according to. They do not disclose them the same as hidden criteria.

Working in this niche for years, we were able to figure out trends and subjective factors that impact the govt’s decision, and we are willing to share them if you involve our professional PR service. We will promote your skills and professional, economic and social value for the city-state to win the ICA’s acclaim. Waiting for a “due” time to come is hard, and then another 6 months of PR processing. Rejection would put off your next attempt indefinitely. To avoid such frustrating situation, it’s wiser to enlist a professional visa backup.

Singapore PR visa doesn’t expire if you stay inside the country, but you have to get your re-entry permit renewed every 5 years if you need to cross the border. Such renewals help you to retain your permanent status and have a right to come back to Singapore as a PR. These renewals aren’t automatic. You have to meet certain criteria: the government will assess your contribution to the society and economy as well as how you perform professionally. For example, unless you are older than 50 years old and you have family ties with the SPR, being employed is an important criterion for getting such renewals. To get your REP extension, you must have a valid passport.

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