Singapore Permanent Residence (PR) APPLICATION Guide

A Beginner’s Guide for Singapore Permanent Residence (PR) Application

Are you looking to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency (PR) so that you can move to the most liveable city in all of Asia?

There are so many good reasons to live in Singapore. The HSBC Expat Explorer Survey in 2018 rated Singapore as the best destination to live and work for an ex-pat. It has a strong economy that is referred to as the Switzerland of Asia, the political environment is stable, the crime rate is low, and it’s seen as one of the best places to do business in the world. You may also want to learn more about the Benefits of Singapore PR.

So, what do you need to do to apply for permanent residency in Singapore? Is it a matter of filling out some paperwork or sending in some proof of identification? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. If you want to know the best way to apply for PR in Singapore, then here’s what you need to do to prepare for your application and make sure that you get approved. Read further to learn more.

In case you are holding an existing Singapore PR and looking to renew it soon,  read more on Our Ultimate Guide for Singapore PR renewal (Re-entry Permit).

What is a Singapore Permanent Residence?

The Singapore Permanent Residence (PR) is a permanent visa that allows foreign professionals, a certain type of investors, and family members of Singapore Permanent Residence or Singapore citizens to work and stay in Singapore Permanently. 

Aside from the right to stay permanently in Singapore and the freedom of traveling in and out of Singapore, frequently there are also other perks like healthcare and education subsidies, a pension scheme plan for retirement, and eligibility for the purchase of highly-subsidised HDB apartments owned by Government.

Singapore PR populations

Who can Apply for Singapore PR?

You must be from one of the following categories to be eligible for Singapore PR Applications:

1. The Professional Technical or Skilled Workers Scheme (PTS)  
This Singapore Permanent Residency scheme is for foreign technical personnel and skilled workers professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are currently working in Singapore on an existing work pass (E.g. Employment Pass, Entrepass, PEP, Tech Pass). We will share more on the eligibility criteria for this scheme in this article.

2. Singapore PR Scheme For Investors
This is an investment visa 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 investing a  minimum amount of $2.5 million in Singapore via several options. 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: PR application for Spouse of a Singapore PR or Citizen

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 the PR for them. You also have the option to apply for PR for your aged parent if you are an existing Singapore PR.

4. Singapore PR scheme for 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.

5. Singapore PR scheme for Students

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.

All Singapore PR applications are submitted directly to the immigration checkpoints authority (ICA).

Need help in your Singapore PR application?

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Singapore Citizenship & Permanent Residency Status Granted Statistic from 2008 to 2018

Source: ICA – Graph of Singapore Citizens and PR Approval Rate from 2008 to 2018

How to Apply to Become a Singapore PR under the PTS Scheme?

If you’re working under the Employment Pass or S-Pass scheme, then the Skilled Migration Scheme is likely the Singapore PR application you want to apply for. It’s also the easiest one to attain.

In order to qualify, you need to be working in the country at the time of your application. You also have to hold either the Employment Pass, Entrepreneur Pass, Personalised Employment Pass, or S-Pass. While it’s easy to apply for, there’s still some paperwork that needs to be submitted. It’s best to consult with an immigration partner before submitting this Singapore PR application to ensure you have everything you need to be successful.

These are not the only requirements though. There are other additional documents that you will need to include with the Singapore PR application that an immigration agency will be able to provide direction on. 

What Do You Need to Prepare for Your Singapore PR Application?

As part of your Singapore PR application for the Skilled Migration Scheme, there are some documents that you should have readily available to ensure the process runs smoothly. Some of the most important ones include:

• Proof of employment documents. For example, contracts, recommendation letters, employer contact information, evaluation reports.

• Proof of education. For example, certificates and diplomas going as far back as high school.

• Documents that provide proof of your financial status. For example, payslips and any other information that details your proof of income.

• Your most up-to-date resume.

• Property documentation for any real estate that you currently own in Singapore.

• Documents for your spouse and children if they are going to be on the application with you.

It’s a good idea to provide value-add documents (e.g. testimonials, reference letters, proof of professional achievements) to stand out from the crowd. While this might seem like an extra step, it’s worth having it available to help speed up the process.

Usually, your PR application would take 6 – 12 months to process and in some cases, it can be longer than 12 months due to the high demand in securing approval for PR status.

Criteria of Evaluation for Singapore PR Applicants

There are several areas in that your application that will be assessed when you apply for Permanent Residence. This can include your economic contribution to the company, the uniqueness of your occupation, your age and family profile, how long you lived in Singapore as well as your ability to integrate into Singaporean society. Below are some critical points to improve your chance of getting a PR application approved.

Economic background

Your employment history is also applicable to you in this situation. These include companies you work for and positions you hold at. You should show a consistent growth pattern throughout your life. You have a good job. You need a stable job. It’s vital that you give something of value locally – it also counts if you work in Singapore as a local business instead of an international company. You must ensure that your contribution to Singapore is credible and reliable.

Social Integration

This aspect of your Singapore permanent residency will often get little attention from applicants. This is also critical because it is important that Singaporeans receive PR status and add value to local communities. You have to show that you understand Singapore culture. The community knows how much you contribute to the community. Volunteering is very important. Be careful about volunteering to ensure it is honest.

Other factors

These are other factors that can impact your Singapore PR application:

  • Your educational background as authorities will put a lot of weight on your degree and the institute you graduated from
  • The length of time you’ve spent in Singapore
  • Your Family and Age profile
  • Your family ties in Singapore
  • Your Contribution to the Singapore society 


What to do if Your Singapore PR Application is Rejected or Unsuccessful?

After waiting patiently for 6 – 9 months on your Singapore PR application status and you received a letter from the ICA that your application PR status has been rejected! What should you do now?

There’s no reason to be disheartened if your application is rejected. Only 15,000 applications get approved in a year, and there are over 180,000 foreign workers who meet the eligibility requirements. Over 50% of the applications that are submitted get rejected.

Fortunately, there is no limit on how many times you can apply to become a permanent resident of Singapore. If your situation changes significantly during the time your application is getting processed, such as starting a new job or having a baby, then you should re-apply. However, it’s a good idea to seek a Professional PR Advisory firm for help as they can advise you on how to improve your Singapore PR approval by highlighting the contribution you bring to Singapore.

How Can One Visa help with your Singapore PR?

We are the leading immigration consultancy with over 10 years of expertise. Through the years, we have successfully assisted over 10,000 business owners, entrepreneurs, investors and executives to move to Singapore. Our customised solutions for your PR application by advising and preparing value add documents to highlight your contributions and profile in your application which can increase your chances of success substantially. Let us help you to navigate the Singapore Immigration System.

How to Maintain your Singapore PR?

Once you have collected your Singapore PR, you are given a Re-Entry Permit (REP) for 5 years. To travel out of Singapore on a PR status, you are required to hold a valid REP.

A Singapore PR who does not hold a valid REP while outside Singapore will lose their Permanent Residence Status. Therefore, it is important to always ensure you have a valid REP before you travel out of Singapore.

For those Singapore PRs who have been present and working in Singapore for the past 5 years, they usually do not have an issue getting an extension for the REP. However, if you have been absent from Singapore for too long, then you are required to justify your absence and why your REP should be granted. You can check out our guide on REP renewals.

When can you Apply for Singapore Citizenship?

Based on the Immigration checkpoints authority, to become a Singapore Citizen, you have to be holding the Singapore Permanent Residency for a minimum of 2 years. However, this is not always the case as the quota for Singapore Citizenship approval is limited.

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Unless you have something substantial to support your SPR application, it is better to wait for over a year before you reapply again. It is best to seek to One Visa Team to understand on how to prepare a better SPR application.

5 years and you need to renew every 5 years;

32,710 (source from ICA)

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