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5 Effective Ways To Become A Singapore Permanent Resident

Singapore is an attractive destination for foreigners worldwide to settle down because of its great infrastructure, business-friendly and highly secure environment, and many other factors. Being a Singapore permanent resident allows you to enjoy almost all the same rights and benefits as a Singapore citizen. Many individuals become permanent residents of Singapore every year by adopting different routes. Read along further to learn how to become a permanent resident of Singapore. 

Route 1 — Set up Your Business In Singapore

One of the routes through which you can get a Singapore permanent residency is the entrepreneur route, which is where you set up a new business or relocate an existing business in the city-state. The steps involved in this route are further discussed below:

Setting Up a Singapore Company 

To set up your business in Singapore, it is recommended to engage a certified and licensed filing agent to assist with the incorporation of your business entity. These agents will advise and help prepare the required legal documents needed for the registration of your company in Singapore with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). 

The process of setting up a company involves the following steps:

  • Select the correct business entity type and structure that best fits your business model.  The most popular choice is to set up a private limited company (Pte Ltd) or limited liability partnership (LLP).
  • Reserve a company name that is available with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
  • Prepare all the legal and supporting documents required for due diligence purposes and for the registration of the company.
  • Once the company is registered successfully, set up the company’s CorpPass, which is required for use when managing business processes through government portals.
  • You must then open a corporate bank account, preferably with a local bank. 

Apply for the Employment Pass (EP)

Once the company and bank account are set up successfully, you can begin with the application for the Employment Pass (EP) to relocate yourself to work in Singapore and manage the business legally. For a newly incorporated company, there are many considerations you need to take note of, such as your paid-up capital or whether you qualify as a candidate for an EP in Singapore. Speak to an immigration expert and find out what your chances are and how to manage the application.
Following are some of the factors to consider.

  • Business activity of the Singapore company.
  • Job scope and role of the applicant.
  • Minimum salary requirement is SGD 5,500 per month for the non-financial sector and SGD 6,000 per month for the financial sector. This minimum salary threshold increases depending on the seniority and age of the applicant.
  • Academic qualification – some certifications must be verified.  
  • Skills and experience relevant to the role.

Overall, the applicant must score well against the latest Compass criteria to increase his/her chances of getting an Employment Pass. The Compass criteria constitute the following points:

  • Salary
  • Qualification
  • Diversity
  • Local Employment
  • Bonus Criteria

Dependent Pass (DP) application

The Dependent Pass (DP) application can be done concurrently with the Employment Pass (EP) application as it is tagged to the validity of the EP. For direct spouses who are legally married and dependents under the age of 21, the DP application is almost certain to be approved. Holders of the dependent passes have the option to work or study here in Singapore as long as the employment pass holder’s pass is still valid.

Permanent Resident Application 

Many foreigners have eventually decided to settle down in Singapore long-term after running their businesses or working in Singapore for a couple of years. After people have relocated their family members to Singapore for a few years under the Dependent Pass (DP) scheme just to get everyone accustomed to the country, it can then be possible to apply for the permanent resident status as an individual or as a family. 

Becoming a Singapore permanent resident offers great possibilities for personal and professional growth, including enjoying the following benefits:

  • Career advantages
  • Educational benefits
  • Property ownership
  • Healthcare privileges 

To apply for the PR as an individual or as a family, it can be done online through the Electronic Permanent Residence (e-PR) system. You must supply all the required documents along with your application as listed on the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) Singapore website. A processing fee of SGD 100 is payable for each application. Once all the formalities have been completed and your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the ICA. The average processing time for each application is up to six months. When the application for the main applicant is approved, the dependents’ applications will also be automatically approved.  

Route 2 — Invest In Property In Singapore

Another route to becoming a Singapore permanent resident is to invest in property in Singapore. Singapore allows foreigners to buy property in the country. Under the Residential Property Act, a foreigner can buy private properties and public housing properties with a few restrictions. 

Buy Property in Singapore

A foreigner who is not a Singapore permanent resident can buy the following types of properties:

  • Private condos
  • Private executive condos that are more than 10 years old
  • A strata-landed house in an approved condominium development
  • Landed properties in Sentosa Cove
  • Landed properties (with special permission from the Singapore Land Authority SLA)
  • A leasehold estate that has been leased for not more than 7 years in a landed residential property.

It must be noted that if the number of family members who wish to relocate to Singapore is high, the investment or asset value must be substantially high, ranging from SGD 10 million to 20 million. 

You can set up a Singapore investment holding or asset management company to hold all the properties. If you are renting out the property, the rental income will be recorded under the company. 

Apply for an Employment Pass and Dependent Pass for the Family

Once the property has been bought by a Singapore company, you can apply for an Employment Pass for yourself under the sponsorship of the investment holding company. The application for a dependent pass for your legally married spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years can be made concurrently or as soon as the EP is approved. With the approval of dependent passes, your whole family can relocate to Singapore and start living there. After at least 2 years, you can then try applying for permanent residence status in Singapore as a family through the online Electronic Permanent Residence (e-PR) system or engage a professional immigration agent to assist you with the application.

Route 3 — Invest In Business In Singapore

Another effective route through which you can get permanent resident Singapore status is through an investment scheme called the Global Investment Programme (GIP). Under this scheme, you can apply for permanent residence for yourself and your family by investing a minimum of SGD 2.5 million in a new business or an already established business. Or you can invest a minimum of SGD 2.5 million in funds approved by GIP authorities. After that, you can apply for PR with the Singapore Economic Development Board, which will be approved depending on your past entrepreneurial experience and business track record. This route offers a great opportunity for business owners and investors to realise their professional goals, as well as personal growth. 

Route 4 — Get A Job In Singapore

Another route through which you can get PR and enjoy Singapore permanent resident benefits is to get a job in the city-state. This route is probably the easiest and most effective way to get a permanent resident status if you are a working professional. When you work for a company or business in Singapore under sponsorship through an Employment Pass (EP), you are allowed to live and work in the city. You then have the option to apply for permanent residence through the Professional, Technical Personnel & Skilled Workers Scheme (PTS scheme), preferably after the first EP renewal. Your track records and contributions recorded in the country during your work period here will have an added advantage to your PR application.  

Documents Required

To ensure that you are able to secure your PR application, you must prepare the following documents:

  • Employment Documents — Includes employer contact details, work contracts, and recommendation letters
  • Educational Documents — Includes all certificates, degrees, and diplomas from high school till the latest ones.
  • Financial Records — Salary slips and income verification documents that can depict financial stability
  • Resume — An updated resume providing detailed information about your professional background
  • Property Documents — Any documentation of a Singapore property if you own it. 
  • Family Documentation — All documentation of spouse and children if they are also applying for the PR. 

Factors Affecting PR

There are certain factors that affect how easily you will be granted residency status. These include:

  • Job seniority — The greater your level of experience and expertise in your respective field, the better your chances are.
  • Age — The younger you are, the greater your chances.
  • Salary — A higher salary corresponds to a better chance of getting PR.
  • Stay in Singapore — The longer you have worked in Singapore and contributed towards its growth and economy, the better your chances are. Therefore, it is recommended to work in Singapore for at least 3 to 5 years before applying for PR. 
  • Specific Industry — If you work in a Singapore focus industry like Technology, Finance, and Investments, you have a better chance of getting a PR soon. 
  • Spouse Singapore citizen — Your chances are greater if you are married to a local or Singapore citizen.
  • Parent to a local-bornIf you are a registered parent to a local-born, the outcome of your PR application will be more favourable.
  • Apply as a familyApplying for PR status with family, i.e. spouse and kids, has better chances of approval as compared to an individual applying for PR for himself/herself. 

Route 5 — Under Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme

Lastly, another route through which you can become a Singapore permanent resident if you are an artist is through the Foreign Artistic Talent (ForArts) scheme. If you are proficient in arts, dance, photography, literature, film making, or any other field associated with arts and drama, you can apply for PR under this scheme. 

The basic eligibility criteria to apply under this scheme is that you should be an accomplished artist in your native land. If you have international recognition, that can be an added advantage for your application. Before applying for the PR, make sure you have contributed considerably to the arts and cultural activities in Singapore. You should also have some solid plans to contribute towards the growth and success of the Singapore arts and cultural sector as these factors will affect the outcome of your PR application. 

These above-mentioned routes are the various ways through which you can become a permanent resident in Singapore. There are several Singapore permanent resident benefits that serve as great incentives for foreigners to relocate and start working in the city-state. Startup Biz Consultants is Singapore’s premium business consultant service provider that can help you get PR. Contact Startup Biz Consultants for queries and assistance regarding PR status in Singapore.