Thousands of people become Singapore permanent residents every year, but not all go through the same application process. Permanent Residence (PR) application can be applied for by the whole family, i.e. the applicant himself plus the spouse and unmarried children under 21. The lure of gaining Singapore permanent residence through a variety of schemes has convinced thousands of foreigners of diverse backgrounds to set up home in the island-state, one of Asia’s most stable and developed countries and a key financial hub.

The number of PRs in Singapore as of June 2017 is estimated to be about 526,600 from a population of about 5.6 million people, and the numbers are increasing (accurate for 2017). Although most foreigners apply for PR after working in Singapore for few years, there are other paths leading you to a Singapore PR status.

This guide provides an overview of the different types of PR schemes available in Singapore so you can decide on the one that best suits your needs and circumstances. As a permanent resident of Singapore, you would enjoy most of the benefits and rights afforded to citizens. The range of benefits includes the right to live in the country without visa restrictions, higher priority public schooling for your children, more freedom to buy property and participation in the retirement fund scheme, etc. At the same time, you are required to make certain commitments, such as sending your son(s) to compulsory two-year military service once they reach 18 years old.

Singapore PR Scheme for Individuals Working in Singapore

The Professionals/Technical Personnel & Skilled Worker scheme (or simply “PTS scheme”) is for foreign professionals who are working in Singapore at the time of applying for permanent residence. The PTS scheme is the easiest and most assured route to attaining PR in Singapore.

The key requirement is that you must be working in Singapore at the time of application. This means you must first relocate to Singapore on a work visa of the type known as Employment Pass or Entrepreneur Pass Personalised Employment Pass or S Pass.

[Find out more about the different work passes available in Singapore.]

Singapore PR Scheme for Investors

You can also apply for Singapore permanent residence through an investment scheme known as the Global Investor Programme (“GIP scheme”). Under this scheme, you may apply for PR for yourself and your immediate family members by starting a business with a minimum investment of SGD2.5 million, or investing a similar sum in an established business in Singapore.

At present, under the GIP scheme, you can choose from two investment options:

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

Apart from the minimum funds you invest, you must also meet certain other criteria such as having a good business track record, an entrepreneurial background and a business proposal or investment plan. For more information, see Singapore Permanent Residence for Investors.

Singapore PR Scheme for Foreign Artistic Talent

Singapore’s arts scene has seen rapid growth over recent years, in line with the country’s aim to become the regional arts hub. If your talent lies in any form of arts, photography, dance, music, theatre, literature or film, you can apply for permanent residence through Foreign Artistic Talent scheme. To qualify for this scheme, you must be a well-recognised artist in your own country, preferably with an international reputation, and possess the relevant training in your field of practice. You must have also made significant contributions to Singapore’s arts and cultural scene, including a strong track record of local engagements at leadership level, and have concrete plans to be involved in the Singapore arts and cultural sector.

Moving on to a Singapore Citizenship

A person who is at least 21 years of age and has been a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) for at least 2 to 6 years prior to the date of application is eligible to apply to be a Singapore Citizen. More information can be found on our article here

In Summary

The Government of Singapore welcomes the arrival of professionals and other foreigners who are able to make positive contribution to the country’s development and economy in may different ways. There are various permanent residence schemes in place to help you obtain Singapore permanent residence through the means that is most relevant to your situation.


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