5 Things to Keep in Mind Before Applying for Permanent Residency (PR) in Singapore


Before applying for Permanent Residency (PR) in Singapore, you should ask yourself if Singapore is an ideal country for your permanent relocation and if you have structured your personal profile to suit the Singaporean economy and workforce. Also check out the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) for more resources on the process.

Bear in mind that information available on ICA’s website is open information to anyone that has an interest to apply for residency here, and that you should take extra steps to ensure that your application stands out among the rest. Statistically, there are 2,500-2,800 approvals per month on average from all nationalities. There are no specific nationalities that ICA claims to be forbidden from applying for PR, however in general, middle eastern countries with ongoing conflict with radical extremists stand a much lower chance at succeeding in their application.

1) Skills and Vocational Training Certifications

Being a small country, Singapore has always relied on foreign professionals to build the fundamentals of its economy. Having a niche skill in a specific industry can boost your chances of success, especially if Singapore needs further development in a particular sector/industry. If you have previous experience in a specific field from a different country, make sure to highlight it together with submitting relevant documents (Certifications, etc) with your application.

2) Business Ownership

Having used the term “Ownership”, this can mean owning partial or full shares of a company without holding a Directorship position in the company. Foreigners are not allowed to hold on to a working pass and at the same time run a business in Singapore. For more information on the limitations of foreigners, visit the Ministry of Manpower’s website (www.mom.gov.sg).

Owning & running a business in Singapore can be a tough process for foreigners as there is often the dilemma of choosing between holding an Employment Pass/S-Pass under a stable company, or being a director of a newly set-up company. Bear in mind that foreigners who wish to set up businesses in Singapore will have to have a Nominee Director who can be either a local or a PR of Singapore, and must know basic annual filing matters required by companies in Singapore.

3) Past Criminal Convictions

If you think you can slip past the immigration system in Singapore and attain a PR status without disclosing your previous criminal history, remember that Singapore is a country that is obsessed with security. Having said so, you may still apply if you have a past conviction that is not serious, but remember to fully explain the situation through a covering letter.

When you submit an application for PR, your profile will be thoroughly evaluated and scrutinized. Applicants with a history of drug use or have previously served some time in prison will face a significantly higher chance of rejection.

4) Investments in Singapore

Owning investments in Singapore can add to your list of strengths and boost your chances of success. By owning property, business shareholding, vehicles, insurance plans, mutual funds in Singapore, you are showing financial commitment to Singapore which can boost your chances of PR success. If you do not intend to own any assets in Singapore, you may decide to start a small endowment plan in Singapore to save some money for your future use. If you wish to be connected with a Financial Adviser for more information on insurance plans, you may request a callback here.

5) Describing Your Future Plans

The ICA does not know what your plans are for your future as a PR of Singapore. Do you intend to set up a business entity? Do you intend to invest into a locally-listed company? Do you intend to apply for citizenship? Do you intend to increase the frequency of social work? It is always best to explain your intentions over the next 5-10 years (minimum 5 years as that is the default duration of your PR status before renewal).

It is advisable to keep in mind that overstating or exaggerating your intentions may backfire on your application. It is always best to have already started on some of your plans that you are going to mention in your cover letter. Anyone can say that they will invest $100,000 into Singapore’s economy once they successfully achieve a PR status, but with so many applicants who have already started on their plans, why would the ICA choose to approve someone who hasn’t got started on any of their mentioned plans yet?

This article was written on the 22nd of August, 2016. Follow us on Facebook to keep updated on immigration and relocation matters in Singapore.


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