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Residence in Singapore

It is one of the Singaporean government’s objectives to attract talent to the country for residence and work. The government’s intention is for foreign nationals to make Singapore their home by becoming permanent residents.

There are defined categories of foreign nationals who are eligible to apply for permanent residence. These include:

  • Investors and entrepreneurs under the Global Investor Program
  • Employment pass holders under the Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme (PTS))
  • Spouses and unmarried children of a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident
  • Elderly parents of a Singapore citizen

Foreign nationals who are interested in working and living in Singapore may apply for in-principle approval for a residence permit by submitting an application before they enter Singapore, provided that they satisfy the specific criteria. The advantage of obtaining permanent residence status is that the individual is entitled to live and work in Singapore for at least five years.

An individual who holds an employment pass in Singapore may submit an application for permanent residence to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority after two years of employment and residence in Singapore. This option is a very popular route for professional and highly skilled individuals, as no substantial investment is required to obtain these passes. Once permanent residence is obtained, the applicant no longer requires an employment pass, thereby giving them more flexibility in their employment options.

Under the PTS, an applicant may include their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age in the permanent residence application.

The Global Investor Program is specifically for entrepreneurs or investors interested in making substantial financial investments in Singapore and is designed to attract wealthy foreign entrepreneurs and investors who wish to make Singapore their home.