Singapore Permanent Residence & Singapore Citizenship
Generally Permanent Residence application is best for those under 50 years old, suitably qualified or skilled, on Employment pass or S Pass. Those over 50 but who are well qualified, enjoying High Income, employed in rather Senior Positions & having excellent fixed & liquid assets could also try for SPR.
Approval of application of PR is based on the applicant’s qualifications, expertise, local employment and individual merit. New applicants would be assessed on talents, skills and experience and not just on academic qualifications. Another factor to consider whether the immigrant’s family members can also contribute to Singapore’s growth and how well the immigrant and his family can fit into Singapore society. Foreign students on scholarship might be persuaded to get their families to settle in Singapore. The target group of new immigrants will be mainly younger people.
Citizenships & SPRs Granted to foreigners by ICA (source: ST )
Year Citizenships SPRs
2002 7,600 39,500
2003 6,800 32,000
2004 7,600 36,900
2005 12,900 52,300
2006 13,200 57,300
2007 17,334 63,627
2008 20,513 79,167
2009 19,900 59,500
Apr 09 – Mar 10 19,300 46,300
LTSVP applications LTSVP Approved
Mar 2009 – Mar 2010 total 70,300 Applications 56,300 Approved
SC Spouse applications SC Spouse Approved
Annual Average 2005 -2009 15,400 LTSVP 13,200 LTSVP
Annual Average 2005 -2009 9,900 SPR 5,400 SPR
132,000 SPR applications were received by ICA in 2009. 115,000 were processed and 59,500 were successful.
Many of the PRs were family members of new SPRs as well as dependents of Singapore Citizens. The selection process
is stringent. Most new PRs were the Professionals, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers under the Employment Pass.
It assesses their tertiary and professional qualifications. One criterion used is whether they can integrate well into Singapaore society.
The first category are the PRs who met certain standards and whose children could become Singaporeans. Next, the EP holders who had skills or professional qualifications and came to Singapore as executives or professionals. The 3rd category were the semi-skilled workers. The CPF contribution rates for SPRs is 4% for 1st year, 9% for 2nd years and 13% for 3rd year.
Foreign spouses of Singaporeans including husbands of Singaporean women may also apply for Singapore PR. The number of foreigners given Permanent Residence in Singapore has been increasing for the last few years but the increase in the immediate years ahead are being moderated
Other factors being equal, professionals and other professional visit pass holders stand the best chance of becoming SPRs under a point system beginning January 1999. Other than type of work pass, other factors are: duration of stay in Singapore, academic qualification, basic monthly salary, age and family ties in Singapore. No reason is ever offered for approval or rejection. The type of work pass the applicant holds will be the primary basis for assessing his economic contribution to Singapore. This aligns SPR to the Work Pass framework implemented by Ministry of Manpower. Those on P1 & P2 EP Pass for administrator, professionals, managers, entrepreneurs, investors and specialist talent stand a higher chance of becoming SPRs than those on the Q1 EP & SPass for skilled workers and technicians. Semi-skilled and unskilled foreign workers on R category Work Permits are generally not eligible for SPR
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The Straits times and The New Paper reported on 20 May 2010 that Applications for permanent residency or Singapore citizenship may take a longer time to be processed by ICA, or they may not even be approved, under “more stringent” rules introduced in the last quarter of 2009. In the 12-month period between April 2009 and March 2010, 46,300 applicants for permanent residency were approved, while 19,300 applications for citizenship were given the green light. The figures for the whole of 2008 were 79,200 and 20,400 respectively. With the more stringent requirements there may be applicants who may not meet the new criteria and who may no longer qualify for PR or SC. ” Others “may take a longer time as residency requirements have been stretched out in the new framework. Singaporeans or PRs whose foreign dependants do not yet qualify can apply for long-term visit passes to remain in Singapore.
Singaporeans can sponsor family members such as foreign parents, spouses and children for long-term stay, but not other relatives. In cases where a Singaporean family has no other immediate local options available to, e.g, care for a newborn, the ICA may – on a case-by-case basis – allow a foreign spouse’s mother, to extend her stay here. Between April 2009 and March 2010 this year, 70,300 applications for long-term visit passes were received by ICA, and 56,300 LTSVP were successful. As for foreign spouses of Singaporeans, the ICA processed an annual average of 15,400 long term visit passes and 9,900 PR applications from them between 2005 and 2009. Of these, 2,200 and 4,500 respectively were unsuccessful. The key consideration is whether the Singaporean can support his or her foreign spouse financially.
What are the benefits of Citizenship?
Only Singapore citizen can apply for a Singapore International Passport which has very little travel restrictions around the world.
Citizens have the right to vote in Presidential and Parliamentary Elections and to stand for elections. PR’s children if borne in Singapore becomes only PR but Singapore Citizen’s children borne anywhere will automatically become Singapore Citizens.
Citizens over 21 years can buy or rent subsidized public housing from the HDB while PRs can only buy resale flats. Married Citizens who are first time buyers can get CPF housing grants of S$40,000 to buy from the open market and S$50,000 if the apartment is near where their parent’s or where their married children lived. In upgrading of HDB flats Citizens pay a fraction of HDB upgrading costs while PR pay for the full cost. Singapore citizens are entitled to a subsidized mortgage loan rate of 0.1% above the CPF rate. Citizens can buy all types of private residential property but PR must seek permission from the Law Ministry if they want to buy landed property or any unit in a low rise apartment development which has less than 6 levels.
Citizens qualify for tax rebates of S$5,000 to S$20,000 if their 2nd child is borne after Jan 1st 1987. More tax rebates & subsidies are now available even for the 4th child . Citizens who are working mothers qualify for tax rebates equal to 15% of their income at the time of her 3rd and 4th child birth if she elects for separate income tax assessment. Citizens receive ad hoc CPF top up from the government.
Singapore can expect to have 200,000 new SPRs and about 40,000 new SCs in the next 5 years. A person is eligible for citizenship if he is above 21 years and has for a total of 10 out of 12 years as a PR. Those with relevant qualifications are eligible after 5 out of 6 years as PR, while professionals, investors and graduates can apply under the Accelerated Citizenship Scheme after 2 years as PR.