Singapore Permanent residency is becoming more and more popular among foreign nationals living in Singapore, but why is this such an attractive option? We’ll take a look at the advantages of obtaining PR, any possible disadvantages and will also provide some tips for your application.
- Ease of Changing Jobs. As a PR, you no longer require a work pass to work in SIngapore which means it’s easier to change jobs without having to worry about your EP being approved for your new role. Also, being a PR may open up new opportunities for you as many employers may only be looking for PRs or local citizens.
- Income Tax Clearance. Tax clearance is required when EP holders cease employment in Singapore, regardless of whether the individual is simply changing jobs in Singapore or leaving Singapore permanently. This process requires the EP holder to settle all taxes and the employer is required to withhold monies payable to the employee. However, tax clearance is not required for PRs who are leaving Singapore permanently and they may continue to settle their taxes in arrears in the normal manner and no monies will be withheld by the employer for this purpose.
- Central Providence Fund. PRs and their employers are required to make monthly contributions to the CPF. CPF is a comprehensive social security savings plan with benefits that encompass retirement, healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement. Moreover, should you decide to leave Singapore at a later stage, you can cash out your CPF savings.
- Purchasing Property. Expatriates, including PRs, are generally allowed to purchase non-restricted properties only (e.g. condominium apartments) and should they wish to purchase restricted properties (e.g. vacant land, landed properties, etc.) they would require the permission of the Singapore Land Authority. However, unlike an EP holder, a PR is eligible to purchase from the resale market public housing flats developed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB Flats).
- Singapore Citizenship. Should they so wish, PRs are eligible to apply for citizenship after 2 years of obtaining PR.
- National Service. Male children who are granted PR under their parents’ application are required to register for NS upon reaching 16.5 years. They will be enlisted for 2 years full-time NS immediately upon turning 18, unless deferment to enlist at a later stage is granted. Upon completing the full-time NS, they are required to serve 40 days of Operationally Ready NS every year until the age of 40 (for non-officers) or 50 (for officers). It must be noted however, that not everyone will consider this a disadvantage.
- While Singapore has recognized the need to increase its population, with a portion of this coming from foreigners, it is still very particular about who they open the doors to. Well educated, skilled professionals and individuals in good standing are sought after.
- There is a long waiting period to get an appointment, sometimes up to 6 months, so get started on the application process and book an appointment as soon as you decide you want to apply for PR.
- The form should be completed in full. For example, when asked for previous employment history, you should not leave any previous jobs out and if there are any gaps in employment, this needs to be explained why.
- If your documents are not in English, these should translated into English. Official certificates such as birth certificates and degrees should be translated by your embassy or consulate.
- Make sure that you have all the requisite documents and consider what supporting documents you could add to increase the attractiveness of your application.
- Remember to take all original documents to your ICA appointment as the officer will need to sight all originals against the copies.
- As mentioned earlier, start early. Once the application has been submitted it will take at least 4 to 6 months before you receive an outcome. Add that to the 6 month wait for your appointment, and you are looking at a year for the entire process.
Depending on your circumstances and your mid to long terms plans, PR may or may not be appropriate for you. If you are looking to stay in Singapore for at least 3 to 5 years, PR may very well be the right move for you.
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