How to become a Singapore Permanent Resident

4 minute read

Becoming a permanent resident in Singapore is highly sought after, as Singapore is one of the most developed and secure cities in the world. Read on to learn more about the process of becoming a Singapore Permanent Resident.


What are the benefits of becoming a Singapore Permanent Resident?

  • PR status lets you live, work, and travel to and from Singapore without visa restrictions
  • Permanent Residents do not need to acquire new work visas (such as an EP)
  • You will receive CPF (Central Provident Fund) contributions from your employer
  • PRs are allowed to purchase resold public HDB housing in Singapore
  • PR status gives you the choice to acquire Singapore Citizenship in the future, which is one of the few ways to obtain a Singapore passport (one of the world’s most powerful passports).

Types of PR schemes

Permanent Residency is categorized into 3 different schemes. The most common route to get permanent residency is through the Professionals/ Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker Scheme (PTS) – this is for foreign professionals who are already living and working in Singapore.

The other two routes available are through the Global Investor Programme (GIP) – aimed at foreign investors who can invest S$2.5 million into the Singapore economy, or the Foreign Artistic Scheme – for acclaimed artists in fields such as photography, dance, music, theatre, literature or film.

Becoming a Permanent Resident used to be easier compared to the present. Due to the tightening of control over Singapore’s foreign population, PR approval has dropped significantly in the past few years.

The PTS scheme is hands down the quickest and easiest way to attain Singapore Permanent Residency compared to the rest of the schemes. While GIP scheme also has a high approval rate, however, it is only reserved for the wealthy folks who can spend million dollar investments investing in Singapore. As for Foreign Artistic Scheme, chances of approval are low unless you are a famous and significant artist on the international stage.

How is my application assessed?

Singapore’s Immigration and Customs Agency (ICA) adopts a Points System to assess PR eligibility. Applicants will be graded points based on the following factors:

  • Type of work pass (whether you hold an EP, PEP , S-Pass or EntrePass)
  • Duration of stay in Singapore
  • Marital status
  • Academic qualification (a reputable institute is preferred)
  • Basic monthly salary
  • Age (preferably 50 years and below)
  • Kinship ties in Singapore (having family members from Singapore)

Other factors, such as criminal records, contributions to charity organizations are also considered, although they are not part of the point system criteria.

Applying for PR for your family

If you are married and having children, it is highly recommended to apply for PR for your spouse and children. Without them, your application will be very likely rejected.

One important point to note is that Singapore law requires all male citizens and Permanent Residents to serve a compulsory 2 years of National Service (NS) in the military, police or civil defense when they reach 16 years old. You should consider if you wish to send your sons to NS before applying PR for them.

What is the process?

You can only apply for PR via ICA’s eService. Applying for PR often requires an exhaustive list of documents including birth certificates, marriage certificates, all tertiary qualifications, testimonials from previous employers, tax assessments, and professional license and membership certificates. Luckily, the ICA has created a Permanent Resident application checklist to ensure applicants have all of the required papers. Here is the link to the latest version.

Once it is completed, you will be scheduled for an appointment at the ICA building for interview and submission of documents.
Application of Permanent Residency takes 4 to 6 months to process. If your documentation is not in proper order, the process will be delayed significantly.

Next steps

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