Permanent residency gets you as close to being a Singapore citizen as possible: you get all the same rights and benefits except being able to vote and hold public office. We look at the requirements, the documents you need to prepare, the timeline and chances for approval or rejection.
How can I become a Permanent Resident in Singapore?
There are three schemes to become PR depending on the visa you have: GIP, ForArts and PTS.
- ForArts is a permit for internationally recognized celebrities that have made a contribution to Singapore culture.
- GIP is Singapore Investor Visa that requires an investment of S$2.5M into an existing or new Singapore business or an approved fund.
- PTS is the Professionals/Technical Personnel & Skilled Worker scheme that allows holders of Employment Pass, S-Pass or Entrepreneur Pass to apply for Permanent Residency. This is the easiest track to become PR in Singapore. If you are a business owner, you can process Employment Pass for yourself from your company and apply for PR.
What are the requirements to become PR in Singapore under the PTS scheme?
Your task is to prove to the government that you will be an asset to the country: a law-abiding, financially solvent and well-educated individual that will contribute to Singapore’s development. Under the PTS scheme here are the things that officials look at:
- Presence. You must be working and living in Singapore under your work pass for at least 6 months before you apply. Yet it is best to wait for at least a year — the length of your stay is one of the factors that matter to the authorities.
- Income. Provide salary payslips for the months you’ve worked in the country. Note that just like with EP application, your salary affects your chances of approval. At the very least it has to be S$6,000-8,000 and up to S$12,000 if your application includes family members.
- Employment. Provide credentials of your employer. Older and financially stable companies are more likely to score approval.
- Background. Your previous employment and education details. The more prestigious Universities get more chances.
- Family ties in Singapore if any.
- Personal characteristics as a future PR: lack of law infringements, proof of charitable contributions and community work.
What documents do I need to prepare for my PR application?
We list some of the documents you are most likely to need.
Make sure to have a scanned copy and the original at hand. Remember all documents in a foreign language need an official translation. It is safest to use the service recommended by your embassy.
- Proof of employment: contracts, letters, evaluation reports, recommendation letters, employers contact data;
- Proof of education: diplomas and certificates starting from high school;
- Documents on your financial status including proof of salary and other sources of income;
- Your recent CV;
- Property ownership documents if you have real estate in Singapore;
- Documents on your spouse and children whether they apply with you or not.
What is the process for PR application?
PR applications are managed by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) within the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Under the PTS scheme, there are two major online forms you need to fill out: one for you and another one for your employer.
However, mind that, unlike your Employment Pass/working visa, your Permanent Residency is not sponsored by the employer. ICA provides detailed explanations to how the documents must be prepared so make sure to read them thoroughly before you proceed.
Once you’ve completed the forms, attach the prepared document scans and submit them for ICA to review. Once the agency has an answer, they’ll send you a letter.
If your application is approved, you’ll need to make an appointment at ICA and provide documents: the proof that you are still employed by the company that you stated, the medical check-up results for you and your family, your EP and DPs.
I had to wait 15 months for my PR application to be approved. The process was very simple and clear: we didn’t have to contact a consultant, we did it ourselves. We applied after 7 years of staying in the country. I think it helped that my husband and I work in different fields and that we had a child in Singapore. The authorities also appreciate it if you have made some economic and social contribution in Singapore: bought any kind of private property, have a helper, pay foreign workers levy, etc.
Sahana Jayaprakash, got a PR in Singapore with her husband
How long does it take?
Officially it takes ICA 4-6 months to process the application. However, there’s a cap of 30,000 applicants granted Permanent Residency each year, so in reality, you might have to spend 12 months on the waiting list only to find out you got rejected.
What if my PR application gets rejected?
Apply again. There’s no limit on how many times you can submit documents for Permanent Residency. Quite a lot of law-abiding and perfectly eligible candidates get rejected every year, so if you don’t get your PR status at the first attempt, don’t give up. It is best to wait for at least 6 months before you re-apply and use that time to improve your case: get a higher salary, obtain property, get involved in community work or invest in your education.
Can my family members with Dependant’s Passes become Permanent Residents?
Yes, the PTS scheme allows your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old to apply with you. Remember that your male children will have to register for the national military service including 2 full-time years in the army and 40 days of the yearly training exercise. You or your spouse do not have to enlist.
How much does it cost?
You’ll have to pay a non-refundable fee of S$100 for each applicant. If ICA approves your application, you’ll need to pay a small fee of S$120 per person that covers Entry Permit, 5-year Re-Entry Permit and the Identity Card issue.
How to renew PR status?
Permanent Residency status is for life, but the re-entry pass (REP) that serves as a travel document is valid for 5 years, so you will have to renew it regularly. You have to apply no later than 3 months before your REP expires and pay a S$10 fee. It’s easy to apply online via ICA’s e-service.
Note that if you reside outside of Singapore most of the time, you might get a re-entry pass for 1 year only that can later be upgraded to 5 years.