Singapore Permanent Residence is highly sought-after with over 100,000 applications annually. Of this, only about 30% gets approved. With stiff competition, it is imperative that each application must stand out.
IASG assesses your profile and strategises your PR application to maximise your chances!
Build a Long-Term Future in Singapore
The demographics of Singapore are shifting over time. Our citizen population is aging due to low fertility rates and rising life expectancy. Both aging and low fertility have profound implications on our economy and society.
To ensure that Singapore remains economically attractive, the government is looks at various selective immigration (Permanent Residence and Citizenship) solutions to support the needs of the country. As documented in the Population White Paper in 2013 and various other Population Trend Papers, it is imperative that Singapore grows to be diverse, with people of different backgrounds and cultures living and working together. This is in effort to ensure that Singapore continues to be one of the most crucial business and economic hub in Asia.
Immigration helps to balance our shrinking and aging citizen population. Singapore has tightened the immigration framework significantly in late-2009 to calibrate the inflow of new Permanent Residents (PRs) and citizens. Since 2009, the Singapore government has been issuing out an average of 30,000 PRs annually. To curb the low citizen birth rate and ageing population, the numbers must be kept at these levels to ensure a stable cap of PRs and Citizens to drive the sustainability and growth of the country. As such, the review process is more stringent now so as to find the right fit for each application. While the exact quota is not revealed to the public, understanding this system enables us to value each application as an opportunity to highlight the merits of applicants to the Singapore Government.
Benefits of Being a Singapore PR
A Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) refers to someone who has been given Singapore PR status by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore. However, they are not full-fledged Singapore Citizens. Singapore PRs have the right to live, work and integrate into the fabric of Singaporean society just like ordinary citizens. As a Singapore PR, one stands to enjoy, among other things:
Singapore Immigration Roadmap
Singapore Permanent Resident Eligibility
The Singapore government stipulates in all PR applications important and strict requirements across the different schemes available. If you want to be a Singapore Permanent Resident, read on to understand more about the eligibility criteria. To be eligible for Singapore PR, candidates must generally fall into any one of the following categories:
- Employment Pass/S Pass/Personalised Employment Pass holders
- Spouse and unmarried children (below 21 years old) of a Singapore Citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident
- Aged Parents of a Singapore Citizen
- Foreign Students Studying in a Qualified Local Institution
- Possess relevant training/education and professional experience in their field of practice
- Displayed outstanding achievements, in the field of performing arts, visual arts,
literary arts, design and/or media
- Made significant contributions to Singapore’s arts and cultural scene
- Have a strong local track record that includes engagements at the leadership level.
- Put in place concrete future plans to be involved in Singapore’s arts and culture.
Once a candidate is deemed eligible to apply, there are several ways by which a foreign national can become a Singapore Permanent Resident, depending on the profile of the PR applicant, which entail specific eligibility requirements:
Common Challenges Faced by Applicants
What Makes a Strong Application?
Singapore’s economic forefathers had always reiterated how, as a small nation, the people will always be its natural resource. While Singapore is in a constant need to bolster and reinforce its human workforce to enjoy sustained economic growth, the criteria in selecting the right candidates for Singapore Permanent Resident status remain strategically vital to the country.
With thousands of Singapore Permanent Resident applications being reviewed monthly, it is important for applicants to fully understand some of the contributing factors affecting their PR applications. They include but are not limited to:
How IASG Helps Boost Applications
We at IASG promise to professionally map out your Singapore Permanent Residence application from start to finish based on our specialist knowledge of immigration policies. Having worked with thousands of applicants, our proven approach systematically guides you through the processes in a manner that is designed to create a minimal hassle.
At IASG, we are committed to the application process from start to finish, including the post-outcome advisory. During the entire journey, IASG will provide the following:
Our Approach to Successful PR Applications
We understand there is about 90-95% rejection rate among applicants who apply for Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) status on their own. Rejection can be for different reasons like incomplete forms, insufficient documents, weak profiles and so on. ICA does not disclose the reason for rejection and we understand that this can be quite frustrating for you.
We at IASG leverage on the intimate knowledge of former policy-makers and/or highly experienced members within the team to provide assistance with your Singapore Permanent Resident application to enhance your chances of success as well minimize the hassle of preparing the documents amidst your hectic work schedule.
A typical application timeline for a PR application under the PTS or Sponsored Scheme is as follows:
1. During the Consultation phase, we will:
- Conduct an in-depth Initial Profile Analysis
- Provide face-to-face advisory
- Provide profile strengthening insights
- Advice on policy updates
Each of these is critical in setting the foundations of your application so that we can make the necessary preparations to ensure that you have a strong documents package.
2. Service Initiation
Once you have decided to work with IASG on your application, we will initiate your case and brief you on all the pertinent points and information necessary to complete your documents package and submit your application in a timely fashion. We will be briefing you on:
- Assigned caseworkers and documents specialist
- Key milestones and timelines you need to be aware of
- Undergo a Complimentary Financial Health Review
- Provision of comprehensive documents checklists
- Provision of the necessary documentation for Social Integration efforts
3. Documents Collation & Review/Documents Preparation
This will form the core of the tangible work that IASG does for all our clients. We utilize dedicated specialists on each case to scrutinize and prepare the necessary documentation required for a strong, error-free documents package that is aligned to existing government policies. At this stage, we will work closely with clients to ensure that all documents meet or exceed ICA’s standards.
- Plan & strategize each case according to your profile
- Conduct a comprehensive documents review before submission
- Handle all documentation processes
- Manage unique & complex immigration Issues, where applicable
- Expedite cases for e-PR submissions, if required
4. Documents Handover & Submission
Once the necessary preparation has been done, we will invite our clients and run through in detail the application forms, together with all mandatory and supporting documents that we will be including in the submission.
During this stage, we will also brief the clients on the latest policy and industry trends that might affect the application. Clients will also get a detailed picture of the probable review timeline imposed by ICA before the formal submission of the application via ICA’s e- PR system.
4 to 6 months review period
5. Post-Submission/Post-Outcome Advisory
As your immigration partner, we live up to our promise of guiding you throughout the journey. Even after the submission is complete, we will be providing advisory and expertise for any additional requirements by ICA or any of the government bodies even while your application is undergoing review. We will also list out the necessary important documents that require prompt updates to ICA for you while in the midst of review.
Once the outcome is known, and if it is a positive one, we will be working with you on the approval formalities tabled out by ICA. These need to be completed swiftly and accurately in a timely fashion before you officially attain your PR statuses. Should any extensions be required, we will be able to assist.
For applications that are unsuccessful, we will be working closely with clients to analyze the possible reasons, before deciding on whether an appeal would benefit the client. Should your prevailing profile form a strong appeal, we will work closely with you to strategize the best possible angle before proceeding.
Total process: Approximately 1 year
Appeals & Advisory After Rejection
So what are the options for you if you had your Singapore PR application rejected?
- Re-apply 6 months (minimum) after the rejection date.
- While you officially have 6 months from the date of rejection to submit an appeal to ICA, we can endeavor to submit within 2 months if you can portray significant changes.
Considering the initial negative decision, applicants who wish to reapply or appeal need to showcase significant progress or improvements in terms of their profiles to overturn the decision. Having minimal or no policy knowledge, it thus becomes a challenge for applicants and it is common for them to feel that they are stabbing in the dark with their Singapore PR applications.
As professionals in the industry with adequate policy experience, we ensure that all clients have all the information that they need before their next move.
A Permanent Resident (PR) refers to someone who has been given Singapore Permanent Residence status by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA). However, they are not full-fledged citizens.
As a Singapore PR, he/she and their family have the right to live, work and integrate into the fabric of Singapore’s society just like ordinary citizens. He/she will get to enjoy the freedom of moving in and out of the country without the need for additional visas and passes.
The range of benefits that a Singapore PR can enjoy include leaving and entering the country without visa restrictions, a better standing in terms of public schooling options for their children, access to more employment opportunities within the country, and without the hassle of requiring any work passes, financial benefits in the form of the Central Provident Fund (CPF), and ease of acquiring housing loans through local banks.
In addition, should an individual aspire to become a Singapore Citizen, maintaining their Singapore PR status is the only way the Singapore Government will give due consideration to the Citizenship application.
To be eligible for consideration for a Singapore PR, one must fall into one of the following categories :
- Spouse and unmarried children (below 21 years old) of a Singapore Citizen (SC) / Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
- Aged Parents of a Singapore Citizen
- Employment Pass/ S Pass / Personalized Employment Pass holders
Since 2009, the government has tighten its immigration policies to ensure adequate expertise is being maintained across all industries. This also ensures that salaries and distribution of skills across sectors remain competitive. While nobody can guarantee 100% success rates for PR applications, one can be assured that every application is being considered on its own merits.
Those who have shown outstanding hard work, and commitment and social contributions to Singapore especially should not feel discouraged.
Furthermore, in the Population White Paper released by the Singapore government in 2015, both citizens and foreign talents alike will have a major part to play in achieving economic and manpower stability for Singapore.
The reasons for rejection, which could be due to many reasons, are not revealed by ICA. As such, we instead help clients work toward building up a profile that is strong based on other economical and social factors that can be determined based on our expertise.
There is no specific numerical value that can be shared in terms of the quota given out by ICA for a given time frame. While the Government is working toward a framework that can support the objectives of the Population White Paper, the number of PRs given out during any time frame is dependent on the gaps of expertise in the economy. These gaps surface due to personnel leaving the industry, renouncement of PR statuses, or even due to newly created demand in the industry. While maintaining the ethnic balance of the country remains key, each PR application will still be accessed on its own merits.
While the government grant PRs many benefits, there are also certain obligations that is required of the individual, one of which is National Service. Under the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are liable to register for national service upon reaching 16½ years old. They are liable to serve for two years when they turn 18, followed by 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service every year until they turn 50 years old for officers, and 40 years old for other ranks.
This varies widely between individuals. Some apply for PR due to work commitments and employment opportunities while some apply to be close to immediate family members. In essence, Singapore PR status allows one to live, work, study, and possibly retire in Singapore. Other Benefits PR enjoy includes visa-free travel in and out of Singapore, Public Education priority, Healthcare subsidies, Public Housing options, tax incentives, and more.
It is not easy to get Singapore PR due to Singapore’s tight and selective immigration policy and a high level of competition. On average, only 30,000 PRs are approved annually (from a pool of about 100,000 – 120,000 applicants). Depending on the Scheme one is applying in, the evaluating parameters will differ with great complexity. In short, Singapore looks to individuals from a perspective of Talent, Economic Contribution, and track record to assimilate into the local society. When assessing one’s Talent for example, Singapore aims to attract and retain top foreign talent in specific performing sectors. This includes technology, banking & finance, manufacturing & engineering, aviation & aerospace and medical & pharmaceutical to name a few.
The first step to understanding your chances is to evaluate what your profile strength is, in comparison to actual applicants who got approved. You can do this by taking our simple Initial Profile Analysis. Next, decide the type of scheme you are applying under and finally, find out the factors that affect PR application such as your job industry relevance, age, and family ties in Singapore. You may need an immigration expert such as Immigration@SG (IASG) to help you assess your results and guide on how you can improve your profile and prepare a strong documents package for submission.
You can apply for PR so long as you qualify for any of the various schemes available. More than 80% of applicants fall under the Professional, Technical, Skilled-Worker (PTS) scheme. This refers to foreigners who are holding on to an S-Pass, Employment Pass (EP), Personalised Employment Pass (PEP).
The rest of the schemes are the Sponsor Scheme (Spouse and unmarried children of Singapore Citizens or Permanent Resident, Aged parents of Singapore Citizens), Foreign Students Scheme (foreign students studying in qualified local institutions), and the Global Investor Programme (GIP) which are targeting business owners and investors.
There is no specific period for Singapore PR applications and submissions to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) are accepted everyday throughout the year. Contrary to rumours, applying in December does not mean you are at the tail end of annual quota available. Quotas are aggregated fairly throughout the year and each application can take anywhere between 4-6 months and in some cases more than a year to evaluate. It is always best to put in a complete and strong application over a rushed application.
However, depending on your situation and profile as an applicant, an immigration expert may advise you strategically on the best time for you to do your submission. There are exceptions though to this. For example, during the height of Covid-19, number of applications dwindled, along with annual quotas. In all likelihood, these ‘unused’ quotas will spill into the existing quota window and the next. For those that are ready, this may present an opportune time to put in an application.
All Singapore PR applications must be submitted online (via SingPass) to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
You may submit your Singapore PR application via the ePR system on the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) exercises discretion for all PR approvals under prevailing policies and economic demands and shifts. Since Singapore does not adopt the point-based system, there is unfortunately minimal transparency and rejection reasons are not provided. To achieve a higher chance of PR approval, an applicant may prepare and submit a strong, error-free documents package that is above and beyond the minimum submission requirements. For assistance on how you can work towards this, you may schedule an appointment with Immigration@SG (IASG) by calling +65 6493 1830 or completing the online enquiry form.
The average Singapore PR application process takes about 4-6 months to a year.
Singapore PR is unfortunately not entirely permanent. However, Singapore PRs are subject to Re-entry Permit (REP) requirements. If a PR leaves Singapore without a valid REP, or if a PR is outside of Singapore when his/her REP expires, his/her PR status automatically ends. REPs typically get renewed every 5 years, subject to PRs demonstrating residence, economic or other relevant activities in Singapore.
Considering Singapore’s size and limited resources, the government only maintains PRs for those that continue to contribute economically to Singapore and to those that continue to be physically based in Singapore. So for example, if you are a PR but based overseas for the majority of the time, the likelihood of your PR extension will be low.
So long as you meet these requirements, a PR status will not expire unless you commit a crime or fraud that requires such a drastic action taken against you.
A Singapore PR may stay in the country as long as he/she wants. If he/she intends to travel out of the country, his/her Re-Entry Permit (REP) needs to be valid and renewed.
Yes, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) may review and revoke an individual’s Singapore PR under extreme circumstances such as a criminal act, tax evasion, and even evasion of National Service.
No, siblings cannot be sponsored for Permanent Residence. Refer to the schemes and its eligibility to understand how you can qualify for PR. There are unfortunately no exemptions.
Yes, a Singapore PR may bring his/her parents on the Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP). As part of the application process, one needs to show that one is able to support and sustain the parents in Singapore.
A Singapore Citizen and an existing Singapore PR can sponsor his/her spouse and children below the age of 21 years old for Singapore PR application. Refer to the Sponsorship scheme eligibility criteria for details.
Yes, a Singapore PR may work in Singapore. In fact, as compared to a Work Pass, attaining Singapore PR offers more job flexibility and security as it is not tied to any employers. With the Singapore Government protecting the interests of locals first, employment opportunities are also more prevalent towards Singapore Citizens and PRs as a priority.
Yes, Singapore PR holders may stay in the country without a job. However this may pose to be an issue when the time comes for your REP to be renewed. As one for the criteria for renewal is Employment, it is best to remain employed as a PR. However, if your spouse is a Singapore Citizen or an employed Singapore PR, the evaluation criteria may differ in your favour. There are several intricacies involved in the process and outcomes may differ on a case to case basis.
It is best to consult an immigration specialist such as Immigration@SG LLP for all manner of advisory pertaining Singapore immigration matters.
Yes, a Singapore PR can work overseas. To maintain the PR status, the Re-Entry Permit (REP) needs to be valid and renewed as it allows you to retain your permanent residence while you are outside of Singapore.
It refers to an individual who has attained an approval on his Singapore PR Application but yet completed the formalities process. IPA holders will be given a specific window to complete this process or his application will be considered void.
There is no fastest way or a guarantee to get Singapore PR. All applicants who qualify under the varying schemes will be put through the required application review processes. The decision on the outcome of all applications is ultimately up to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and is final.
PR applications requires a significant time to review because the Singapore government scrutinises and verifies every facet of the application thoroughly. Often, such verification will involve external agencies and overseas government offices. This requires additional coordination. The steps taken such as these ensure that they accord PRs to individuals who relatively is indeed who they say they are and of a relatively clean background. As such, cases could be pending for a long time and ICA will provide no reason for the time taken to process the applications.
The Singapore Government cannot possibly grant approvals to majority of the applications. There are between 100,000 to 120,000 applications filed annually with only 30,000 approvals on average. Considering the size of Singapore, time must be taken for infrastructure and society to comfortably contain the influx of migrants so as not to disrupt harmony, nor cause public service failures. To maintain the competition of high quality candidates, the Singapore Government maintains secrecy on why they approve or rejects a particular application. There is also no points system like other countries used and this is often the frustrations of most unsuccessful applicants. However, a rejected application does not necessarily mean hope is lost. There are many instances where applicants get approved after numerous attempts. You may get professional help from immigration experts like Immigration@SG (IASG) to dissect possible reasons for rejection and advise how you can improve your chances for your upcoming application.
You may submit an appeal within 6 months of your application rejection or wait at least 6 months to reapply a fresh application. However, if you glean through your application rejection letter, you will learn that ICA’s advisory is to reapply only if your circumstances have changed. This entails material changes to your profile in the areas of Professional , Financial, and Social Contribution facets.
You may reapply for Singapore PR after at least 6 months since your last rejection. This is because it is unlikely that your re-application will be approved unless there is a notable change in your profile such as getting a much higher salary, working for a more distinguished company, and obtaining new qualifications.
You will be given an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter with instructions on the next steps to complete the formalities. You will be given a specific time window to complete this or your application will be deemed void.
To maintain your Singapore PR, you will need to generally continue to be earning an income through a local Singaporean entity and contribute to income tax. You will also need to demonstrate that you have been physically based in Singapore for the majority of the time. Exceptions can be made for individuals whose job is regional / global in nature and requires excessive travels. On the basis of family unity, you should be able to easily maintain your PR status if your spouse is a Singapore Citizen.
Singapore PR itself does not need to be renewed. However, the Re-Entry Permit (REP) for PR holders needs to be renewed at least 3 months before its expiry. Renewal can only be done online via ICA’s online portal.
Singapore PR holders may renew their Re-Entry Permit (REP) via the e-REP service available at the ICA website.
There are about 100,000 – 120,000 Singapore PR applications filed every year since 2009.
No, there can only be one PR application at any one time per applicant.
Yes, all Singapore PR applications must be submitted online via the ePR on the ICA website.
It is not advisable to quit your job while waiting for the result of your Singapore PR application unless you have a new job offering a much higher salary or a job at a more distinguished company. In this situation, a job upgrade might work to your advantage by strengthening your profile, thus increasing your chances of getting an approval.
However if you quit your job before your PR application outcome, you will run the risk of not being able to complete the process should you attain an approval because it is mandatory to be employed at time of completing your approval formalities process.
Yes, you can quit and change jobs after getting your Singapore PR and Re-entry Permit (REP) is valid.
No, Singapore PR is not the same as Singapore citizenship. Singapore citizens enjoy a lot more benefits than Singapore PR such as housing options and its respective grants, education and healthcare subsidies, and tax benefits especially for parents.
However, a Singapore PR does not hold a Singapore Passport.
Agent fees vary depending on the complexity of your case or the level of detail and quality of advisory you seek in the process. This is because there are different types of immigration agencies to fulfil the different requirements of applicants. Form-filling agencies.
A Singapore PR can only apply for a Singapore Citizenship after a minimum of two years of becoming a PR. You will also need to look out for the various schemes and eligibility. Check your eligibility and profile strength via our Initial Profile Analysis, prepare all documents, and submit to e-SC service on the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.