It is of no secret that attaining approvals for Singapore Permanent Residence and Singapore Citizenship remains highly competitive, as the Singapore government needs to carefully balance the economic requirements of the country against local and on-the-ground sentiments.
As inbound Singapore immigration consultants, it is imperative that we help our clients strategize their applications so that they can achieve the highest possibility of approval – regardless the nationality, industry, professional achievements etc.
On top of crafting an application angle around one’s professional achievements, one of the key aspects of attaining approvals, sadly always go unnoticed, or deemed ‘unimportant’ among applicants.
Social Integration is defined as the process during which newcomers or minorities are incorporated into the social structure of the host society1. With the competition for approvals rife, what sets one applicant apart from the other, could actually trickle down to how much effort and time an applicant has spent trying to integrate into the society that they want to spend a good part of their life in as either a Singapore Permanent Resident, or eventually even as full-fledged Singapore Citizens.
In a recent published Straits Times article on 27 May 2019 : Foreign Talent Helps Fuel a Bustling Economy, PM Lee mentioned, “The new arrivals have chosen to make Singapore their home and they will contribute to our country, our society. They have to make every effort to mix and to interact with everyone else. For our part, we should welcome them, we should support them in their journey to become Singaporean.,”
Having met and helped thousands of applicants over the years, it is quite apparent that majority of applicants typically rate ‘Economic Contribution’ as their key area of focus, and sadly neglect activities that build on their social profile. In this time, what we have observed is also a steady stream of approvals from applicants who have demonstrated an active approach – through donations, volunteering at various beneficiaries, and even spending time on community events from Sports to Cultural ones.
In a Straits Times article published in 2018, Minister Josephine Teo shared, “The Government will remain selective about the profile of Singapore’s immigrants” as it affects how Singapore grows a strong national identity. “This is why we prioritise not only those who can contribute, but those who are also prepared to sink roots in Singapore, and can integrate well here,” she added.
1Alba, Richard; Nee, Victor (1997). “Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration”. International Migration Review. 31, 4: 826–874.