Why Singapore Permanent Residence cannot be ‘Permanent’?
Like any other country, attaining Permanent Residence is second in privilege in comparison to Citizenship status. Being a small country with People the manna of its economic resource, Singapore’s ability to retain its attractive stature to investors and businesses must not be compromised.
Learning from Japan as an example – Singapore’s ageing population and low birth rate presents a conundrum for our policy makers. To ensure the efficacy of its manpower requirement, Singapore’s selective immigration policy is calibrated to ensure that at all times, the country possess sufficient and a rightly skilled talent pool to keep the nation progressing forward.
Limiting or capping Singapore’s Permanent Residence at a default of 5 years (renewable subject to PRs demonstrating some actual residence, and economic or other relevant activity) is a brilliant move by the Singapore Government because:
With competitive annual quotas for Singapore Permanent Residence (for every 3 approvals, there are about 7 applications that got rejected), priority will be given to those that has shown commitment to contribute to Singapore over those that are merely ‘using’ Singapore as a ‘holiday destination’ or personal branding
Trends, Opportunities, and Jobs May be Consistently Moving
In this globalised world, it is common for professionals to be nomadic, following the trajectory of where their career takes them. Statistics show that majority of those who venture away from our homeland, will eventually return home to familiar tastes, sights, sounds, family, and friends. For these individuals, Permanent Residence becomes transactional and remain useful to such individuals, only for a specific period, before they move on elsewhere
Fresh Talent at Disposal
Keeping the talent pool fresh and current, with constant injection of new ideas is imperative to survivability. Singapore’s key to transformation is rooted in its ability to swiftly identify trends, getting the right people to develop and implement it, and doing it well.
Reduces ‘Gaming’ of the System
It minimizes the opportunity for individuals to ‘game’ the system. There has been much evidence of such – where, upon attaining Permanent Residence, an individual’s commitment to Singapore nosedives. This unfairly deprives another individual who has genuine intentions to commit – a coveted spot.
Singapore Permanent Residence statuses and policies are robust in practice but not necessarily absolute. When an individual’s Permanent Residence status is due for renewal, the Government adopts a very fair assessment for each renewal phase.
It is also common, if the Government assesses that an individual is deemed to show loose commitment to only accord renewal for as little as 6 months ,1 year, and/or 3 years where the Government see fit.
The individual should take this as a sign that the Government is keeping a close eye and will not hesitate to cease future renewals if regarded unnecessary to Singapore’s requirement.
This ensures Singapore’s immigration policies meets its intent of balancing the population and complementing the local and foreign talent pool in a system where the exchange of ideas and skillset continues to drive the economy forward.