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Singapore Permanent Resident

This is a step-by-step guide for Singapore Permanent Resident Application filing for individuals holding an Employment Pass or Entrepreneur Pass. Specifically, the scheme is known as Professionals/Technical Personnel & Skilled Worker Scheme (or simply as PTS scheme). Among the available PR schemes, more than 90% families gain Singapore PR through the PTS scheme.

Foreigner Seeking Relocation to Singapore

Recommended Solution to apply PR through setting up a Singapore Business

If you are a foreign individual interested to obtain a PR in Singapore, we will recommend that you start with incorporating of a Singapore Company with Employment pass.

Click here for more information with step by step details about setting up a Singapore Company with Employment Pass.

Recommended Solution to apply PR through Property Investment

Solution to apply PR through Property Investment

Step 1: Decide when to apply for PR

The first question that typically comes to the mind of majority of the work pass holders: when can I apply for mySingapore PR?
Theoretically, you can apply for Singapore permanent residence the day you start working in the country as an EP holder. However, one of the requirements is to provide salary slips that go back six months from your Singapore employer which means you should wait for at least six months.
In practical terms, how soon you can apply for PR status also depends on the type of work pass you are holding and the unofficial annual quota set by the government. If you are holding a P1 pass, your chances of approval are high if you apply after 1 year. If you are holding a P2 pass, you are likely to have a good chance if you apply after 2 years. If on the other hand, you are holding a Q or S pass, it is recommended that you apply after 3 years to have a decent chance of approval.

Step 2: Think About Your Chances of Approval

Besides the type of work pass you hold and how soon you apply for PR, there are few other factors that are taken into consideration by authorities when deciding on your PR application.

They include:

1.    Your education background. Singapore authorities give a lot of importance to your degree and the institute where you graduated from.

2.    Your physical stay in Singapore. The lesser your physical stay in Singapore, the lesser the authorities will be convinced that you plan to reside in Singapore permanently.

3.    Your employment background and the stability of your job

4.    Credentials of your employer (the more established the company, the better)

5.    Your salary and financial well-being

6.    Your character (such as whether or not you are a law abiding citizen)

7.    Your family ties in Singapore. If you have family ties, it’s considered a positive factor.

8.    Your charitable contributions to society such as volunteering, donations, etc.

Step 3: Decide on PR filing for your children

If you are married and have children, one of the important decisions you have to make is whether you want to apply for PR for your male children.

As per Singapore laws, the main applicant (i.e. you) who is granted Singapore PR under the first generation PTS scheme is exempted from national service. However, all healthy male children that are granted PR status through their parents must register for national military service when they reach the age of 16 and a half. They will be required to serve 2 years of full-time National Service followed by 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service per year until the age of 50 (for officers) or 40 years (for other ranks).
Different parents look at the National Service requirement differently. Some of them don’t mind it with the thinking that the child will be stronger and more mature after the two year service. Others are horrified at the thought of having their child go through any kind of military service.

Step 4: Download documents and review filing requirements

Once your eligibility is established and you have decided to proceed with PR application filing, the next step is to obtain the PR application forms and review submission requirements.

Form 4A document consists of two parts: PR Application Form and Annex A. The first part (PR Application Form) is to be completed by you. It asks for your and your family’s details, covering basic information as well as educational and professional history. The second part (Annex A) is for your employer, who must explain the nature of their business, though your employer is not considered to be sponsoring your application. Later sections of this report will provide guidelines on completing the form 4A.
The second document titled Form EP4 contains explanatory notes on Form 4A and this is the document you need to pay attention to first.

Step 5: Prepare supporting documents

The first order of business after you have downloaded and read the necessary documents is to get the supporting documents ready. The list of supporting documents required is provided in the Form EP4. Here are some additional helpful guidelines that should be taken into account:

1.    For each supporting document, make a copy and keep the original handy as well. At the time of submitting the PR application at ICA office, you will be required to show the original for verification. The originals will be returned to you immediately after sighting and the copies will be retained by the ICA officer.

2.    If you have any document that’s not in English, you must produce an official English translation of the document. The safest approach is to get it translated and stamped through your embassy. Make sure to take originals and copies of both non-English and English translated versions of the document for your visit to ICA office.

3.    Previous employment appointment letters, performance evaluation reports, recommendation letters are also useful. Contact your previous employer(s) if necessary.

4.    If you have purchased a property in Singapore

Step 6: Completing the PR application form

If you are married and have children, one of the important decisions you have to make is whether you want to apply for PR for your male children.
The PR application form is not a complicated application to complete and with the helpful guidelines listed below, it should be even easier:
List your education and employment history in a chronological order.
In the education listing section, list your high-school diploma and above. You do not need to list educational details below high school diploma.
If you cannot produce an appropriate certificate for a degree or diploma education that you have completed, don’t list it. Otherwise, it might create unnecessary delays where authorities might send you a letter saying that you need to produce the necessary document for verification purpose in order to further process your application.
The details of your spouse and children would also be listed in the same PR application form. Even if you are not applying for PR for any of your family members (spouse or children), you still need to provide their details in the application.

Step 7: Singapore PR application filing & Submission

Although the form states that it will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete, in reality, you will probably end up taking few hours in completing the PR application form.

Once you have a) completed the PR application form; b) received the completed Annex A back from your employer; and c) prepared the supporting documents, it’s time to submit your PR application to Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) of Singapore.
As mentioned previously, make sure you take originals with you for verification purposes. The application has to be submitted in person. You cannot just mail it to ICA office. The purpose of asking you to submit documents in person is to a) verify copies of supporting documents against the originals; b) ensure the PR application is complete and that you have submitted all the necessary documents.
Don’t worry; it’s not some tough interview where you will be asked hard questions, rather, it’s just a simple procedure of submitting your PR application along with the necessary documents to ICA. The officer will check your application for completeness and double-check that you are submitting the necessary supporting documents. The officer will also verify the copies against the originals.
Before you leave, check to make sure you have all the originals back in your possession.

Step 8: Wait for results

Once you have submitted your PR application, the most anxious time starts i.e. waiting for the application outcome. The more you think about it, the more restless you will get and it will make no difference to the outcome. So sit back and relax.
It will take approximately 3-6 months before you receive a letter from ICA notifying you about the outcome of your PR application. If however, you did not receive the letter and would like to know the status, you can call ICA and they will inform you of the current status of your PR application. Most of the time, you will end up hearing “it’s under processing”, unless it has been approved or rejected. You will not be provided with any other explanations or reasons. In reality the operator answering your phone probably does not know the details anyway; all he/she (usually it’s a she!) can see on the computer is just the status of the application.

Step 9: Upon Approval

Once you receive your approval letter (congratulations!), you need to make one more visit to ICA office within 30 days of receiving your approval letter, to complete the Singapore Permanent Residence formalities. Typically, you will need to bring the following documents (the specific list of documents to be submitted will be mentioned in your approval letter) with you:

  • The approval letter
  • Results of medical check-up. Authorities will require a medical-check report for you and your spouse. The list of tests to be done will be listed in the approval letter.
  • Passport-size photos for each of the applicants.
  • Your EP and DP passes. They will be taken from you and replaced with PR cards.
  • Travel documents for each of the applicants.

You will visit the same place (i.e. 5th floor) and follow the same queue procedure at the ICA office to complete your PR formalities. The officer will collect all your documents from you and finish the necessary formalities (signing, fingerprinting, etc.). At the end of this, you will be handed over the following items:

·         PR identity card for you and your spouse. This is the card that you will often be required to produce (e.g. when applying for mobile phone, bank account, etc.) in Singapore as a proof that you are a Singapore PR holder. Children don’t get a PR card until they turn 15.

  • Each PR applicant will get a PR certificate (mostly for safekeeping, you won’t really use it anywhere)
  • Each PR applicant will get a re-entry permit stamp in the passport. The re-entry permit enables you to get in and out of Singapore visa free.

The re-entry permit is typically issued for five years at a time and is renewable thereafter. If you plan to leave Singapore, make sure that your re-entry permit is valid until your return.

Once you have completed the above PR formalities, you are a full-fledged Singapore permanent resident. With your new status, you can enjoy many of the benefits given to full citizens, including the freedom to live and work in Singapore without visa restrictions, priority government schooling for your children and compulsory participation in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Scheme, which grows your pension fund. Don’t forget to:

  • Inform your employer of your new PR status. Your employer will require a copy of your PR card to update HR records and will also need to start making contributions to your CPF fund.
  • Inform banks so they can update your bank account personal details.

Step 10: Handling PR Rejection

Although receiving a PR rejection letter can be a very disheartening experience at first, remember that it’s not end of the world or the end of your pursuit to obtain permanent residence in Singapore. There are no restrictions on how many times you can apply for Singapore PR. However, practically, you should wait at least 6 months before re-submitting your PR application.


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