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Getting a Singapore Passport: How To Apply For One?

6 min read|Last Updated: July 18, 2022|
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According to the Global Passport Power Rank for 2021, which is a set of rankings issued by The Passport Index intended to measure the amount of mobility granted by a particular country’s passport, a Singapore passport ranks 2nd place, with access to 192 destinations without a prior visa. This make a Singapore passport second only to Japan of 193 destinations, making it more powerful than the likes of Economic powerhouses like Germany, South Korea and even USA.

Why Singapore Is a Desirable Destination

There are several reasons why people from all over the world choose to work and live in Singapore, with some even getting a Singaporean passport or becoming a permanent resident or citizen of the country. One important reason is the fact that government of Singapore has gone to great lengths to attract a talent pool that can contribute to the growth of its economy.

The government is keen on encouraging foreigners to make a home in Singapore by increasing the incentives and benefits available for its citizens and others living there. The government understands that foreign talents are a valuable resource in Singapore, so it does all it can to ensure that all their needs and wants are fulfilled as fully as possible.

Another factor that draws foreigners to Singapore is the country’s high level of development. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Index, Singapore has a development score of 0.938 in 2021. This ranks it eleventh in the world and second in Asia, only behind Hong Kong. This same index also shows that Singapore is one of the 66 countries in the world which has attained the coveted status of “Very High Human Development”, of a score between 0.8 – 1.0.

Aside from that, many foreigners are interested in moving to Singapore because of the country’s high level of connectivity to the rest of the world. Singapore Changi Airport is the world’s best Airport for eight consecutive years and provides flights to many cities all over the world.

For regional travel, Singapore has rail and road links to Malaysia, its northern neighbour. There are also ferries which connect Singapore to various ferry terminals in Malaysia and Indonesia. As one of the world’s smallest countries, it is important for Singapore to stay connected to the rest of the world.

With all of these factors working in Singapore’s favour, it is little wonder that many foreigners have intentions of not only living and working in Singapore, but also obtaining a passport from there.

Advantages of Owning a Singapore Passport

In this article, we go through why being a resident in Singapore is tax beneficial for you:

  • Asset protection
  • Remove worldwide tax liability (foreign sourced income not taxable in Singapore)
  • Avoid inheritance tax
  • No capital gains tax

Lower concerns for Security and Safety:

Singapore passports also have a high level of both security and convenience. This is because they are biometric passports. A biometric passport is one which contains an electronic chip filled with its holder’s biometric information. This information is then used to verify the identity of the passport holder.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) was one of the world’s first immigration authorities to introduce a biometric passport to integrate world-class standards, combat the forgery of passports, and defend the country against terrorist activity. Singapore biometric passports, also known as BioPasses, were launched in 2006. Since then, BioPasses have proven to be highly successful.

Laws Regarding Singapore Passports

It should go without saying that there are several laws regarding Singapore passports which must be followed. The primary law that governs all actions related to such passports is the Passports Act. It contains information on everything the passport holder needs to know about the passport. The legal information in the Act is related to areas such as:

  • Passport application
  • Issuance
  • Validity
  • Refusal of passport
  • Passport-related offenses
  • Other regulations

Singapore Passports and Citizenship

As is the case in any other country, owning a Singapore passport is closely linked to being a citizen of the country. In Singapore, only citizens may apply for a passport. Although the process of becoming a Singaporean citizen can be complex, receiving the passport will certainly make it worthwhile.

However, before a person can become a citizen of Singapore, the person must first apply to become a permanent resident (PR). To become a Singapore PR, the applicant must be one of the following:

  1. An aged parent of a Singaporean citizen
  2. An Employment Pass (EP), Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), EntrePass, or S Pass holder; or
  3. A spouse or unmarried child (below 21 years of age) of a Singaporean PR or citizen.

There are also three schemes through which one can apply for PR status: the Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) scheme, the Global Investor Program (GIP) scheme, and the Foreign Artistic Talent (ForArts) scheme.

Those eligible for the PTS scheme must be working in Singapore, holding an EP, and earning a minimum of S$2,000 per month. Those eligible for the GIP scheme must have a minimum of three years of business or entrepreneurial experience and at least S$2.5 million to be invested. They must also submit their company’s last three years of audited financial statements.

Those who qualify under the ForArts scheme must be able to supply evidence of significant achievements within their artistic field while also proving how they will be able to contribute to Singapore’s current artistic and cultural scene.

After collecting the necessary supporting documents and submitting the application form to the ICA, the processing time is usually between four and six months before they get the outcome of the application. If the application is approved, the applicant must then schedule an appointment at an ICA office to receive identity cards and entry permits.

Then, after spending at least two years as a PR, assuming the applicant is at least 21 years old and legally employed in Singapore, the applicant may then proceed to apply for citizenship. If certain other criteria are fulfilled, one may also choose to apply for citizenship by descent.

Singapore citizenship applications may be made on the ICA’s website. We at Paul Hype Page & Co are able to help you in your application process and will be able to answer any queries you may have for a passport application.

Conclusion

The evidence in favor of receiving a Singapore passport is extremely clear. As one of the world’s most powerful passports, a Singapore passport confers many privileges upon its holder. Although the process of receiving such a passport is long and complex, the reward of the passport is certainly worth the effort. As long as everything is done in the proper manner, there should be little to no trouble for one to join the ranks of Singapore’s many passport holders.

FAQs

Can anyone of any nationality become a Singapore PR?2020-07-02T10:58:41+08:00

The Singaporean government does not place PR-related restrictions upon any nationality. Thus, any person of any nationality who fulfills the necessary criteria may become a permanent resident of Singapore.

Is a Singapore PR also a citizen of Singapore?2020-07-02T10:58:09+08:00

Although PR status and citizenship have certain similarities, they are not the same. A PR of Singapore is not a citizen of Singapore. However, if certain criteria are fulfilled, a Singapore PR may apply for citizenship of Singapore.

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