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What To Do & Why, When a Singapore PR Application is Rejected?

3 min read|Last Updated: July 20, 2022|
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If your Singapore Permanent Residency (PR) application has been rejected, you should re-apply. Re-applying should not be taken lightly because if rejected again, your chances are lower. Not to mention the long waiting time you need to go through again.

Having said that, this article explores why your Singapore PR application is rejected, and what you can do differently like setting up your own business to increase your success rate in re-application.

What to do after PR is rejected

It is best to wait for at least 6 months before you re-apply and use that time to improve your case: get a higher salary, obtain property, get involved in community work or invest in your education.

There’s no limit on how many times you can submit documents for Permanent Residency. Quite a lot of law-abiding and perfectly eligible candidates get rejected every year, so if you don’t get your PR status at the first attempt, don’t give up.

Nationalism on the rise, constricting PR approvals

Many Singaporeans have expressed concern over the number of new citizens accepted into Singapore in 2017 which were slightly more than 22,000, the second highest in the last 11 years.

Especially so now, when economies are suffering from the pandemic, there is strong patriotism to support for local Singaporean talent and businesses. The government is being careful and tightening measures on immigration.

Rejection due to insufficient paperwork

Although the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) does not state any specific criteria related to approval or rejection, there are valid reasons as to why a Singapore PR application may have been rejected.

  • Missing information in online form submission

ICA uses online submission of forms. Once the system detects empty values, the application will be automatically rejected.

  • Mismatch of compulsory documents

For example, the system asks for a degree, but you have provided a professional certification.

Rejection because your case just isn’t compelling enough

Back to basics, ICA evaluates your integration to society, potential contribution and commitment to Singapore through:

  • Career, experience or work pass
  • Education or specialisation
  • Length of stay or local family
  • Age or family profile
  • Investments or economic contribution
  • Others: Local community involvement, tax payment etc

As an EP holder, you would be in a strategic management level position at work, with a tertiary or degree qualification, pay taxes, and maybe you volunteer or are part of a society. What else?

Consider this: You are just 1 out of 177,100 (as of Dec 2020) employment pass holders in Singapore.

To stand out, our best suggestion is to directly invest in the economy and upgrade your work visa to a more “prestigious” EntrePass.

An EntrePass helps you stand out in your re-application

Our suggestion is to upgrade to an EntrePass and invest directly into our economy. An analysis on why EntrePass holders would have higher chances of PR approval:

1. EntrePasses have specific criterion encouraging local investments

To obtain an EntrePass as an investor, you should have substantial local investments and your portfolio is partly tech (to comply with EntrePass requirements), and the rest in other investments.

2. EP holders and EntrePass holders are on different standings

MOM recognises EP and S Passes as part of the foreign workforce in Singapore. On the other hand, EntrePass holders are known as foreign business owners.

Set up a company with your EP to stand out in your reapplication

Owning and running a business of your own in Singapore illustrates a deep desire to establish yourself within the country’s corporate scene.

As a business owner, you move one step away from being part of the general workforce. You directly contribute to local suppliers you use. If you hire local employees, you pay into their central provident funds. If you bring overseas sales, you are growing our foreign direct investments.

Our thoughts

If your PR is already rejected once, do things differently and avoid repeating the same mistakes. Become an active contributor to the economy by running your own business in Singapore and in expansion, you may hire local staff too. If are directly contributing to the salaries of local employees, you have a strong case.


Is PR status the same as Citizenship?2020-06-17T15:15:44+08:00

Although there are similarities between the two, PR status is not the same as citizenship. This is true in both Singapore and other countries alike. 

Can PR status be revoked?2020-06-17T15:15:16+08:00

Despite its title of “permanent resident”, PR status in Singapore may be revoked. It may take place upon the PR holder’s request. The government may also forcibly revoke one’s PR status if the PR has committed certain severe violations. 

Does Everyone who has an Employment Pass automatically have PR status?2020-06-17T15:14:43+08:00

The Employment Pass is merely a work visa. It does not confer PR status upon its holder. Therefore, Employment Pass holders are not automatically PRs of Singapore.

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Join the discussions

  1. LAKSHMI .N.K March 11, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Hi, My husband worked at Singapore for 9 years till 2016 November..He worked at DELL.He completed MCA .He was a P2 holder.We applied for both of us at 2015..My husband applied already 2 times before getting married.And my daughter was born in singapore at 2015.She is SG50 baby.. But unfortunately it get rejected.. Now we are in india and trying job in singapore..Is there any chance?
    really i fell bad and i want to bring up my child in singapore
    I’m waiting for your kind reply…

    • Paul March 14, 2018 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Dear Lakshmi,

      You may consider setting up your own company in Singapore as an option. We have an all-in-one Incorporation with Employment Pass package which encompasses everything you need to get started in Singapore quickly and efficiently. If you would like to explore this option, do drop us an email at and our dedicated Corporate Specialist will get back to you.

      Best Regards,

  2. Haja November 19, 2017 at 7:18 am - Reply

    I am an indian. I am working in singapore post at last 5 yrz. Shall i eligible for apply singapoee PR? Plz give some tips for apply singapore PR.

    • Paul Hype Page November 22, 2017 at 6:47 am - Reply

      Dear Haja,

      You may check MOM’s website for the full list of migration criteria. Your approval would depend on the ICA’s criteria and what they look for in the individual’s application. Hope this helps.

      Best Regards,

  3. Srikanth October 7, 2017 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Hi, pls advice
    I’m a Indian, male, Indian nationality, Hindu
    Holding spass currently, as a planning executive,
    Fixed monthly basic 2700S$
    Expiry date will be 08/01/2018
    For pass 3.8years working in same company without taking any leaves or MC, and only once went back to India in the pass 3.8years.
    I joined in this company on 08/02/2014 to still in same company.
    But my employer had applied worke permit for the first 1year after that upgrade to spass two times.

    Highest ducational qualification: computer science engineering(B.Tech degree)
    One of the Indian university which is recognized by Singapore MOE list of universities

    I completed my degree in apr 2013 and
    Got a opportunity in Singapore to work 20 sep 2013, so my total working experience is only 4years but the 4years experience in Singapore.

    I awarded of some of the two days courses like fire fighter for respond fire accidents, first aider, internal aduter level1 for ohsas QA, and halal foundation course non supervisory level1.

    And I’m just 3months back joined in Singapore Red Cross as youth member/volunteer.

    And my previous employer also from Singapore
    First I joined this company as training employee by holding training employment pass for 4minths.
    Including the 4minths training period,
    I have been staying in Singapore for 4 years.

    One more thing is both of my previous and current employers also very possitive to me and still encouraging me for grow step by step in their companies and settle here.
    The company CEO also ready to give me any kind of letter for me if it will helpful and he advices me
    They want to promote me to another lever land that will help for my PR application in future.

    Pls advice, what are my chances of my PR approval and what should I better to improve in my side.
    My ICA appointmt date will be 11/10/2017.

    Thank you.

    • Paul Hype Page October 9, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

      Dear Srikanth,

      We are unable to advise further as to what your chances are for PR approval as it would depend on the ICA’s criteria and what they look for in the individual’s application. Some applications may take longer to process, so you would need to follow up with the relevant authorities to check the status of your application from time to time.

      Hope this helps.

      Best Regards,

  4. Uma Thevi September 29, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

    HI there, I applied for my PR in Dec 2016. I applied for my whole family, me, my husband and our 2 children. On Aug 2017, i rcv the letter saying our PR application not successful. I am a S Pass holder. My S pass validity is 5 yrs. I am working in Spore for the last 20 yrs. My husband is a work permit holder. Both my kids are studying in Malaysia. Can i reappeal? What is the process for appeal? Can i only apply PR first? Please assist.

    • elise September 29, 2017 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Hi Uma,

      Sorry to hear that. You may try to appeal or attempt to apply for a PR for yourself first. That may help.

      Best Regards,

  5. Lim Cai Tee July 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    My pr application unsuccessful, kindly advise what i need to do

    Pls reply to my email


    • Paul Hype Page July 21, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

      Dear Lim,

      For PR matters, you will need to refer directly to ICA.

      Good Luck,

  6. SUJEETA SHRESTHA July 11, 2017 at 6:06 pm - Reply


    • Paul Hype Page July 21, 2017 at 7:35 am - Reply

      Dear Sujeeta,

      The best option would be through getting employment here and then applying for a PR status after a couple of years. You may check MOM’s website for the full list of migration criteria.

      Do drop us an email at if you need further assistance on securing Employment Passes. Have a great day ahead.


  7. Dewi Kartika November 17, 2015 at 9:21 am - Reply

    I’m an Indonesian Chinese and have been working in Singapore since Jan 2008, I completed my Diploma with 6 High Distinctions and 2 Distinctions and applied my PR for the 4th time on this year 1 Aug, but still being rejected.

    I’m really disappointed and sad, how to appeal for this?

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