Benefits of Singapore PR

Benefits of Singapore PR

Singapore is an exciting prospect for immigrants. It has a thriving economy, phenomenal education system, very good diplomatic relations with most countries which makes a Singapore passport a valued document that works in conjunction with further immigration stability.

While there are some drawbacks to becoming a Singapore PR, there are many benefits. Permanent residents have most of the rights that people with Singapore citizenship do. They have more immigration stability, as there is no need to keep applying for visas, and they can change careers without having to reapply for work permits.

They also have increased access to loans for business purposes, especially if they want to start their own business. Lastly, Singapore PR status is one step closer to becoming a Singapore citizen.

 

Key Benefits

The main purpose of this article is to focus on the benefits, but we will be discussing other aspects later on. While the benefits of Singapore permanent residency are clear, we must reiterate that it is not the same as citizenship. Being a fully-fledged Singapore citizen has far more benefits.

 

The First Step towards citizenship and no need for further work permits

That being said, permanent residency is the first step toward citizenship. Individuals cannot apply to become Singapore citizens unless they have been permanent residents for a while. Once they are a Singapore permanent resident, they no longer need to keep reapplying for work permits. A work permit often ties you to a specific employer, and should you want to change careers, you need to apply for a new work permit.

 

Increased travel freedom

Furthermore, as a permanent resident in Singapore, you can travel in and out of Singapore without the need for a visa. Once you become a Singapore permanent resident, you will receive a valid re-entry permit in your passport which will make this possible. Obtaining visas can be costly in the long run, so this re-entry pass can save a PR in Singapore a lot of money in the long run.

 

Retirement

Speaking of visas, Singapore permanent residents can retire in Singapore, where other immigrants cannot. There is no retirement visa for immigrants. Only Singapore citizens or permanent residents can retire within Singapore.

 

Real estate purchases

Before they retire, however, they will need to invest in some property. Being a Singapore permanent resident makes that possible. They pay a lower stamp duty fee on real estate purchases. In fact, they will only pay half the stamp duty compared to a foreigner.

They also pay lower taxes on their real estate. Permanent residents are also eligible to purchase resale public housing and development board leases, which other immigrants cannot do.

 

Sponsorships and LTVP

Once you become a Singapore permanent resident, your dependents and spouse will have access to a Long Term Visit Pass, and to an extent, you can help by sponsoring family members. However, there are strict rules related to this, but it is an option for some people with permanent resident status.

 

Limited Benefits

While there are still restrictions on the following, you will enjoy limited benefits over other immigrants.

 

School placement and childcare

Families with residential status will enjoy some preference over other immigrants for the placement of their children in Singaporean public schools. A PR in Singapore will also pay lower school fees for their children than parents of foreign children will. Additionally, there is some subsidisation on childcare centers for families with PR status.

 

Medical Care

A permanent resident furthermore will receive some subsidisation on medical services. Medical services in Singapore are some of the best in all of Asia, which makes this a very attractive benefit.

 

Obligations and Responsibilities

While you have many clear benefits as a Singapore permanent resident, you will also have added obligations and responsibilities that you will not have as a foreigner.

 

Mandatory national savings program on taxable income

Firstly, you will need to become part of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme. While this is technically a benefit and adds greatly to your retirement opportunities and family protection in the future. Many people, however, do not necessarily like the fact that contribution to the Central Provident Fund is compulsory. However, even with lower taxable income, the savings can be pretty substantial.

 

Lawful behaviour and contribution to society

You should also be very careful and always obey the law in Singapore, as criminal activity will result in the loss of your PR status. Hand in hand with this, maintaining good standing in the community. You need to show that you are adding a positive element to your community and want to make a meaningful contribution to Singapore.

 

Compulsory Military service

Lastly, you must be aware that if you are a PR in Singapore, your young sons will be subject to compulsory National Service from the age of 16 and a half years. At the age of 18, they will need to complete two years as full-time servicemen. After that is complete, they will have to maintain 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service yearly until the age of 40 for lower ranks or 50 for officers.

 

Restrictions

Finally, we will take a quick look at some of the restrictions that are still in place for those with permanent residence compared to naturalised citizens.

 

Long term travel and voting rights

Singapore permanent residents cannot vote. This is reserved only for citizens. It is also strongly advised that you not stay outside of Singapore in countries overseas for very long if you have permanent residency in Singapore.

If your re-entry permit lapses while you are outside of Singapore, your permanent resident (PR) status is immediately and permanently revoked.

 

Withdrawal restrictions of CPF

If you want to leave Singapore for another country, you can only withdraw your CPF savings as a lump sum once you have denounced your permanent residency in Singapore.

 

Dual citizenship

As a permanent resident or even a citizen of Singapore, you are not allowed dual citizenship with another country. This means that any and all other citizenship must be renounced before you receive your final status as a permanent resident (PR).

 

Limits to benefits

In comparison to Singapore citizenship, a permanent resident only has limited benefits with housing loans and public health services.

 

Additional Benefits

While there are some obvious benefits, there are also benefits that are somewhat hidden and might not be as clear from the start. Someone with permanent residency in Singapore will find employment easier than foreign workers. Even an employment pass holder can create difficulty for many local companies due to the employment pass and work permit costs.

While individuals with a personalised employment pass have great job opportunities in the country, and a current employment pass holder can apply for permanent residence through the skilled workers scheme, someone who has already been granted PR status has a better chance of getting a job. Singapore companies would rather hire someone with permanent residency status than hiring foreigners because they end up saving money that way.

Permanent residents can also access some government grants to start their own business ventures, in addition to business loans. Furthermore, while there are some restrictions to access, a person with permanent residence is subject to far fewer rules than a foreigner.

Singapore highly values an efficient workforce, so make sure that you can add meaningfully to the workforce and your local community.

 

In Conclusion

A successful PR application is the ultimate goal for most people who live and work in Singapore as foreigners. A PR status opens so many doors, but less than half of yearly applicants will be successful in their first PR application.

The minimum processing time for these applications is pretty long, but access to a Singapore passport is often worth the trouble of the application process.

When considering an application, remember that a PR pays lower tax rates, has better access to medical and national centers for their medical and mental healthcare, along with all other benefits; these two alone will save you so much money.

The permanent residency will already give you a lot of benefits, but many Singapore PRs still go on to apply for citizenship. A citizen pays even less for essential services than a PR does.

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