How to Apply: PR in Singapore

How to Apply: PR in Singapore

How to Apply: PR in Singapore

It is not uncommon for the ICA to receive in excess of 120,000 Singapore PR applications in a year. Of those, only around 27,500 will be approved, while the rest are rejected. Needless to say, becoming a Singapore permanent resident has become exceedingly more difficult in recent years. PR rejection can be a devastating blow for some people and can make them feel as if it was nothing but wasted effort. However, it is important not to become discouraged; here at SPIC we can help you to become a Singapore PR holder as we are deeply familiar and well versed in all PR formalities and all the forms that are required from a PR applicant.

Obviously, this means that Singapore PR applications that only meet the minimum requirements will almost certainly be rejected. This makes it difficult to understand what you can do to increase your chances of a successful application. Hopefully, this guide can give you peace of mind and encourages you to reach out to our professional service, where we offer support to our clients throughout their Singapore citizenship journey, starting with PR filing.

 

Why apply for Singapore PR status?

Singaporean society boasts a very high standard of living which includes great healthcare, education, political stability, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a free market economy. This means that Singapore is comparatively safe to live in and that it is easy to make good money if you are hard-working. You will also be able to travel around the country without visa restrictions. Furthermore, your children will also enjoy priority government schooling placement.

That being said, one of the main considerations that you need to make when applying for Singapore PR is that male Singapore citizens need to participate in mandatory military service. Although this will not affect your generation, it will apply to any of your sons. This compulsory military service puts many people off of the idea of applying for PR with their families. If you are unsure about what is expected of NS cadets, then check out our blog on National Service so that you can have a better understanding before any final decision is made.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Your eligibility for a Singapore PR application depends on any of the following criteria:

  • You have a Dependent Pass (for immediate family members), Employment Pass, S-Pass Personalized Employment Pass, or EntrePass (entrepreneur pass)
  • You qualify for the Global Investor Program (GIP) as a Foreign Investor. Please note that there are additional requirements for foreign investors related to minimum amounts that have been invested in the Singapore economy.
  • You are in a legal marriage with a Singapore permanent resident or a Singapore citizen.
  • You are a child under the age of 21, unmarried, and you have at least one parent who is a Singapore PR or Singapore citizen, or you have been legally adopted by one or the other.
  • You are an aged parent of a Singapore citizen (in this case, a Singapore PR is not enough)
  • You are an international student who is studying in Singapore (there are special criteria for this)

 

Different PR Application Schemes

If you meet the eligibility criteria, then there are several PR schemes under which you can submit your PR application. The appropriate scheme for you will depend on your profile.

These PR schemes are:

ForArts Scheme – The Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme is reserved for those who have experience in and have high achievements in; art, sports, and other athletics. Remember here that the Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme does not only refer to visual arts but can refer to the arts in general. Adding to Singapore’s arts world can be a great way to get PR because the cultural sector of Singapore is so rich and vibrant.

Sponsored Scheme – This scheme is reserved for the aged parents, spouses, and children of a Singapore permanent resident or Singapore citizen. People are usually sponsored by some who gained PR through the PTS scheme.

Foreign Students Scheme – Foreign students can apply under this scheme if they are studying at an appropriately qualified Singapore institute of higher education. They must have also passed at least one national level examination at the point of their application.

GIP Scheme – International investors and highly experienced businessmen can apply through the Global Investor Program/(GIP) Scheme. There is a major need for individuals applying through the GIP scheme as global investors. Any new business entity that is successful or even an existing business operation is good for the economy, which gives you a good chance at being successful.

PTS Scheme – The Professional, Technical Personnel, and Skilled Workers Scheme (or PTS Scheme) are reserved for individuals, and the dependents of individuals, who have an EntrePass, PEP, E-Pass, or S-Pass. The Skilled Worker Scheme is the more popular scheme of the lot. There are always industries that need technical personnel or other professionals, and all of these can come from the Professional, Technical Personnel, and Skilled Worker Scheme (PTS Scheme).

The majority of people who apply for Singapore PR status apply through the PTS scheme, but it is important that you select the scheme that best fits your circumstances; if more than one of the PR schemes applies to you, then you need to carefully decide which PTS scheme you will be using.

 

Is there a best time to apply for Singapore PR?

There is no single best time to apply for permanent residence in Singapore. What is important is that you apply when you are ready and well prepared. That being said, there are some waiting periods that can enhance your chances of success. For example, you are required to submit six months’ salary slips from your employer in Singapore. Applying before you have these in hand may cost you your application.

Six months, thus, is the minimum period we would suggest that you wait. You need to build up a portfolio of philanthropy and volunteering to strengthen your application, and trying to fit that into the first six months of your stay in Singapore will be overwhelming. It is also important for your volunteering experience not to come across as if it was done solely for the purpose of a PR application.

Another advantage of waiting at least a year before you apply is that you will have at least one year of IRAS assessments. This waiting period can actually be a positive factor as it allows you enough time to gather all the supporting documents and all the formalities that are required for your online submission. If this is a re-application then you will already have some idea of what is expected and just how long it takes to gather everything. Please remember to review filing requirements if you are re-applying as there might have been some changes in the meantime.

 

Should I Hire a Professional Agency for my Singapore PR application?

Consider how many applications are turned down every year. Consider how many of those applicants have applied more than once. Consider how much experience you have with the PR application process and how much experience an agency may have.

When considering these factors, it becomes clear what kind of benefits one might gain from the assistance of an agency. PR application agencies assist with thousands of applications each year and know the system inside out. They know what kind of applications are approved and which are rejected. They understand the platform extremely well and can offer you expert guidance throughout the process so that your information is entered correctly and expertly to give you the best possible chance of success. There are some clear benefits to hiring an agency:

Expert Review of your Profile

First, the agency double checks your eligibility and then does an in-depth review of your profile. Advice is then given on how to improve your chances. They can also advise what the best scheme would be for you to apply under.

An agent can help you to ensure that you have met all of the requirements, and they can double-check your application to make sure that nothing has been missed.

 

Deciding whether to apply for PR status at this time

There are so many factors to consider about the timing of your application. Essentially the timing depends on your profile. So an agent that has an in-depth understanding of your entire profile can advise you on whether it might be better to wait and improve your profile further before applying.

 

Writing the Cover Letter for PR applications

A cover letter can make or break PR applications. It is not a mandatory document, but a well-written cover letter can make it much more likely that your application process will be successful. It helps your application to stand out and gives the officer reviewing your case a look at who you are as a person, which is essential to the success of your application.

 

Supporting Documents are in order

There are many supporting documents that need to be submitted, and it is extremely important that each of these documents is completely correct and that you have them in the correct order. Even the smallest error can have dire consequences in such an application. It is also extremely important that attach all the required documents and not miss any. All your documents also need to be in good condition. These supporting documents online, along with your cover letter, replace the old PR interview, so it is essential that the checkpoints authority can draw a good conclusion about you as a person from these documents with your application form.

Where translation is needed, it is best to have all translations notarized, especially privately created translations. Verification is necessary.

 

Help to Strengthen your Profile

This is particularly helpful if a previous application has been rejected, but it is also helpful for a first-time applicant. An agent knows what the Checkpoints Authority looks for and will be able to advise where you can strengthen your profile to further improve your chances.

It might also be good to apply along with immediate family members as this shows more dedication to spending the future in Singapore and for your children to be Singapore permanent residents. Having multiple family members applying to become Singapore permanent residents can be a great asset to your application.

 

Should you apply with your family?

It is strongly recommended that you apply with your family. The reason for this is that it suggests that you are fully committed to settling down and staying in Singapore. It also shows that the next generation of your family is also dedicated to staying in Singapore.

If you are not applying with your family members, you usually need to supply a letter explaining why you are applying alone. The purpose of being granted PR status is to ensure that future generations of your family will completely integrate with Singapore society with you.

When you apply with your family, remember that young males are subject to compulsory National Service. Any males who were previously Singapore citizens or permanent residents can be called to this National Service.

 

Required Documents

The bulk of your application will involve supporting documents. An incomplete application due to a missing document will result in a rejection, the same for errors in any of these documents.

If you are applying through the Arts Scheme, remember that it is a collaboration between the National Arts Council and the ICA. Singapore’s arts are very important to the government as arts are the continuation of culture. Adding meaningfully to Singapore’s arts is an excellent way to impress the ICA.

Examples of some of the information that is provided in supporting documents:

  • The EP152 form: Singapore employment letter that confirms you are still with the same company.
  • Documents related to your educational and professional history
  • Bank account personal details
  • Performance evaluation reports (from your employer as part of your employment history)
  • Appropriate certificate for higher education background information (sometimes a transcript is also required)
  • High school diploma
  • Explanatory notes

This is not a comprehensive list, but it should give you a good idea of the kind of documents you will need for your application. More details on these documents are to follow.

 

Documents Required for PTS Scheme Applications

A copy of your passport is required. Specifically, the page that has your personal particulars. Remember that this passport must remain valid until you receive feedback on your Singapore permanent residence application, which is at least six months.

If your country issues one, you need to submit a copy of your National ID Card. If your name is different now than it was earlier, you should also include a change of name certificate.

Your application should include copies of all your Valid Passes. For example, your S-Pass, Short Term Visit Pass, Student’s Pass, Long Term Visit Pass, Personalized Employment Pass, Employment Pass, Entrepreneur Pass, or Dependant’s Pass.

You should also include a copy of your birth certificate, including an official household census or family register.

If you are married, you should also include a copy of your Marriage Certificate, especially if you are also applying for children and a spouse.

You will need to provide any and all of your tertiary-level Educational Qualifications. This will include vocational trade certificates and professional licenses.

A Singapore permanent residence application also needs to be accompanied by six-months payslips. These payslips must include a breakdown of any allowances that you are granted during your employment, your overtime, and your basic salary.

You must also include a consent form for the ICA to use your IRAS data to verify your payslips. This includes the annexure 4A form.

Lastly, your Current Employment Paperwork should be included. This includes a letter from your current employer that confirms that you are employed there and what position you hold, as well as the date of your employment.

 

If a Spouse is Applying with you

They should supply the following copies:

  • National ID
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Birth Certificate
  • Educational Certificates
  • Passport
  • Employment Pass/Dependent’s Pass

If a Child is Applying with you

For a child, you should provide the following copies on their behalf:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Dependent’s Pass
  • Passport
  • National ID Card

 

What to do about non-standard cases

If you need to submit an application for a child born to a previous marriage, then you will need to submit both a marriage license and divorce certificate/death certificate of the previous spouse.

If you need to apply for an illegitimate child, you need to provide an affidavit from the embassy of your home country.

 

Steps to take before starting the application process

It is always best to prepare thoroughly before starting the process. Having everything ready in advance will reduce stress levels and decrease the risk of missing something or making mistakes. There are also only seven days in which you can submit your completed application once you start the process. If you fail to complete it at this time, the incomplete application is automatically submitted and will result in a rejection, which delays your application by six months. Ensure that all of the information you are supplying to Singapore authorities is up to date.

Compile all of your documents

Keep these documents sorted and handy. If they are already digital, ensure that they are named clearly and accurately. Keep them together, and preferably in the order in which they need to be submitted.

Check for Mistakes

Double-check your documents and make sure that all of the information in those documents is accurate. This includes name mismatches. If you find errors, urgent steps need to be taken to fix these mistakes if possible.

Possession of Original Documents

Although you submit copies of the documents for your application, you should still have the originals with you. Should your PR status application be approved, you need to present the original documents to the immigration office.

Quality of Document Scans

Your scans must be of good quality. The copy needs to be clear and readable. If any detail, no matter how small, is not legible, it can negatively affect your application outcome.

 

Step by step instructions on completing the online form

There are five discernable steps to the online filing process:

  • Log-in to the e-PR system. Download the form in PDF version and complete it offline. Once you download the form, you have begun the process and have seven days in which to finish it.
  • Complete the form. It is not necessary for you to print the form; you can fill it in on your PC on the PDF document. Ensure that whatever you enter is correct.
  • Attach your documents in the correct format before you submit them. This means that you need to make sure that your photo is JPG and your files are PDF. Also, remember that the maximum size for documents is 2MB.
  • There will be some declarations that you need to tick before the process is complete.
  • The final step is to pay the prescription fee. After a few days have passed, you should be able to check your application status online.

 

Mistakes to Avoid when Applying for Singapore PR

These mistakes often result in rejection of a Singapore PR application, so avoid them if possible:

  • Do not apply too early. Strengthen your application and build it up as much as possible before submitting it.
  • Insufficient social contributions. Your social contributions must come across as sincere and must be extensive in order to stand out.
  • Submitting only the minimum for PR requirements. Build up your portfolio as much as possible before submitting it.
  • Submitting too many documents. This inundates the agents reviewing your case with documents that they do not necessarily need to see and adds to their workload. Irrelevant documentation can have an adverse effect on the outcome of your Singapore PR application.
  • Omitting a cover letter. Cover letters are not obligatory, but they definitely add value to your application and helps it to stand out.

 

What Guides Authorities in Deciding the Outcome of your Singapore PR Application?

Remember that the ICA does not provide feedback on why an application is rejected. There are believed to be around 25 factors that can result in a rejection. We will not be discussing all of these in detail, but we will provide some discussion on the four main categories in which these factors can be divided.

Personal

All Singapore PRs must prove that they are making a positive contribution to Singapore society. If there is something lacking in the personal contributions area of your application, then your application can be unsuccessful.

Family

People applying for permanent residence tend to have better success when they apply with their family members. If something about the family situation is not ideal, then you might not be granted PR status. A PR aged parent can help a student in Singapore apply for PR, but for the government to grant PR status to an aged parent, the child that they are being sponsored by must have Singapore citizenship.

Financial

Whether you are working on an Employment pass or you are Singapore foreign investor with an existing business operation, you must add meaningfully to the economy. You can even apply for permanent residency through the Singapore Economic Development Board. But a major part of your Singapore PR application form will revolve around your financial situation. If there are issues with your finances, then you will not be granted PR in Singapore until it is resolved or has improved.

Other

There can also be other issues that result in the rejection of your permanent residency application. Immediate or future applications will need to be perfect, so it is essential that you get to the bottom of what was lacking in your application so that you have a better chance with reapplication.

 

What do Immigration Authorities Assess in your Singapore PR Application?

Generally speaking, they assess the following:

  • Your commitment to Singapore
  • Your capability – are you skilled, well educated, and an otherwise good fit for Singapore society.
  • Will the next generation of your family also settle in Singapore? Remember that male children will have to participate in the Singaporean military.
  • Will you be staying here permanently?

 

How do I report changes to my portfolio after I have already submitted?

Remember that the PR application takes several months to process, usually up to six months. Common changes to a profile can be:

  • Job change
  • Salary change
  • Promotion
  • Passing an Exam
  • Winning an Award

Should such a change to your portfolio occur, you should contact the ICA to update them with these changes. These changes need to be reported in writing.

 

What to do when PR status has been approved

When your Singapore PR status has been approved, it is not the end of the road. You will still need to complete some steps following approval before the process is complete.

Getting results very quickly is most often a bad sign. Successful applications can take up to nine months to process, so receiving word within two or three months almost always means rejection. If your application is approved, you will probably receive a thick envelope containing all the other documents that need to be completed.

Basically, there are two extremely important things to do when your application has been approved:

Medical Tests

This check-up ordinarily involves things like an HIV blood test and a chest x-ray. There is usually a formal medical report template included in the approval letter that the doctors who perform your tests can use to report their findings.

Formalities at the ICA Offices

You need to visit the ICA offices within two months of receiving your approval letter. To arrange the visit, you must make an appointment. In the approval letter, there is a list of documents that you have to present at the ICA offices during the visit. There is also biometrics to complete, like fingerprints, and there are some documents to physically sign.

These documents that you will need to bring in are:

  • All travel documents for you and the rest of your family who applied
  • Your Employment Pass and all of the Passes applicable to your family.
  • Your approval letter.
  • Supporting documents like birth certificates, educational qualifications, and any other applicable documents.
  • Two passport-size photos of you and all of your family members who applied.
  • You and your family’s EP cards so that they can be collected and cancelled.
  • Form EP 152, which is a form that your employer needs to complete. It will confirm that you are still working for the same company that is listed on your application form.

Take note that there will be payments that need to be made for the entry permit, a re-entry permit, and an identity card registration per family member.

It is also important to notify your employer of such significant changes as a successful application. They will need a copy of your approval letter, travel documents, NRIC, etc. to update HR records. This should form part of your PR formalities.

 

Documents you will receive when your Singapore permanent residence application was successful

The final step of the journey is receiving the following documents:

  • Each new PR will receive a temporary card that confirms their new PR status.
  • Each new PR will receive a PR certificate.
  • Each new PR will receive a re-entry permit stamp in their passport. This indicates that there is no need for a visa when travelling back to Singapore. The re-entry permit enables you to travel around Singapore visa-free.

Once it is ready, you will schedule another appointment to collect your National Registration Identity Card (NRIC).

 

Specific things you need to do once you have been granted Singapore PR

Once you are a Singapore permanent resident, you will need to do the following:

  • Update your personal information on all of your bank accounts.
  • Inform your employer that your Singapore PR application process was successful. You also submit a copy of your NRIC to your employer so that they can begin to contribute to your CPF account.
  • You should also inform any other organization where you have membership as their records will need to be updated.

 

Options to Consider if Singapore PR status is rejected

In the event that you did not obtain Singapore permanent residence, there are two options that you can consider. You can file an appeal, or you can reapply after six months. We discuss the appeals process in detail in another article on this website, so if you are considering an appeal, then check out that article.

If you do not want to risk an appeal and would rather reapply, then you should immediately begin to consider how you can improve your chances of being successful in your next attempt in applying for Singapore permanent residency. The more improvement you show in the six month waiting period, the higher your chances of success on reapplication.

 

Reapplication Process

Generally speaking, it is always recommended to reapply as opposed to appealing. Following the reapplication process gives you enough time to improve your Singapore permanent residence application and update your profile. Things like getting a promotion and putting in more volunteer hours can improve your chances on your next application, and an added bonus is that you would have been in Singapore for longer on your reapplication.

 

Conclusion

While the Singapore government has become more strict on its criteria for Singapore permanent residency, there is still hope for applicants. It is a good idea to hire an agency like SPIC to help you through the application so that you can ensure your best possible chance at a successful PR application. Before applying, you should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a Singapore PR. If you decide that Singapore PR is for you, then applying with the rest of your family is a good place to start, as it shows dedication to making Singapore your permanent home.

Once you have your PR status, remember that there are things that can happen that can result in losing one’s PR status, so it is important to maintain your good standing within the country even if you are successful. Contact SPIC today for a free consultation. We use your free consultation to discuss your goals and your plan; then, we see how and where we can help you along the way.

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