Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most family-friendly cities in the world, so there is no doubt why it captures the hearts and minds of so many considering overseas postings with their families.
With a progressive and generous personal tax system, it has long been seen as an opportunistic expat posting with enticing salary packages. The year-round tropical lifestyle, amazing food, reliable public transportation and health system along with a superb standard of schooling attracts families to Singapore in droves.
So enjoyable, many expats choose to become permanent residents in the city-state. The Singapore Permanent Residency (SPR) process has, however, become increasingly more difficult to apply for and be accepted. It is none the less seen as an extremely beneficial step for those expats looking to make the country a more permanent home for all of their family.
Benefits & Obligations of Permanent Residency
There are huge benefits, as well as obligations back to the Singapore Government, in becoming a Permanent Resident, particularly:
- You will receive a “Blue Card” allowing you to live, leave and re-enter the country without having to apply for separate Singapore visas for work and travel.
- You can include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 in your PR application, allowing your children to sit immediately behind citizens on the public school priority waitlist.
- You have the ability as a PR to also apply for your parents and in-laws on long-stay visas.
- As a PR, you can change jobs within the country without having to reapply for a new Singapore Work Permit giving you more control over your career.
- Financially, you can reap the financial and tax benefits of Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF), allowing you and your employer to contribute to your pension fund, securing your longer-term future.
- You can also access a wider range of loan schemes and better your chances of loan approval as a PR.
- In the long term, become eligible for citizenship and entitlement to a Singapore passport and enjoy the same rights as locally born citizens.
With rights also comes obligations and responsibilities that you should be aware of. The major one for family applicants to consider is that male sons from 16.5 years old need to enlist for National Service.
Applications for PR are made through an online portal to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA). This process can be undertaken by individuals on their own, however, using an immigration consultancy service can significantly enhance your prospects of a timely and successful application.
Paul Immigrations Reviews: Why use a professional immigration service for your SPR application?
Using a Singapore immigration consultancy service helps you negate many of the worrisome and overwhelming factors associated with the SPR application process. An experienced and professional service, you can expect your Immigration Specialist (IS) to help you with:
- Gathering the necessary documentation, including any supplementary documents that may help improve your eligibility. Any incomplete documentation may result in an invalid submission being made; a professional PR consultancy service will ensure nothing of importance to your application is left out, and equally any additional documents that may strengthen your case are added in.
- Getting the process and procedures right; not just an administrative step, an immigration consultancy is an important conduit for advice and support throughout the whole process. Down to the nitty-gritty, things like file size and format, and having non-English documents translated and correctly attested really matters.
- Assistance with crafting a professional and personalised cover letter which showcases your strengths and accomplishments. Aside from your qualifications and employment history, a well-written covering letter helps you explain the strengths of yours and your family’s application.
- Remembering everything with the ICA is now automated (there is no face-to-face interview) your covering letter and application need to be carefully and professionally prepared to help you stand out as an excellent candidate.
Whilst absolutely no guarantees can be given of success every time – even if you use a professional consultancy – the time and effort put into each personalised case will ensure your PR application stands the best possible chance of being accepted first time around.
If you do not have a strong case, then the consultancy will assist you on what steps you need to complete to build a stronger case in future.
Paul Immigrations Reviews: The process and timing taken
All cases will commence with a telephone interview to establish your eligibility for PR and your current employment status in Singapore, along with any family members you would be looking to apply with.
You will then meet face to face with an IS to delve further into your position and likelihood of success. Not all applications stand the same chance of success, and a good specialist consultancy can save you a lot of time and heartache at this stage of the process. If they believe there are any factors that may make you or your family members application ineligible, they will flag this at the outset, or work with you to gather the appropriate documents.
There is strength in applying for PR as a family unit, after all the Singaporeans have a huge focus on families being an incredibly family-friendly city-state. Using an immigration consultancy will help in your success of getting not just you but all members of your family simultaneously approved – or providing you with invaluable advice on the best process to suit your situation as every family is slightly different.
The process of gathering all the correct documentation with your immigration specialist and putting together your personalised application to the ICA can take one to two months. It will then take the ICA four to six months to respond whether your application has been successful.
Whilst there’s great benefit in getting your SPR, do not rush the process. Ensure you are holding the right initial visas for you and your family before you start the process and that you are able to put a strong case together.
With peace of mind on your living status, it makes it so much easier to get out and enjoy all the very best of what Singapore has to offer for your family.
This post is part of our Expat Lifestyle Series – pop on over to see all the handy advice we have gathered to help expat families like yours