Singapore is almost the dream place for many to live, work and explores different places with their family. Singapore is one of the top listed destinations for international migrants for those wishing to migrate to other parts of the world. Singapore has a strong economy, low cost of living, high quality of life, natural beauty and tourist attractions are yet another reason it looks attractive to many people to migrate to Singapore, some migrate for work, and others migrate to reunite with their families. Many people are becoming Singapore permanent residents every year, but not everyone go through the same application process. Some of them move here on long-term visit visas while others seek permanent residency. There are many ways people from these countries migrate to Singapore. This depends largely on why they want to move here.
Singapore has always an open-door policy towards migrants. In fact, the number of immigrants in this country has been increasing for many years.
Why Migrate to Singapore
Singapore offers world-class education and work opportunities in many ways. The country has a strong economy and found highest paid people in the world. There is no one particular reason why people like to migrate to Singapore. Coupled with a low cost of living lets Singaporeans enjoy a high standard of living. There are various other reasons to migrate to Singapore beside work is that people migrate to reunite with their families. Some of them move here on long-term visit visas while others look for permanent residency.
The Process of Migrating to Singapore
Most of Singapore’s migrant population comes from nearby countries. There are many ways people from these countries migrate to Singapore. This depends largely on why they want to move here.
- Migrating for Work
- Permanent Residency (PR)
- PTS Scheme
- Global Investor Program
- Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme
- Migrating for Work
Professional can choose between three different types of work visas to migrate to Singapore.
Entrepreneur Pass is referred and intended for foreign entrepreneurs who want to migrate to Singapore and engage into new business activities in the country. This Pass is valid for a period of 1 year and may be renewed further.
Dependents can be taken to Singapore only after the pass has been renewed once. Thus, no dependents can be taken to Singapore in the first year. No duties or measures are applicable for an Entrepreneur Pass.
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for an Entrepreneur Pass:
- Must be at least 21 years old.
- Must have the admissible education and experience.
- Must own at least 30% of the new deal.
- Business must be able to provide local employment.
- Individual’s business must be certified with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or businessman must have a plan to register it for receiving the Entrepreneur Pass.
- New business must meet one of the below 4 criteria-
- Funded by an accredited VC
- Work in collaboration with a premier research institution
- Work with a government-supported incubator
- Must have proprietary intellectual property
A highly qualified professional is needed for an Employment Pass (EP) to migrate to Singapore. The company which is looking for employ then the individual with matching profile can apply for this. It is valid for up to 2 years as long as the same company employs the individual. If the individual switches jobs, the new company will have to reapply for an EP. An EP can be renewed for up to 3 years.
No duties or measures are applicable for EPs. Migrants earning more than $4000 per month may bring their spouse and dependent children to Singapore. Migrants earning more than $8000 per month may also bring their parents to Singapore.
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for an EP:
- First-time employee must be paid a minimum salary of $3,300 per month.
- Individual must have the educational qualifications necessary for the position.
- Minimum salary may increase based on the applicant’s experience.
- Individual must have relevant experience.
Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)
This is a kind of special visa which is reserved for high-earning professionals who want to migrate to Singapore and Employment Pass (EP) holders. The PEP gives the individual resilience in terms of shifting jobs as it is not correlated with any one particular employer. The visa is typically valid for 3 years and also allows the individual to stay in Singapore for up to 6 months without a job. This visa cannot be renewed. No duties or measures are applicable for the PEP. The applicant may bring his spouse, children and parents to Singapore as dependents
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for PEP:
- If the applicant is alien professional, he or she must have a minimum salary of $18,000 per month.
- If the applicant holds a valid EP, he or she must have a minimum salary of $12,000 per month.
This visa is designed to be used by lesser qualified workers wanting to migrate to Singapore. The S Pass allows mid-level skilled staff to work in Singapore. Candidates must earn at least $2,500 a month and have the applicable qualifications and work experience. The company looking for employ the individual must apply for this visa. The S Pass is valid for a period of 2 years and may be renewed for another 3 years as long as the applicant is still employed by the same company. If the applicant earns more than $4,000 per month, the applicant’s spouse and children may also migrate to Singapore.
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for an S Pass:
- Applicant must earn a monthly salary of at least $2,200
- Company sponsoring the candidate must give health insurance
Moving to Reunite with Family
Migrants holding EP, PEP or S Pass may bring their legal spouse and dependent children to Singapore with a Dependent Pass. Stepchildren, a common law spouse and disabled children over the age of 21 years may migrate to Singapore with a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP).
The company that sponsored the EP, PEP or S Pass visa for the applicant wishing to bring his or her dependents must apply for this. It is valid for up to 2 years subject to the validity of the EP, PEP or S Pass visa correlated with it. It may be renewed further. No duties or measures are applicable for a dependent pass.
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for a Dependent Pass:
- Applicant must earn at least$4,000 per month
- He or she must have a legal marriage certificate for the spouse
- As dependent children are allowed as long as they are below the age of 21 years.
Long Term Visit Pass
This pass is for an applicant who wants his or her common-law spouse, stepchildren and parents to migrate to Singapore. The company sponsored the EP, PEP or S Pass visa for the applicant wishing to bring their dependents must apply for this. It is valid as long as the EP, PEP or S Pass visa correlated with it. No duties or measures are applicable for a dependent pass.
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for a Long Term Visit Pass:
- Applicant must earn at least$4,000 per month to bring their spouse and children
- Applicant must earn at least$8,000 per month to bring their parents
Dependent’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass for Entrepreneur Pass Holders
Family members of an Entrepreneur Pass holder may migrate to Singapore under following visa criteria:
- Spouse and Children
- Company must have spent at least $150,000
- Company must have given employment for at least 4 locals
- Company must have spent at least $300,000
- Company must have given employment for at least 8 locals
Permanent Residency (PR)
Permanent Residence (PR) application can be applied for by the whole family, i.e. the applicant himself plus the spouse and unmarried children under 21. Permanent residency can give a pleasure to gain Singaporean citizenship. The draw of gaining Singapore permanent residence through a variety of schemes has assured many foreigners of distinct backgrounds to set up home in the island-state, one of Asia’s most stable and developed countries. This includes the right to buy property in Singapore, higher preference in public schooling for their children and the right to live in the country without any restrictions from the government.
Generally, PTS scheme is used to gain permanent residence status in Singapore and facilitates foreign professionals working in Singapore under S Pass or Employment Pass to apply for permanent residence. Applicants already working in Singapore with a valid Entrepreneur Pass or Employment Pass can apply for permanent residency through this scheme. For the eligibility applicant must have worked in Singapore for at least 6 months.
Following aspects are considered when granting permanent residence status:
- Current employer and its diplomas
- Qualification and Education background
- Current professional career and employment history
- Financial background
- Charity/ Community involvement (Personal interests and inquiries)
- Income tax return history
Global Investor Program
Global Investor Program allowed an applicant to apply for permanent residency for himself/herself and their immediate family members under a condition of making a investment of minimum SGD2.5 million in a new or established business or in a GIP-approved fund. The applicant must also have an entrepreneurial background and a good business track record.
Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme
Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme was introduced in 1991 for outstanding international artistic talented people to become Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) in consideration of their cultural contribution. Anybody who is talented in arts such as music, dance, photography, theatre, literature or film wanting to migrate to Singapore can apply for permanent residency through this scheme. This scheme allows enabling committed and talented candidates to play a critical role in advancing the arts and cultural landscape in Singapore through the expand involvement with local communities. For eligibility candidate must be a well-known artist in his/ her own country and must acquired the necessary training. Candidate must also have made a important contribution to the art and cultural show in Singapore.
The Scheme is jointly conducted by the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the National Arts Council (NAC). However, ICA continues the final authority on all PR applications.
Following criteria must be met to be eligible for Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme:
- Acquire significant education/training in their specific field of art
- Maintain admissible professional experience with outstanding achievements in the field of Visual Arts, Literary Arts, Performing Arts, Design and/or Media
- Have detailed future plans about the role as a Artist in which he/she will be involved in Singapore’s arts and cultural sector
- Have made important inputs to Singapore’s arts and cultural show including a strong track record of local engagements.
The Government of Singapore always welcomes the arrival of professionals and other aliens who are able to make positive contribution to the country’s progress and economy growth in many different ways.
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