Permanent residency in Singapore
|This article is part of a series|
|Singaporean nationality law|
|Demographics of Singapore|
Permanent resident in Singapore is an immigration status in Singapore, second only in privilege to Singapore citizenship. Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) have most of the rights, privileges, obligations, and responsibilities that citizens do, including National Service obligations (waived for most adult applicants but not for their male children) and compulsory Singapore Central Provident Fund contributions. Notable exceptions include not being able to vote or to hold public office, more limited public benefits such as medical and housing benefits, lower public (government supported) school placement priority, and some limits on driving for transport services.
Singapore PRs are permitted to live, work, study, and retire in Singapore without any time limit. PR status is robust in practice but not absolute. PRs are subject to Re-Entry Permit (REP) requirements if they wish to leave Singapore for any length of time for any reason. If a PR leaves Singapore without a valid REP, or if a PR is outside Singapore when his/her REP expires, that individual's PR status automatically and, with rare exceptions, irrevocably ends. Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) generally renews REPs for 5 years, subject to PRs demonstrating some actual residence, and economic or other relevant activity, in Singapore.
Starting in 2010, Singapore has set an approximately 30,000 annual cap on the number of individuals being granted Permanent Residence. There is a relatively stable population of just over 500,000 PRs in Singapore.
Individuals eligible to apply for Singapore PR include:
- spouses and unmarried children (below 21 years old) of Singapore citizens or permanent residents
- aged parents and legal guardians of Singapore citizens
- foreign workers in Singapore possessing valid work passes (Employment Pass, S-Pass), and their dependents (with some exceptions)
- students studying in Singapore
- investors and entrepreneurs
Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) processes PR applications in three different schemes: Family Ties, Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS), and the Global Investor Programme (GIP). ICA receives applications through an online system, and applicants must pay a nonrefundable processing fee. Nobody has an automatic legal right to PR status; the government's PR decisions are entirely discretionary. The government does not disclose its evaluation criteria or decision processes beyond broad generalities, such as long-term citizen population-related goals. One of the government's stated public policy goals is to maintain relative stability in Singapore's racial and ethnic population proportions in order (in the government's view) to promote and maintain racial harmony. Consequently a PR applicant's race influences ICA's decisions.
PR status is central to Singapore nationality law since naturalization as a Singaporean citizen requires that the applicant first be granted PR status. PRs can apply for citizenship if at least two years have passed since being granted PR.
PRs (age 15 and older) are issued blue colored National Registration Identity Cards (NRICs).
- "Academic Huang Jing and wife have left Singapore after being stripped of PR status: MHA". The Straits Times. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- "Permanent Resident Application". Immigration & Checkpoints Authority. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "Permanent Resident: Becoming a Singapore Citizen". Immigration & Checkpoints Authority. Retrieved 18 August 2019.