Want To Live In Singapore For Long Term – What’s Needed

If you are currently working in Singapore, you should quickly try to get a permanent residence as explained here. Since most immigrants and foreigners are in Singapore on a E pass or S pass, it is important for you to convert that into a Singapore permanent residency status if you wish to remain in Singapore during uncertain times.

Especially in 2020, when lots of retrenchments and massive layoffs continue, and with the latest Singapore General Elections just over in July 2020, priority for keeping jobs are provided to local Singaporean citizens and permanent residents over others.

If you are on an E pass or S pass, the issue is that in the unfortunate event that sometime untoward happens to you in your job, your spouse and kids’ ability to remain in the country is also at jeopardy. This is because their visa status is tied to you. However, if you already have intentions to live and work in Singapore for the long term alongside your family, seriously go through a PR application in Singapore. If you and then your family are permanent residents, then your children’s education locally is still guaranteed, and you can still calmly look for greener pastures at another company in Singapore. That is certainly not the case if on an expired E pass or S pass, as you and your family would then be on a temporary 30 days VISA only. That can be very stressful if you are still required to pay rent, and make living arrangements for your entire family while rushing to find a new job all at the same time within weeks.

Some of you may have questions, and I shall answer them below.

Question 1) But I thought my spouse and kids are here in Singapore now under a long term visit pass, should they not be allowed to stay on regardless of me?

Answer 1) The validity and extension of your family’s long term visit pass, otherwise known as LTVP, is based on the validity and type of status the main applicant has. If you are a permanent resident, then yes, you can just renew yours and their status indefinitely. But that is not the case if you are holding an expired or invalid E pass or S pass.

Question 2) Will this potential layoffs affect permanent residents too on top of foreigners?

Answer 2) There is no fixed answer to this. But from the looks of what the government and companies in Singapore has been doing, it seems that it is only the foreigners on E pass or S pass who are affected. Permanent residents and citizens are largely unaffected wherever possible. They are essentially given the same priority.

Why Immigrations To Singapore Remains Popular As Ever

More and more people are still continuing to migrate to countries like Singapore by the droves. And most that move here pick up a PR and become a permanent resident in Singapore! Here are several reasons for why so many people are doing this!

Many Hong Kong citizens are deeply unhappy with Beijing’s actions, and since years ago, many wealthy people in Hong Kong have also been diversifying into other countries such as Singapore. This unhappiness among the Hong Kong citizens just reached a peak last year in 2019. As a result, many rich citizens have been flooding into Singapore, especially with their cash and investments. In such countries like Hong Kong, where the risk of a communist government coming in is high, many would prefer having their bulk of their assets in a firmly capitalistic country like Singapore instead.

Even after migrating to Singapore, many of the expats prefer taking up at least a permanent residence. One of the main reasons is because Singapore citizens and permanent resident are expected to be provided with more benefits over foreigners. In fact, there were such permanent residence and immigrations related projections here in Singapore by a local immigrations company back in July 2020 – which was when the local General Elections was held, and these projections were later proven right!

Many large media companies are just being propaganda machines now for the left leaning people like socialists and communists. Singapore firmly remains right wing, and there are actually way more right wing, capitalistic people in the world – they just talk less. As a result, these silent majority have been preferring to move to a city like Singapore where their preferred ideologies are being upheld and revered.

nightview sg

Due to its strict policing, Singapore has also been thankfully a very safe country. As a result of that, people from all over the world who want to avoid unnecessary riots and more want to become a permanent resident in Singapore, as a back up plan to live in such a safe and secure country.

Nobody likes paying more taxes. Even those who are in favor of taxing the rich are hypocritical, and would not want to pay more taxes themselves regardless of how much they make. That is why Singapore is such a great place for immigrants. Its government does not pander to the socialist crowd at all, and forcibly keeps its income and corporate taxes as low as possible, and thus many people – always referred to now as the silent majority, love to live and work in Singapore. Many business owners and investors also incorporate their funds and businesses in Singapore to take advantage of this.

My Journey To Being a Singapore Permanent Resident

Getting your PR application approved and eventually becoming a Singapore permanent resident is not an easy thing to do – especially after the 2008 to 2009 period. Not only that, but if your profile was not the easiest to get approved, getting external help is also not an option. Many immigration consultants will never bother returning your calls, messages or contact form inputs. Most of them are concerned about maintaining a faked high success rate because they only accept easy customers. So back then, I struggled to get mine approved in 2017.

Fortunately, actually good immigration and PR application agencies in Singapore like Dream SG now exist, and they help all PR applicants with their Singapore  permanent residence application, regardless whether yours is an easy or tough case. Of course, prices may vary as a result of that. Expect roughly $3,500 to upwards of $10,000 SGD depending on case difficulty.

Well, for me, I moved to Singapore from Australia back in 2008, and worked here under an E-pass back when I was 28 years old. After working for 4 years, I decided that the Singaporean way of life was for me. Even though many people like to move from Singapore to Australia, there was just a really nice cozy feeling I get when I work and live in SG. I guess, everyone is just different and I love it in Singapore!

E pass is sufficient to apply for a permanent residency. Unfortunately, my academic records were not great back in Australia, and due to the high amount of competition for Singapore PR application, your profile had to be darn near perfect to even stand a chance of PR status approval. It was not just about getting the important things right – you had to get everything right.

My first application back in July 2012 under the Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme, otherwise known as the PTS Scheme, got rejected by Immigration Checkpoints Authority ICA, which is the Singapore government branch for permanent residence and citizenship as well as generally travelling into and out of the country.

As fate would have it, I met my current Singaporean husband, and then boyfriend back in 2012, but since I was not yet engaged or married to him then, I could not use the spouse route to apply for a PR. But since I was in a hurry, I tried reapplying again and appealing the PR rejection 6 months later without doing anything different.

woman PTS scheme Singapore
Me thinking I was cool to appeal without actually changing anything but then got proven wrong 😂

As you may have guessed it, I got rejected again! Hahaha! It was so obvious what happened in hindsight, but my emotions got the better of me. Yes, one should improve the profile before appealing, or nothing will change for the Singapore PR status results.

Finally, I went through the spouse route in 2016, and finally got approved for a Singapore permanent residence in 2017! I eventually became a Singaporean citizen in early 2019, but that is a story for another time now!

How Social Integration In Singapore Is Important For Migrants

Increasingly so, social integration in Singapore is seen as an important factor when it comes to qualifying Singapore PR applicants for their eligibility to become a permanent resident and perhaps even eventual Singapore citizenship.

So what exactly is social integration in Singapore? It is basically the assimilation of the culture community and style of living in Singapore by the immigrant. The most extreme version is for instance via marriage, for example if you are a foreign man and marry Singaporean women, as that is pretty much ultimate social integration!

So why exactly is this seem as increasingly more important as a factor when it comes to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority ICA of Singapore government then when it comes to approval for Singapore PR applications and even Singapore citizenship applications? This is actually because of on the ground sentiment by Singaporeans.

With a large influx of immigrants into Singapore especially between the year 2000 to 2010, that drove up the prices of local properties to clearly unsustainable levels, and also, many Singaporeans feel that when walking around the island, many new people are acting very differently from the way they are used to. This is because of a largely open-door policy by the government back then. Due to backlash, but still with the need for immigrants, be it new permanent residents or citizens to sustain the economy and growth, ICA cut back on the number of permanent residencies given out on a yearly basis, and gave heavy priority not just for financially and academically capable people, but those who are able to integrate well into Singapore’s society among them. This is to ensure success both in maintaining the local culture and keeping existing citizens happy, while also not sacrificing any kind of financial growth that many are also looking for. So while it is not necessarily easy, it is definitely still possible for you to start living in Singapore.

The following is an interesting video by The Straits Times on new immigrants becoming Singaporean.

However, there are also a myriad of factors which may be adding to the difficulty of achieving this successfully.

First of all, majority of Singaporeans are generally speaking relatively reserved. This means that even if a foreigner is open to connect with the locals, the locals are not comfortable opening their minds to them. One simple example would be that even on the public streets, the locals are usually seen as relatively aloof or much more reserved when it comes to interactions with strangers.

Second of all, new immigrants, whether or not they are already permanent residents, tend to socialize within fellow expatriate groups as well. This is generally the case even for those who have lived in Singapore for over 5 years.

Third of all, popular places for majority of the local citizens and new immigrants to live in and shop around are also largely different. This can make it harder for both groups to mix around with effectively. For instance, most locals live and shop in heartland areas while new immigrants may prefer staying in city condominiums like the Sculptura Ardmore and shop along Orchard Road instead.

There are however good efforts towards social and racial harmony in Singapore schools. There are lots of efforts such as even racial harmony day and school events to encourage people to learn about each other’s culture. Even though there will exist rifts wherever there are differences, whether that is societal status, race, religion e.t.c., these efforts can go a long way to helping reduce it significantly. This is because many of a person’s worldview is actually shaped by one’s teenage years. This will at least also widen existing citizens’ acceptance of new immigrants, making it easier for foreigners to socially integrate into our country as it is a two way street.