Is Singapore PR Worth It?

Is Singapore PR Worth It?

Singapore is a good stepping stone for many people in the Asian region. To achieve their goals, many aspire to live and work in Singapore for an extended period of time. For this, they can either choose to renew their work passes or apply for Singapore Permanent Residency (PR).

The Singapore PR application process takes between 6 months to a year before an applicant gets the result. Preparing the documents may take one or two months before submitting it to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

If the application gets rejected, applicants may appeal immediately or reapply after 6 months. If it gets approved, there are follow up steps to take as well. In total, applicants may expect to dedicate about up to 2 years for one PR application.

Depending on your situation and preference, applicants may choose to apply on their own or engage with an immigration expert like IASG. Both options require some form of investment and dedication.

In short, some sacrifice is expected for those who want to apply for the Singapore Permanent Residency (PR). Time, effort, and money are needed and the stress may take a toll on the applicants. About 100,000 applicants apply for Singapore PR every year but only 30% are approved. Singapore PR is highly coveted, and because Singapore is such a small country, competition is in overdrive.

With all being said, is it worth it to apply for Singapore PR?

The worth of having the Singapore PR status really depends on the individual. Apart from the financial benefits one may gain from living and working in Singapore, there are other factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding if the Singapore PR is worth it.

  1. Cost of living in Singapore

Singapore has been touted as one of the most expensive countries to live in. However, the truth is, Singapore is as expensive or as cheap as one makes it out to be.

While foreigners living in Singapore are not eligible to own public housing, they may rent one. Renting in an HDB would cost so much lower than renting in a private property such as a condominium or landed homes. Similarly, the cost of owning a car in Singapore is incredibly high but public transportation is really cheap and efficient.

At the end of the day, is living in Singapore sustainable and comfortable financially? Can foreigners achieve their financial goals?

  1. Access to education, healthcare, and housing in Singapore

Singapore has one of the world’s best education, healthcare and housing systems and infrastructure. However, can foreigners access them? And at what price?

Children of foreigners working in Singapore may be put into public schools, however, placement priority is given to Singaporeans first and then Singapore Permanent Residents. Foreigners come in last. Most foreigners put their children in international schools such as the Singapore American School and the Australian International School Singapore. They are definitely more expensive than public schools and syllabuses are not regulated by the government. However, they offer internationally recognised qualifications such as International Baccalaureate (IB).

There are no subsidies for foreigners when they go to the public hospitals and clinics in Singapore. As public healthcare prioritises Singaporeans and permanent residents, most foreigners go to private healthcare providers for faster waiting times. However, with health insurance, foreigners can expect reduced healthcare costs when they get hospitalised in Singapore. This is especially beneficial for foreigners who would want to stay long-term in Singapore.

Foreigners are also not eligible to buy public housing, thus all housing grants and subsidies given by the Singapore government are not available to them. However, due to Singapore’s small land size, properties are great investments. Foreigners who can afford to buy private properties in Singapore may see it as an investment opportunity, whether or not they plan to stay long-term in the country as property prices tend to increase over time.

  1. Proximity of family and friends

Going on long periods without family and friends may be detrimental to most people. However, depending on their eligibility, foreigners may apply Singapore PR together with their family members as well. Contact Immigration@SG (IASG) for more information.

  1. Availability to goods and services

There are movers with an international network that helps foreigners move their belongings from their original location to Singapore. It is a fuss-free and efficient end-to-end service. Financial institutions such as banks and money remittance companies are abundant in Singapore, allowing foreigners to easily transact anywhere in the world. With the rise of e-commerce, mobile banking is becoming a norm in Singapore, especially amongst millennials and Gen Zs. Internet service providers for mobile and broadband are available islandwide at very competitive rates and quality service. Local and international supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes are available throughout the island. In short, Singapore has everything one may need!

  1. Quality of life in Singapore

Singapore is known for being a safe country. Anyone can walk around at 3am and not get attacked. Corruption, gun ownership and drug trafficking are illegal and are not tolerated by the government. Because of these laws, people living in Singapore are protected from a lot of harm and thus, quality of life increases.

However, to stay long-term in Singapore, foreigners need to assess if they can live the life they want. Can they compromise or find alternatives? For example, if one loves to climb mountains, they won’t be able to do that in Singapore due to the country’s flat surface. However, they may take a short flight to Malaysia and climb the mountains there during the weekend. Another example, if one expects a laidback lifestyle that they can get back home, Singapore will not be ideal unless he/she has enough funds to support this lifestyle.

So, is getting a Singapore PR worth it?

It all goes back to how an individual assesses value. There are a lot of pros and cons of living in Singapore, as do any other country in the world. A lot of time, money, and effort is expected when applying for Singapore PR and foreigners need to assess the benefits they can get after getting the Singapore PR approval.


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