Emigration to Singapore
As the world is gradually transforming into a global village, immigration pre-requisites and processes have become less stringent and much more accommodating. Migration patterns indicate that millions of people are making the bold move each year to relocate all over the globe in search of better opportunities and livelihoods. Of course, these patterns show a strong bias towards the world’s top destinations with Singapore being a major favourite for migrants from all over the world as well as from within the Asian Continent itself. This comes as no surprise at all considering how much this hidden gem has to offer to its residents and its immigrants alike.
It’s no coincidence or random chance that Singapore is among some of the best relocation destinations on the planet. There are qualities of the local society that are just too good to ignore and which act as pull factors for immigrants. These qualities make the country a great place to establish oneself in a comfortable environment permanently. Let’s just take a quick look at some of these pull factors that make Singapore the ideal destination to purchase a home and establish yourself and your family;
- Clean Environment
We all enjoy the fresh breeze that comes with unpolluted environments. Most developed and developing nations such as the US and China have long since experienced environmental degradation due to industrial-process pollution. Singapore has however handled this very well and maintained pollution at minimum levels to ensure a pristine and fresh environment that promotes relaxation and better well-being for all citizens.
- Community Harmony
Many countries struggle with unrest and illicit activities within the local communities, especially in low-income neighbourhoods. Such unrest affects the quality of life especially for foreigners who stand out significantly from among the native residents. Singapore communities, on the other hand, are however void of such ills. The residents are utterly peaceful and have a warm and friendly countenance that fosters harmony in all communities.
- Conducive Business Environment
Singapore offers one of the best business environment on the planet for immigrants wishing to invest in any form of business. The society has very high spending power and a lot of disposable income which makes just about every business model viable. Corruption levels in the country are also at their barest minimum which makes all business conduct ethical, straight forward and generally easy without having to grease any palms or jump over a lot of bureaucratic hoops and red tape.
- Stable Economy
For economic refugees, Singapore is a very safe haven with a very strong and vibrant economy whose performance shows no sign of faltering any time soon. According to the Henly Index (2019), the country’s passport ranks as the world’s second most powerful one, a sign of economic superiority on a global scale. The economy is open to everyone willing or wishing to participate in any economic activities with even tax incentives to promote entrepreneurship. The economy has gradually shifted to a service-based one from its manufacturing base back in the 80s. Sharp growth in the GDP has also been experienced reaching up to over 70% in 2017 from a measly 24% in 1985.
- Globally Strategic
Singapore is globally strategic in many aspects. Its location, for instance, is ideal for bridging the European and the Asian continents which promotes great intercontinental trades and beneficial cooperation and association. The geographical location of the nation is also very strategic when it comes to weather patterns and conditions throughout the year. The country receives adequate supplies of natural resources that facilitate high social standards such as water and sunlight. The weather is generally considered to be warm which is a welcome break for immigrants originating from extreme conditions near the poles or the equator.
- Government Stability
Many nations on the planet suffer from erratic governments and bad politics which all make daily lives miserable. This is not the case with Singapore. The government and governance systems are well refined and extremely evolved such that everything flows smoothly without violence or hiccups. The ruling party has been in place for years and the citizens are happy with the status quo which promotes a peaceful society that is content and generally successful. Relations with neighbouring nations and other foreign powers are warm and friendly which further promotes a peaceful society within the country.
- Lawful Society
Singapore is regarded to be the safest Asian nation due to very low crime rates. The citizens of the country are extremely law-abiding and this is coupled with very effective law enforcement agencies that ensure continued lawfulness within the nation’s communities at all times. Citizens are free and comfortable to conduct their social and commercial activities at any time without fear of criminal activities or persecution by anyone.
The Property Investment Environment
One of the greatest marks of a well-performing community is its property investment environment. This is probably a great area of concern for immigrants wishing to settle in a foreign country and perhaps purchase a property to reside in comfortably. This is another area in which Singapore thrives with one of the best and most budget-friendly property investment environment on the planet.
Investing in a Singapore property is well within the means of just about everyone from all earning classes whether minimal wage earners or well-paid corporate executives and entrepreneurs. There’s an option for everyone that doesn’t strain budgets or lead to ballooning mortgage debts. Speaking of which, local firms and financial institutions are more than willing to assist residents with property acquisitions to reduce the financial burden of purchasing a cosy home. It’s therefore not surprising at all that over 91% of the native citizens are homeowners with full rights to their places of residence.
Becoming a Singapore Permanent Resident
The attainment of permanent resident status for male applicants comes with the obligation to perform national service just like the nation’s citizens from the age of 16.5 years. The commitment will take a full two year period and, in addition, both categories are still expected to commit 40 days each year to the OR national service program up to 50 years for officer while other ranks have a 40-years cutoff. The National service is however essential for skill development and character building especially for young men. Failure to comply with the regulations can lead to disqualification of the permanent resident status as well as any other prospects in the country.
Most developed nations have complex processes and pre-requisites that must all be endured for one to reside within permanently. Singapore has however designed very flexible and manageable systems and processes to enable interested immigrants to relocate with ease. There are several schemes or programs available for foreigners wishing to become a part of the wonderful local community. Let’s just quickly examine the 3 most popular ones;
1) Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme
The PTS Scheme is easily the most popular one for gaining permanent Singapore residence status. It reportedly accounts for more than 95% of all the qualified and skilled personnel who have managed to successfully gain permanent residence. It is worth noting that any male dependent who is successful in his application will be subjected to the Singapore National Service.
This scheme is available to the spouses and children under the age of 21 of a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore. It also caters for the parents of a citizen or qualified permanent resident as well as any individual in possession of an employment pass.
- Processing Time
The authority responsible for processing permanent residency applications, ICA, is dedicated to complete the process in a period of not more than half a year but can be even as short as 4 months depending on their workload at the time and the urgency of the application.
Applicants should possess the necessary skills that provide sufficient grounds for eligibility as well as have a solid financial base that can support their stay. Applicants who possess or exhibit the following also stand better chances of being successful;
– Special skills in a less competitive industry.
– Aged below 50 years.
– Possesses an academic qualification from internationally recognized institutions.
– Has strong family ties with residents of the country.
– Exhibits a knack for voluntary and philanthropic work.
– Has been working locally for at least a year.
2) Foreign Student Scheme
This scheme is available to students of all ages who wish to pursue all stages of education in Singapore at registered institutions of higher learning. The application will be processed within 6 months from the date of application depending on the urgency and nature of the application. The result is what is referred to as a Student’s Pass which is the document permitting students to reside in Singapore during their studies. It is worth noting that students who are less than 13 years of age will need to provide details of their vaccination history to the Health Promotion Board.
Before applying for the pass, the interested student needs to have been accepted by a Singapore educational institution for a full-time programme. Schools in Singapore take online applications which can be easily done remotely in your original location outside Singapore. The student’s pass is however unique to each school hence students should consult with their selected schools for the custom details.
Students can be exempted from applying for the Student Pass if their studies are very short-termed, not exceeding 30 days in total or have been issued with an immigration exemption order.
- Future Prospects
From 2018, the ICA department decided to offer foreign students a chance to apply for permanent residence on completion of their studies if they satisfy the following conditions;
– have lived in the country for at least 2 years.
– have passed a least a single national examination i.e. ‘A’ Levels or IP enrolled.
Competition for the permanent residents, however, remains stiff and many students have failed to make the cut however the authorities are more interested in the student’s ability to assimilate into the Singapore community and participate meaningfully rather than focusing on the student’s intellectual abilities.
3) Global Investor Programme.
The scheme is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship within the country hence it is available to individuals who have been deemed to be investors wishing to finance local enterprises or entrepreneurs all of whom must meet the set criteria of such a category to be eligible by having traceable business records with verified operational successes.
- Processing Time
Similar to the PTS Scheme, GIP applications take not more than half a year but can be even as short as 4 months.
Having met the eligibility criteria, investors can choose between;
– A minimum of $2.5 million investment plan which comes with a 5-year business plan mandate in industries such as aeronautics, energy, health etc.
– Invest a minimum of $2.5 million again in investment funds that in turn invest in local companies.
– Invest a minimum of $2.5 million in a Singaporean established entity worth at least $200 million with its assets under audit management.
Both options require solid records of the investor’s business history as well as at least three years’ worth of audited financial records from the native country. The investor must also have made profits exceeding 200 million the previous financial year and must possess at least a 30% share of the company in question in the case of privately owned corporations.
On successful application, the investor will be subjected to renewal of his or her permanent residence status either every three or five years depending on several factors such as the period of residence, employment patterns and turnover.
All in all, Singapore is so welcoming a nation that many people have flocked to the nation and settled well. Notable individuals such as Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and his business partners, Sun Tongyu and Sheng Yifei are all settled in the cosy nation with beautiful properties to their name. Other wealthy individuals such as James Dyson and Jim Rogers have also nested comfortably in the country with the former owning the most expensive penthouse that the country has to offer. Several popular actors and actresses have settled comfortably in Singapore such as the well renowned Chinese actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li as well as the popular actress from Taiwan Vivien Hsu.