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How To Become a Singapore Permanent Resident


Turn that short-term employment into something lasting. Meet three expats who now call Singapore home home.

As one of the most economically dynamic and safest cities in the world, Singapore lures many people to apply for permanent residency (PR). These three readers decided to make the ultimate move.

Simon Manning

How to become a Singapore PR

Background: British but  born in Hong Kong; spent roughly equal amounts of time growing up in Hong Kong and Singapore. Attended university in the U.K. and worked in London for several years before moving to Singapore.

How long he’s been here: Since 2008

PR since: 2012

How long the process took: 4 months. “There were several forms to fill and history to collate, but nothing too complicated!”

Why was being a PR important? My wife, who’s Korean and also works in an investment firm, and I decided that we wanted to build our careers and raise a family here. Having grown up in several different cities and from multi-cultural backgrounds, we could have settled down anywhere. But we picked Singapore for several reasons, such as it being an English-speaking business environment and a clean and safe city. More importantly, we had social ties with friends and relatives based here.”

Greatest benefit of getting PR: “Having a CPF account [see box at right] and not having to worry about visas. Plus, we are finally starting our family and expecting our first child very soon!”


Vandana Mathur-Dhaul

How to become a permanent resident of Singapore

Background: Indian born and bred

How long she’s been here: Since 2007

PR since: 2009

How long the process took: 6 months

Why was being a PR important? “My husband and I wanted our boys, aged 8 and 10, to study in the local education system, and being PRs was important for that. Local schools are modern and well equipped and not nearly as expensive as international schools!”

Greatest benefit of getting PR: “Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, I was able to set up my own business as a sole proprietor and turn it into a full-fledged ‘pte ltd’ company.”


John Hayes

How to become a permanent resident of Singapore

Background: British

How long he’s been here: Since 2000

PR since: 2006

How long the process took: Less than a month. “ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) is such a well-run government department.”

Why was being a PR important? “I married a Singaporean in 2005, so getting PR made sense. I am a huge fan of this country, having worked here for six years before becoming a PR. I also like the predictable tropical climate, rather than the long, bitterly cold, snowy winters of North America and Europe.”

Greatest benefit of getting PR: “If you have lived in other countries – I have lived in Indonesia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates – you can really see how well everything is mapped out and executed here. Singapore is ahead in Asia Pacific and up to the levels of Japan and South Korea in all aspects now.”



Will your son have to do National Service (NS) if you become PRs?

Yes. Boys granted PR status must complete the compulsory two year full-time military NS at 18 years of age. Don’t worry – the chances of your son seeing real combat are extremely low. However, Singapore’s laws are quite strict on not fulfilling NS. Conveniently renouncing or losing one’s PR status at the required time runs the risk of adversely affecting your son’s immediate or future applications to live, work or study in Singapore. (ns.sg to access the NS portal) 


By Priyanka Elhence, The Finder, October 2015


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