Guide to Singapore Citizenship and Permanent Residence

As Singapore continues to solidify itself as the “gateway to Asia,” many people have become increasingly interested in not only doing business there but also becoming permanent residents, and eventually citizens, of this vibrant country. This article will focus on the rights and privileges of Singapore citizenship or permanent residence, as well as the eligibility requirements and procedures for applications.

 Rights and Privileges

The permanent resident and citizen have distinct rights and privileges under Singapore laws. One thing for certain is that citizens have far more rights than permanent residents. The following 4 tables compare the rights and privileges of permanent residents vs. citizens in different situations.

Housing and Education

Table 1: Comparison of the "Housing and Education" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

Table 1: Comparison of the "Housing and Education" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

 

Health Finance Schemes and Tax Relief

Table 2: Comparison of the "Health Finance Schemes and Tax Relief" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

Table 2: Comparison of the "Health Finance Schemes and Tax Relief" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

Hospitalization and Surgeries

Table 3: Comparison of the "Hospitalization and Surgeries" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

Table 3: Comparison of the "Hospitalization and Surgeries" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

National Service, Political Office, and Dual Citizenship

Table 4: Comparison of the "National Service, Political Office, and Dual Citizenship" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

Table 4: Comparison of the "National Service, Political Office, and Dual Citizenship" rights and privileges of Singapore’s Permanent Residents and Citizens

For a more in-depth list of the rights and privileges of Singapore residents, please visit the eCitizen website.

 

How to Become a Permanent Resident - Eligibility and Procedures

In order for you to become a permanent resident of Singapore, there are a number of eligibility requirements that must be met and procedures that have to be followed. Let us focus firstly on the eligibility requirements.

 
(A) Eligibility

The following categories of foreigners are eligible to apply for permanent residence:

  • Spouse and unmarried children (below 21 years old) of a Singapore Citizen (SC)/ Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR)
  • Aged Parents of a Singapore Citizen
  • Employment Pass/ S Pass holders
  • Investors

 
(B) Required Documents 

1. Spouse/Child of a SC/SPR

  • Completed Form 4
  • To see the list of supporting documents that will have to be submitted together with your application, download the Accompanying Notes to Form 4.

2. Aged Parents of a Singapore Citizen

  • Completed Form 4
  • To see the list of supporting documents that will have to be submitted together with your application, download the Accompanying Notes to Form 4.

3. Employment Pass/ S Pass Holder

  • 2 sets of completed Form 4A (one original and one photocopy)
  • To see the list of supporting documents that will have to be submitted together with your application, download the Accompanying Notes to Form 4A.


The forms to be submitted for the various schemes listed above are available online and at the

Permanent Resident Services Centre
5th Storey, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
(Next to Lavender MRT station)
Singapore 208718

Now that you are aware of what the eligibility requirements of becoming a permanent resident of Singapore are, pay attention to the procedures that you need to follow in order to complete the process.


(C) Procedures

 For:

  1. Spouse/Child of a SC/ SPR
  2. Aged Parents of a SC
  3. Employment Pass/ S Pass Holder

You are required to submit the completed application form along with the required documents over the counter at:

Permanent Resident Services Centre
5th Storey, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
(Next to Lavender MRT station)
Singapore 208718

Please note, however, that the submission of the Permanent Resident application is by appointment only. You can make an appointment through the Electronic Appointment Booking System.

        4. Investors

Singapore permanent residence by investment is under the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) under the Global Investor Programme (GIP). Please visit Contact Singapore for more information on the GIP, the application process, and assessment criteria.

Processing Time

The normal processing time for Permanent Resident application is four to six months. There are instances, however, when some applications may require a longer processing time.


National Service Liability

Under the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, unless exempted, are liable to register for National Service (NS). Following the completion of full-time NS, they will be required to serve up to 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) per year for the duration of their ORNS training cycle till the age of 50 years (for officers) or 40 years (for other ranks). For further information on NS, please visit the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.

Points to Note

The following additional information must be carefully noted:

  • Please state the file reference number, the Foreign Identification Number (FIN), and the name and date of birth of the applicant when corresponding with the department.
  • Please ensure that the original documents, official translation of said documents if they are not in the English language, and a copy of all documents are produced for our retention.  ICA accepts translations done by the Embassy of the document-issuing country or a local Notary Public. Privately translated copies attested to by the Embassy of the document-issuing country or notarized by a local Notary Public are also acceptable. Insufficient documents may result in non-acceptance of your application, and additional documents to support the application may be required.
  • Being granted the status of permanent resident does not exempt an individual from registering with the relevant professional bodies or any other conditions as required under the respective professions.


How to Become a Citizen - Eligibility and Procedures

In order for you to become a citizen of Singapore, you have to fulfil the Singapore citizenship requirements and the following procedures that have to be followed. Let us focus firstly on the eligibility requirements.


(A) Eligibility

The categories of people who are eligible to be considered for citizenship in Singapore are:

Persons who are at least 21 years of age and have been a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) for at least 2 years before the date of application.

  • Spouses of Singapore Citizens with a minimum of 2 years residence as a Permanent Resident and have been married for at least 2 years before the date of application.
  • Children who were born outside Singapore and have at least one parent who is a citizen of Singapore.

All persons who are applying for citizenship must intend on residing permanently in Singapore, be able to financially support themselves and their dependents, must have satisfied all residential requirements, and be of good character.


(B) Required Documents

  • All applicants and their spouses over 21 years of age:
    • Completed Citizenship application form and Annex. The Citizenship application form can also be obtained at the Citizen Services Centre (address located in “Procedures” below).
    • Passport or other travel document
    • Entry or Re-entry Permit Card
    • One recent passport-sized color photograph of applicant placed on the completed citizenship application form. You can take your photographs at the photo booths located on level 1 of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Building.
    • Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, or Separation Deed
    • Educational and Skill Certificates
    • Birth Certificate and Identity Card
    • A letter of employment from your current employer along with your last 6 months pay slips
    • Authorization form to allow the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to obtain and verify financial information with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Central Provident Fund Board OR your Income tax notice of assessment for the latest 3 years and CPF contribution history for the last 6 months
    • National Service Certificate of Service, if any
    • Passport/Birth Certificate(s) or other travel documents of child/children
    • Child/children Entry Permit/Identity Card(s)
    • Foreign Identity Card and Citizenship Certificate, if any
    • Religious Certificate or Deed Poll for change of name, if any
    • Death Certificate of ex-spouse, proof of custody of child/children from previous marriage, if applicable.
    • Most up-to-date information on your Business Profile from Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • Spouses of Singapore Citizen
    • Completed Citizenship application form and Annex. The Citizenship application form can also be obtained at the Citizen Services Centre (address located in “Procedures” below).
    • One recent passport-sized color photograph of applicant placed on the completed citizenship application form. You can take your photographs at the photo booths located on level 1 of the ICA Building.
    • Birth Certificate and Identity Card
    • Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, or Separation Deed
    • Educational and Skill Certificates
    • Birth Certificate and Identity Card
    • A letter of employment from your current employer along with your last 6 months pay slips
    • Authorization form to allow the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to obtain and verify financial information with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Central Provident Fund Board OR your Income tax notice of assessment for the latest 3 years and CPF contribution history for the last 6 months
    • National Service Certificate of Service, if any
    • Passport/Birth Certificate(s) or other travel document of child/children
    • Child/children Entry Permit/Identity Card(s)
    • Foreign Identity Card and Citizenship Certificate, if any
    • Religious Certificate or Deed Poll for change of name, if any
    • o    Death Certificate of ex-spouse, proof of custody of child/children from previous marriage, if applicable.
    • o    Most up-to-date information on your Business Profile from Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • Children of Singapore citizen(s) by descent:
    • Completed Citizenship application form. The Citizenship application form can also be obtained at the  Citizen Services Centre (address located in “Procedures” below).
    • Child's Documents:
      • One recent passport-sized color photograph of applicant placed on the completed citizenship application form. You can take your photographs at the photo booths located on level 1 of the ICA Building.
      • Birth Certificate and Passport or travel document.
  • Father and Mother’s Documents:
    • Passport and Identity Card
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Death Certificate or Separation Deed or Divorce Certificate or Custody document of child/children by previous spouses, if applicable. If the child is under joint-custody, a letter of consent from the ex-spouse must be presented.
  • Children of Singapore citizen(s) by registration:
    • Child’s Documents:
      • One recent passport-sized color photograph of applicant placed on the completed citizenship application form. You can take your photographs at the photo booths located on level 1 of the ICA Building.
      • Deed Poll or Religious Certificate for name change, if any
      • Adoption Order, if applicable
      • Birth Certificate or Passport or Identity Card
    • Mother and Father’s Documents:
      • Passport and Identity Card
      • Marriage Certificate
      • Death Certificate or Separation Deed or Divorce Certificate or Custody document of child/children by previous spouses, if applicable. If the child is under joint-custody, a letter of consent from the ex-spouse must be presented.
      • A letter of employment from your current employer along with your last 6 months pay slips
      • Authorization form to allow the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to obtain and verify financial information with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Central Provident Fund Board OR your Income tax notice of assessment for the latest 3 years and CPF contribution history for the last 6 months
      • Business registration certificate from Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
      • Adoption Certificate(s), Birth Certificate(s), Passport(s), or Singapore Citizenship Certificate(s) of any other child or children

 

Now that you are aware of what the eligibility requirements of becoming a citizen of Singapore are, pay attention to the procedures that you need to follow in order to complete the process.


(B)  Procedures

You must submit the completed Citizenship application form along with all the supporting documents to:

Citizenship Unit
Citizen Services Centre
6th Storey, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
(Next to Lavender MRT station)
Singapore 208718  

 

Once your application has been assessed by an Interview Officer at the Unit, an interview will be arranged for you. The Officer will use the information on your application form to verify the documents that you submitted as well as request that you declare before the interview that the information on your application is correct and true. You must ensure that the original documents and copies of all other supporting documents are handed over to the Interviewing Officer during the interview. Failure to do so could result in your application being rejected. At the end of the interview, pay the non-refundable processing fee of S$100, payable by Cashcard or NETS. You will then have to wait to be notified of the result of your application.                                                                                                         

If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident or citizen of Singapore, Piloto Asia is there to give the full support end-to-end. Speak to our friendly consultants!