Permanent residency in Singapore
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Permanent residency in Singapore is the second most privileged immigration status in Singapore, second only to Singapore citizenship. Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) have most of the rights, privileges, obligations, and responsibilities that citizens do, including National Service obligations (waived for most adult applicants but not for their male children) and compulsory Singapore Central Provident Fund contributions. Notable exceptions include the right to vote and to hold public office in Singapore, more limited public benefits such as medical and housing benefits, and lower school placement priority than citizens.
Singapore PRs are permitted to live, work, study, and retire in Singapore without any time limit. However, PRs are subject to Re-Entry Permit (REP) requirements if they wish to leave Singapore for any length of time for any reason. If a PR leaves Singapore without a valid REP, or if a PR is outside Singapore when his/her REP expires, that individual's PR status automatically and, with rare exceptions, irrevocably ends. Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) generally renews REPs for 5 years, subject to PRs demonstrating some actual residence, and economic or other relevant activity, in Singapore.
PRs can apply for citizenship two years after being granted PR status.
Starting in 2010, Singapore set a 30,000 annual cap on the number of individuals granted Permanent Residence. There is a relatively stable population of about 500,000 PRs in Singapore.
Individuals eligible to apply for Singapore PR include:
- spouses and unmarried children (below 21 years old) of Singapore citizens and permanent residents
- aged parents and legal guardians of Singapore citizens
- foreign workers in Singapore possessing valid work passes or permits, and their dependents (with some exceptions)
- investors and entrepreneurs
Singapore's ICA processes PR applications in three different schemes: Family Ties, Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS), and the Global Investor Programme (GIP).
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