There are many reasons as to why you should apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) Citizenship in Singapore. In order to be eligible for a PR status in Singapore, you must be either:
· A spouse of a Singapore Citizen (SC) or a PR,
· A parent of a SC,
· An unmarried child below the age of 21,
· Holding a work pass and have been working in Singapore for at least six months,
· A student studying in Singapore, or
· A foreign investor in Singapore.
For more details, you can refer to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) website here.
Not only is Singapore one of the best countries to apply for a PR status in (read more about it here), there are other reasons as to why you should apply for a PR status during this period of time.
1. Low birth rates and ageing population
It is a known fact that Singapore is facing an issue of an ageing population coupled with the low birth rates of Singaporeans. According to the 2021 Population Brief, there is an increase in citizens aged above 65, from 16.8% in June 2020 to 17.6% in June 20201, and a decrease in birth rate – from 32,844 births in 2019 to 31,816 births in 2020.
With an ageing population and a lower birth rate, it makes it important to attract foreign residents to stay in Singapore so that there will be a healthy amount of population to contribute to Singapore’s economic growth. As such, this is where immigration is essential to soften the impacts of an older and decreasing population.
2. Decrease in PR population
As of June 2021, there has been a decrease of 6.2%, 0.49 million, in the PR population. This is largely due to the ongoing pandemic travel restrictions which resulted in PRs staying overseas continuously for more than 12 months. Henceforth, these individuals were excluded from the PR population count. The decrease in PR population is noteworthy as it is the first year-on-year decrease since the start of the data collection in 1970.
During a speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in September 2020, he stated that “We must be careful not to give the wrong impression that we are now closing up and no longer welcoming foreigners”. This signifies that even though Singapore is facing an economic uncertainty, there will not be any changes in the PR intake.
3. Difficulty in entering Singapore due to the closed borders
With a huge majority of the borders closed worldwide, it is no exception that Singapore is doing the same to prevent a rise in COVID-19 imported cases. As of June 2021, there has been a huge reduction in foreign employment from June 2020 across all pass types. This amounted to a decrease of 147,000.
One of the criteria to apply for a Singapore PR status is to hold a working pass and have been working in Singapore for at least six months. With the decrease in foreign employment during this period, it increases your chances of being awarded the PR status.
4. Unchanged cap on the number of individuals who are issued the PR status
Prior to the tightening of immigration framework in 2009, Singapore has granted 15,000 to 25,000 new citizenships. However, after reviewing the framework, it led to an increase in citizenships, to 30,000.
In addition to the fixed number of individuals who were issued the PR status, there has been a decrease in the number of PR status issued as compared to 2020 due to COVID-19. According to Ms Indranee Rajah, a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, only 27,500 individuals were issued the PR status in the previous year. This was mainly due to the safe distancing measures and limited slots available to finish the registration, which can only be completed in person.
With the closed borders due to COVID-19, unchanged number of individuals issued the PR status, and a decrease of an ageing population, it ultimately increases your odds of being issued the PR status (as long as you are eligible). By being a PR in Singapore, you will get to enjoy benefits which are only for Singapore citizens – for example, the affordable healthcare, ability to change your job without the risk of having your employment pass rejected, and the access to build your own pension through the Central Provident Fund (CPF). On top of that, it also makes you eligible to apply for a Singapore Citizen status after a couple of years.
Though it is not hard to apply for a PR status, it can be quite challenging when it comes to the tedious process of gathering the required documents. This process can be made easier if you have the help of an expert.
At Fergus Consultancy Group, we keep ourselves updated with the newest immigration policies to assist PR-to-be with the application process. We are also trusted by over hundreds of clients to make the PR application process hassle free. Get in touch with us via our form or WhatsApp today.
*Link to the CPF article.