When it comes to setting up a family, there are few countries quite like Singapore. Often cited as one of the safest places in the world, the security combined with high quality of life, stable governance and economy makes Singapore an appealing destination for migration. 2021 alone saw close to half a million Permanent Residents (PR) in the country – almost one-sixth of the entire population.
For those planning to do so, the most common avenue is for one to first secure a work visa. The Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker scheme (or PTS scheme) is the most common approach to achieve this, and after working for 6 months, the sponsor can begin applying concurrently for one’s own PR as well as the partner.
Applying for Singapore permanent residency for your spouse or family members can be a complex process, but it can also be an important step towards building a long-term future in the island state. If you are considering this, here are 3 ways you can approach this.
Applying Under the Family Scheme
If you are an existing PR, you may choose to submit a PR application for your spouse under this option if you are legally married. Under this option, you are also allowed to submit an application for your children who are unmarried and below 21 years of age. They can be born into a legitimate marriage or legally adopted. Through this route, you can also apply for your direct aged parents, but you will have to attain Singapore Citizenship (SC) first, which you can do so after 2 years of being PR.
Applying as a Dependant
Your spouse may submit an application for PR as your dependant if you are under one of these two schemes:
- PTS Scheme
If you hold an employment pass under the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Worker scheme (or PTS scheme) and have spent a minimum of 6 months residing in the country, then you may consider a PR application for your spouse and yourself.
The GIP is an investor programme launched by Economic Development Board (EDB) to attract foreign economic interest, and through this scheme, you may apply for a dependant PR application if you can demonstrate strong business savvy, and successful entrepreneurial history.Do note that this scheme is only available for your spouse. Aged parents and children cannot be granted PR under these two schemes and will have to apply for the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), valid for 2 years.
Applying On Their Own Merits
Your partner may also directly apply for PR based on their own skills, and if you are an existing PR or are under the PTS scheme, it’ll help. The PR schemes they can look into include the PTS scheme, GIP scheme, and Foreign Artistic Talent (ForArts). The last is launched by National Arts Council (NAC) and serves to bolster the local arts scene with seasoned talent in the field.
All immediate family members of an existing Permanent Resident of Singapore can apply for a PR status of their own if they meet the PR requirements, and the documentation needed for spouse, children and elderly parents are similar.
That said, here are some things to take note that can help when you are deciding to plan or apply for PR.
Other than the standard legal papers (such as marriage certs and birth certs) along with credentials (in education etc), the applicants should be of good character and must not have any criminal convictions or outstanding debts in Singapore. Of course, a record of good economic contribution such as being gainfully employed or being under the GIP scheme would greatly enhance the opportunity to become a PR for a spouse.
As part of the PR application process, your spouse will need to provide a range of documents to support their application. These may include proof of identity, such as a passport or national identification card, proof of employment and education, proof of financial support, such as bank statements or pay slips, and more depending on their application type. These will be vetted accordingly and to ensure a smooth process, make sure to have the documents readily translated into English.
It is also best to submit more to support your claims in accordance with the PR requirements and add helpful recommendations such as an employer’s letter for example. As the processing time for PR applications can vary and go up to 6 months, it’s best to supply extra than to have missing supporting documents delay the application. There are also fees associated with PR applications which must be paid when they are submitted, so any delay and rejection may mean possible additional fees.
Maintenance Of PR status
Once your spouse has fulfilled the PR requirements and been granted PR, it’s important to maintain their status by fulfilling the required conditions. This may include continuing to hold a valid work pass and maintaining a residence in Singapore. Failure to meet these conditions can result in the PR status being revoked, so don’t just focus on the application period. One of the most important requirements to note is that all male able-bodied children are legally required to serve mandatory National Service when they become of age.
Renewal Of PR Status
PR status must be renewed every five years, and renewal applications must be submitted at least three months before the PR status expires. It’s important to keep track of the renewal date and to submit the renewal application in a timely manner to avoid any disruption to the PR status.
Residency At Time Of Application
Only the sponsor needs to be physically residing in Singapore during the time of the application. The rest can be applied remotely while the spouse or family members are in their home country. The sponsor will also need the official Singpass app to facilitate the applications.
Seeking professional advice
The process for applying for PR can be complex, and it may be helpful to seek the assistance of a lawyer or immigration consultant if you have any questions or concerns about the process. These professionals can provide guidance throughout the application process, helping to ensure that the application is completed accurately, and optimise your chance for PR in Singapore.
Applying for Singapore PR for your family can be challenging with all the documentation and PR requirements, but it can also be an important step towards building a long-term future in the country and establishing your secure and stable future in Singapore.
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