This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

Human Resource and Immigration | How to Migrate to Singapore

In recent years, the Singapore government began tightening the rules allowing foreigners to work in Singapore. As a leading Singapore registration company, 3E Accounting Pte. Ltd. offers comprehensive services to facilitate your ability to secure your Singapore PR and Singapore citizenship. We can also help you quickly register your company to do business in Singapore. You can visit us at for more information.

Obtaining a Singapore Employment Pass (EP)

Your journey to citizenship begins with an employment pass. The EP gives you permission to work in Singapore. It is used mostly by entrepreneurs who want to set up a business and remain in Singapore for at least one year. The EP is good for one or two years and is renewable as long as you are employed. Your seniority in management, advanced education, professional qualifications and technical skills will you qualify for an EP, although you must go through a multi-step process.

You will need to ensure your senior staff and company managers secure their EPs so that they relocate to Singapore. After holding the EP for two years, you can apply for Permanent Residence status. To get started, you’ll need to establish a company with a local registered office address and at least one shareholder, one resident director and one company secretary. There are three types of EP:

P1 Employment Pass: For those who are earning a fixed monthly salary of $8,000 or more and/or possess acceptable qualifications
P2 Employment Pass: For those who are earning a fixed monthly salary of $4,500 or more and/or possess acceptable qualifications
Q1 Employment Pass: For young graduates from recognized institutions earning at least $3,000; and for applicants who are older, they have to be given higher salaries to qualify as well as commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring

Here’s the documents you must provide to the Ministry of Manpower (MoM):
– the passport and Singapore work pass/ student pass/ any other pass (if any)
– two highest education certificates
– working testimonial (if any) and a resume/ CV
– completed application form with details of applicant

Electronic processing provided by 3E Accounting takes about a week, whereas manual processing takes five weeks.
If you do not pass the initial assessment, you must provide more detailed information about your business plans so that you can file an appeal. This will take up to five weeks. If you are approved, collect your EP within six month or forfeit it. Figure a total elapsed time of one to 12 weeks.

If you’d like your wife and children to join you in Singapore, you must produce a marriage certificate, passports, diplomas, birth certificates and pay slips to secure Dependent Passes. Your child won’t need a Dependent Pass if he’ll be attending a Singapore school — the Student Pass is sufficient.

Receiving Permanent Residence Status (PR)

You don’t need to have a silver spoon in your mouth to Permanent Residence status in Singapore. The country welcomes professionals, technicians and skilled workers. In fact, about 90 percent of approved PR applications stem from the PTS Scheme. Now that you have your Employment Permit, you can begin making plans to obtain PR status. The PTS Scheme favors individuals younger than 50, although exceptions are granted. Your family can also apply.

You must provide the following documents:
– Form 4A, consisting of the PR Application Form and the Annex
– Form EP4
– Acceptable photograph
– Work Pass/Employment Pass of applicant, if any.
– Identity cards of both applicant (if any) and sponsor.
– Applicant’s Birth Certificate and household Census List.
– Official Marriage Certificate of sponsor
– Educational certificates of both applicant and sponsor.
– Official Birth Certificates of children showing both parents’ names and child’s name and adoption paper, if applicable.
– Death certificate or divorce certificate and the custody papers for the children in respect of applicant’s/spouse’s previous marriages (if any).
– Employer’s letter from sponsor and applicant (if applicable) stating the date of employment, position held, salary per month for the last six months with breakdown into basic, overtime and allowance per month. The letter, addressed to the Controller of Immigration, should be dated within one month from the date of submission.
– Income Tax Notices of Assessment* of sponsor and applicant (if applicable) for the last three years.
– Statement* from the CPF Board showing the sponsor’s monthly “CPF contribution history” for the last 12 months.
– Sponsor’s valid Business Registration Certificate (for self-employment) with names of partners shown and Valid Vocational license, if applicable.
– Deed Poll or Change of Name Certificate of applicant and sponsor.

The recommended interval between getting your Employment Pass and applying for PR status varies from six months three years, depending on the type of Work Pass you have. This gives you adequate time to establish a good working rapport with your employer, whose support you will need. The authorities will evaluate your educational background and the prestige of your degrees or certifications. The government is eager to see your commitment to the country by the amount of time you spend in Singapore, your job stability and your respect for authority. If you are rebellious or irresponsible, Singapore is not for you.

Of course, if you have family ties within Singapore, this can only help the process. The authorities also appreciate your involvement in the civic life of the island and your generosity to charities approved by the government. Your willingness to fit into society is further enhanced when your male children register for two years of full-time duty in the National Military Service, beginning at age 16 1/2, followed by at least 40 days a year in the reserves.
The process of acquiring, completing and submitting your application can proceed smoothly with the assistance of 3E Accounting. We will make sure you waste no time and operate efficiently. Once submitted, the government will render its judgment in three to six months. If you are approved, we’ll help you with the final formalities, such as providing results of medical checkup, submitting passport pictures and surrender of your obsolete Work Passes.

Becoming a Citizen of Singapore

The government has different categories for citizenship applications. If you’re at least 21 years old and have been a PR for two to six year can apply for a preliminary assessment by the government. If you are a PR who is the spouse of a Singapore citizen, you can apply if you’ve lived in Singapore for at least two years and also have been married for at least two years. A child born overseas can receive citizenship if less than one year’s old, the parents were legally married at the time of birth and the child meets one of following conditions:
Male Children
– At least one parent was born as a Singapore citizen,
– At least one parent is a registered Singapore citizen and child is not a citizen of another country, or
– A parent is a citizen by descent and accumulated at least one year of residence in Singapore out of the five years before your birth, or accumulated a total of four years residency period in Singapore before your birth
Female Children
– At least on parent is a Singapore citizen by birth and child was born on or after 15 May 2004,
– At least on parent is a Singapore citizen by registration, child was born on or after 15 May 2004, and child is not a citizen of another country, or
– Meet the citizen by decent requirement that applies to males

To apply for citizenship, you must fill out an application form and annex. You must provide an acceptable photograph and the following documents:
– Identity Card and Birth Certificate
– Marriage Certificate; Divorce Certificate; Separation Deed
– Passport or travel document
– Entry Permit Card/Re-entry permits
– Educational Certificates and Skill Certificates.
– A letter of employment from current employer stating occupation, date of employment, basic and gross salary per month.
– Latest 6 months payslips (only latest payslip for spouse)
– Authorisation form for ICA to obtain and verify financial information with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Central Provident Fund Board. (However, if you do not wish to give consent for the former, you will need to furnish us with your Income tax notice of assessment for latest 3 years and CPF contribution history for latest 6 months, preceding the date of this application).
– Latest Computer Information on Business Profile from Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), latest balance sheet/profit and loss account if you are a sole proprietor/partner/Director of a company.
– Death Certificate of ex-spouse, proof of child/children’s custody from previous marriage, if applicable.
– Deed Poll or Religious Certificate for change of name (if any).
– Birth Certificate(s)/Passport or travel document of child/children.
– Entry Permit/Identity Card of child/children.
– Foreign Citizenship Certificate and Foreign Identity Card, if any
– National Service Certificate of Service, if any.
– If applicant is a child, then provide an acceptable photograph and birth certificate and passport or travel document. Parents must provide identity cards, passports, marriage certificates and death certificates.

After assembling the required documentation, submit it and the application form to Counters 7 or 8 at the Citizen Services Center. You will have to pay a fee of S$100 and submit to an interview by a government official. You must certify that you haven’t lied during the interview or on the application form. Then, you only have to wait for the government’s verdict.

Renewal of Singapore PR

Renewals are not guaranteed. Your chances are enhanced if you have an uninterrupted and spotless work record, pay plenty of income tax, keep your nose clean and spend all your time in Singapore. We will help you identify and complete the proper application forms and advise you of the documents you must supply.

If you are contemplating permanent residence status and citizenship status in Singapore, we welcome you and stand prepared to shepherd you through the sometimes-Byzantine process.