|Packages Available||Fee (SGD)|
|Application of Singapore Citizenship||From $2,000 (W/GST $2,140)|
This is a comprehensive review of all the factors you’ll need to consider if you want to become a citizen of Singapore. Although the process might take a while, we think it’s well worth it, as the rewards can be substantial.
Benefits and Drawbacks
There are several good reasons to gaining Singapore citizen hip– it makes it easy to travel when you have a Singapore passport. You’ll find benefits in education, health-care, housing and employment. There are some disadvantages, like giving up your home country citizenship and performing mandatory National Service for two years.
Singapore is one of the most livable cities in the world. The Western-style city is safe and clean. The standard of living is high, attracting many long-term residents and naturalized citizens.
Benefits of Singapore Citizenship
Singapore Passport holders are welcome the world round. A holder can easily obtain visas especially for destinations like the United States. You should have few obstacles going through customs. Singapore ranks eighth in travel freedom worldwide.
It’s easier to get a job in Singapore if you’re a permanent resident or citizen, because of the superior nature of such people and the freedom from excessive paperwork and expenses.
Only adult Singapore citizens can buy and rent apartments from the HDB – Housing & Development Board. Variously sized apartments are subsidized. Singapore citizens can also obtain HDB-subsidized executive condos and studio apartments.
Citizens can get low-interest housing loans and special first-home subsidies of up to S$ 30,000. Citizens need only pay a small amount for upgrades to HDB apartments. Only citizens can buy residential property without pre-approval.
Here is a benefit summary:
|Housing subsidies||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Eligibility for New HDB flats||Eligible if buying with spouse, fiancé or family member of any nationality||Eligible if buying with Singaporean spouse, fiancé or family member||Not Eligible|
|Eligibility for Resale HDB flats||Eligible||Number of PR households in neighbourhood must be within 5% quota. Malaysian PRs are exempt. If buying with another PR, must wait three years from the date of obtaining PR.||Not Eligible|
|Renting of HDB flats||Can rent out whole flat||Cannot rent out whole flat but can rent out spare bedrooms||Not Applicable|
|Purchase of investment property||Eligible||Eligible (Subject to HDB’s Eligibility schemes)||Not Eligible|
|Room rental from owners||Eligible||Eligible||Eligible|
|Purchase of property with land||Eligible||Eligible (Subject to approval from Ministry of law)||Not Eligible|
|CPF Housing Grant||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Subsidized upgrades||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Low-cost mortgages||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Bank mortgage loans||Eligible||Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Additional buyer’s stamp duty|
|3rd property onwards||10%||10%||10%|
Central Provident Fund (CPF)
Singapore’s mandatory social security savings plan for citizens and PRs is the Central Provident Fund. Employers and employees contribute 14.5% and 20% respectively to the CPF each month. The money goes into three accounts:
- Ordinary Account for homebuying, insurance and school.
- Special Account for retirement and emergencies
- Medisave Account for health-related expenses
Employer CPF contributions non taxable and your contribution can give tax relief. The CPF is only open to citizens. Voluntary contributions by non-citizens can’t serve tax relief purposes.
For more information, see Central Provident Fund.
The Edusave Scheme allows the government to help boost the education of young Singapore citizens. Excellent students receive awards. The program covers full-time students at:
- Government or government aided schools
- Independent schools
- Junior colleges
- Centralized Institute
- Institute of Technical Education
- Special education schools
The scheme has components for savings, grants and scholarships.
Citizens pay lower education fees. The savings range from 10 to 50 percent, depending on the type of school. This table summarizes the savings:
|School Fees payable per year in SGD|
|Primary level||Free||$90, up from $40||90+ other charges|
|Secondary Level||$5||$120, up from $55||130+ other charges|
|Pre-University level (Junior Colleges, Centralised Institute)||$6||$160, up from $80||240+other charges|
|Secondary level||1800-3060||2160-3672||variable depending on the school|
|Pre-University level (only applicable for Junior Colleges)||2700-4800||3240-5760||variable depending on the school|
|Universities||Varies||Up to 40% more than citizens||Up to 40% to 80% more than citizens|
|Edusave Scheme||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Pri 1 registration|
|Priority when balloting is necessary||Admitted first||Since 2012, only admitted after citizens||Not applicable|
For more information, see Ministry of Education.
The government’s Medifund helps low-income citizens pay medical costs incurred at approved facilities. Others don’t benefit from this fund.
Primary Care Partnership Scheme (PCPS)
If a citizen can’t travel to one of the country’s 18 polyclinics, local doctors and dentists can offer outpatient services at polyclinic rates.
Medical Fees and Charges
Citizens pay less for polyclinic medical consultations and receive greater subsidies, up to 10 percent more. Here is a handy summary:
|Public Healthcare Subsidies|
|Public & Restructured Hospitals (% subsidised)|
|Types of Ward Class|
|Class B1||20%||10%||Not Eligible|
|Class B2||50% to 65%||25% to 40%||Not Eligible|
|Class C||65% to 80%||32.5% to 55%||Not Eligible|
|Types of service|
|Day Surgery||65%||40%||Not Eligible|
|Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOC)||50%||25%||Not Eligible|
|Polyclinics medical consultation charges in SGD – approximate figures|
|Healthcare Financing Schemes|
|Medisave||6-8% of monthly wage||6-8% of monthly wage||Not Eligible|
|Primary Care Partnership Scheme||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Medifund||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
Note: Eligibility is subject to fulfilling certain conditions. For more information please see , Ministry of Health.
Only Singapore Citizens have the right to vote in parliamentary election, run for office or become a Member of Parliament
Parents of citizens get 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. The employer and the government share the costs. The government subsidies range from S$20,000 to S$40,000, depending on the stage of pregnancy. Non-citizens must rely on whatever the employer decides.
Enhanced Childcare Leave
Each parent with three months of tenure gets six days of paid childcare leave per year until the child, who must be a citizen, turns seven. The employer and the government share the costs, with a cap on government subsidies of S$500 per day. Non-citizens must rely on whatever the employer decides.
Infant Care Leave
Same benefits as Enhanced Childcare Leave.
Baby Bonus Scheme
The government will pay Singapore citizens to have more children. You can get S$4,000 for your first two children and S$6,000 for the next two. You’ll get dollar-for-dollar government matching of contributions to Children Development Accounts for children up to five years old. The matching funds top out at S$6,000 for the first two children and double that for the next two.
Child Care Centers
Leave the citizen children and infants at licensed daycare centers and receive government subsidies. You’ll get S$600 for infants two to 18 months old and then S$300 a month until age seven.
Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR)
Raise citizen children and pocket tax rebates! You can get government tax rebates from S$5,000 to S$20,000 per child.
Citizens get .special tax benefits for raising children. We’ve already mentioned the Parenthood Tax Rebate. Here are some other programs for citizens.
Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR)
This program rewards working mothers who are tax residents and have children who are Singapore citizens. The tax credit is based on earned income and increases with each child.
Qualifying/Handicapped Child Relief (QCR/HCR)
This program helps handicapped children who are citizen. It pays up to S$9,500 to parents of eligible children.
Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR)
The government will pay up to S$3,000 to resident grandparents who help working mothers raise their citizen children.
Everyone in Singapore pays the same income tax rates, but citizens deduct contributions to the Central Provident Fund. Here is a summary of Singapore’s tax incentives:
|Tax incentives for parenthood|
|Parenthood Tax Rebate||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Working Mother’s Child Relief||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Qualifying Child Relief||Eligible||Eligible||Eligible|
|Handicapped Child Relief||Eligible||Eligible||Eligible|
|Grandparent Caregiver Relief||Eligible||Not Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Tax Relief for CPF (Central Provident Fund) Contributions||Eligible||Eligible||Not Eligible|
|Tax Relief for CPF Cash-Top Up||Eligible||Eligible||Not Eligible|
Obligations of Singapore Citizenship
You can’t expect to gain citizenship to a leading nation like Singapore without also assuming your responsibilities.
National Service (NS)
Young male Singapore citizens must register for the National Service beginning at age 16 ½. At 18, they will enlist for a two-year full-time tour unless deferred. Following this, they serve 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service every year until the age of 40 or 50, depending on rank. Second generation male PR’s must also serve.
No self-respecting Singapore citizen would want to have dual citizenship, which is good because it’s not allowed. You must surrender any other passports and renounce citizenship in other countries.
CPF Withdrawal Limitation
If you want to withdraw you CPF savings, you’ll have to renounce your citizenship or PR status.
Filing for Citizenship
You should apply for Singapore citizenship soberly and deliberatively, as it is one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. Make sure you understand the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship berfore starting the process Be prepared to give up any other citizenship and to send your male children into National Service. However, the benefits are great, including:
- The Singapore International Passport – The gold standard for international travelers who wish to travel the globe with a minimum of hassles.
- The Right to Vote – You are expected to exercise your franchise to vote for the top offices.
- Citizenship for Offspring – Citizenship passes down to children, but children born in Singapore of non-citizen parents must apply for citizenship.
- Housing – Citizens have access to choice subsidized housing and discounted upgrades, while PRs can only buy resale apartments and pay the full cost of upgrades. Citizens have unrestricted rights to buy landed property.
Here is a rundown of the process to become a Singapore citizen.
Step 1: Review Eligibility
The following categories of people may apply:
- Individuals aged 21 or older who has been a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) for at least two to six years before filing.
- Spouse of Singapore Citizen with a minimum of two-year PR and married for at least two years preceding the date of application.
- Child born outside Singapore with a parent who is a Singapore citizen.
We’ll concentrate on the first category
The Government will evaluate your character, behavior and beliefs to make sure you will make a good citizen. A good citizen obeys all the laws and pays income tax on time. Here are some other considerations:
- History of living in the country
- Evidence of good morals and law-abiding behavior
- Spreading money around in Singapore and cultivating the right social contacts. You must show you intend to reside in Singapore over the long term.
- Making money and paying taxes, not being a drag on the economy by requiring aid.
Step 2: Application and Supporting Documents Preparation
If you feel you can earn citizenship, download and fill out the necessary documents.
Complete these forms and provide supporting documents. Make a photocopy of each document. Here is the list of the documents to prepare:
- Existing passport
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate; Divorce Certificate; Separation Deed
- PR card and PR certificate
- Educational certificates (high school and above)
- 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
- Foreign citizenship certificate
- A letter of employment from current employer
- Income tax notice of assessment for last 3 years
- Payslips for last 6 months and CPF contributions history for last 12 months, if employed
- Latest ACRA business profile and balance sheet/profit and loss account of your business in case you are a business owner
Don’t forget to file applications for your PR spouse and children. Your spouse must supply the same documents and you’ll need the passport, birth certificate, and PR certificate of each child. The government will accept or reject you and your family as a unit.
You can supply the following documents to improve your chances:
- Cover Letter. Explain to the government officials why you seek citizenship, your ties to the community, the money you’ve spent and are willing to spend and your determination to do whatever it takes to make a positive impression.
- Show receipts and deeds for any purchases you’ve made in Singapore.
- Include evidence of the wealth you’ve amassed and how you plan to use it to improve Singapore’s economy, of which the government and its officials are an important part.
Bottom line: do what it takes to ingratiate yourself with the hardworking government officials who hold your future in their hands.
Step 3: Application Procedure
Submit your application in person at the ICA office. Bear in mind the following :
- Get to the sixth floor vacation early in the morning to avoid the crowds
- An initial interrogator will inspect your documents to ensure all is in order
- You will be scheduled for your detailed interrogation. The Interrogation Officer has years of experience uncovering the truth, so don’t attempt to lie, even if you are good at it. You will have to sign certain papers. If you don’t bring all your documents, the proceeding will be rescheduled and you will have to endure it from the beginning. If your family is also applying, they must be in the interrogation room with you throughout.
- Following the interrogation, you must pay a fee of S$100 payable by NETS or CashCard. The payment receipt proves that you have survived the application process without harm.
- Be prepared for the wait as Government Officials mull your fate.
Step 4: Application Outcome
After cooling your heels from three to nine months, the Government will inform you of its decision via regular mail. If you find the wait unbearable, you can call the ICA office for a status update. The staff person will not be of much help other than telling you that your application is still under review. Once you are approved, you must prepare to take your Loyalty Oath.
Step 5: Oath Taking and Becoming a Singapore Citizen
You must visit the ICA office to swear to the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty. Arrive at the appointed time without fail and bring along the following documents:
- Your original and photocopy of your foreign citizenship Renunciation Letter. You obtain this at the embassy of your former nationality once you’ve been approved. The embassy and your former government may take from one to 12 months to approve your request, although the embassy official might be able to offer you expedited handling. The embassy will normally issue you a letter documenting your request — this is sufficient to take the Loyalty Oath. .
- Your PR card i.e. blue identity card.
- Four passport size photos as per the specifications as indicated in the approval letter
- Any other documents that might be indicated in the approval letter
At the Loyalty Ceremony, the presiding officer will:
- Collect the documents from you
- Ask you to take the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty and sign some procedural paperwork
- Collect another fee (S$70 via NETS) , this one for issuance of citizenship certificate
- Issue you a temporary identity card
After the Loyalty Officer dismisses you, you can apply for your Singapore passport by filling out another application form. This will set you back another S$70 per passport. You’ll receive your passports in three to five days by registered mail.
Your assimilation continues with the Citizenship Ceremony organized by the Group Representative Constituency (GRC).
Step 6: Citizenship Ceremony
In three to four months, you will be” invited” to the Citizenship Ceremony. Attendance is not optional. Present yourself at the your local Community Center at the appointed time. You will be introduced to your fellow assimilants. Bring along the following papers:
- The letter you received ordering you to the ceremony.
- Your temporary identity card given to you earlier
The event lasts precisely two hours and you may not leave early. The State Minister and local MP will preside over the program, which will include:
- Speech by Guest-of-Honor
- Recitation of Pledge
- Singing of the National Anthem
- Presentation of Citizenship Certificates and Pink Identity Cards
- Group Photo Taking
- Buffet Reception
Congratulations! You are now a completely assimilated citizen of Singapore!