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Apply for Singapore Citizenship Application in Singapore

Package Fee for Singapore Citizenship application
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
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.
Employment
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.
Housing
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:

CITIZENS PR’S FOREIGNERS
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
Condo purchase Eligible Eligible Eligible
Purchase of property with land Eligible Eligible (Subject to approval from Ministry of law) Not Eligible
Property rental Eligible Eligible 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
1st property 0% 5% 10%
2nd property 7% 10% 10%
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:

  1. Ordinary Account  for homebuying, insurance and school.
  2. Special Account for retirement and emergencies
  3. 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.

Education

Edusave Scheme
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.

School/University Costs
Citizens pay lower education fees. The savings range from 10 to 50 percent, depending on the type of school. This table summarizes the savings:

CITIZENS PR’S FOREIGN STUDENTS
School Fees payable per year in SGD
Government Schools
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
Independent Schools
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
Others
Universities Varies Up to 40% more than citizens Up to 40% to 80% more than citizens
Subsidy/Schemes
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.

Health-Care

Medifund
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:

CITIZENS PR’S FOREIGNERS
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
Adult 8-9 12-14 Not Eligible
Child/Elderly 4-5 12-14 Not Eligible
Healthcare Financing Schemes
Medisave 6-8% of monthly wage 6-8% of monthly wage Not Eligible
Medishield Eligible Eligible Not Eligible
Eldershield Eligible Eligible 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.

Civic Life
Only Singapore Citizens have the right to vote in parliamentary election, run for office or become a Member of Parliament

Leave Benefits

Maternity Leave
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.

Parenthood Incentives

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.

About Taxes
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:

CITIZENS PR’S FOREIGNERS
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
Others
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.

Dual Citizenship
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:

  1. Individuals aged 21 or older who has been a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) for at least two to six years before filing.
  2. Spouse of Singapore Citizen with a minimum of two-year PR and married for at least two years preceding the date of application.
  3. 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:

  1. Existing passport
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Marriage Certificate; Divorce Certificate; Separation Deed
  4. PR card and PR certificate
  5. Educational certificates (high school and above)
  6. Death Certificate of ex-spouse, proof of child/children’s custody from previous marriage, if applicable
  7. Deed Poll or Religious Certificate for change of name, if any
  8. Foreign citizenship certificate
  9. A letter of employment from current employer
  10. Income tax notice of assessment for last 3 years
  11. Payslips for last 6 months and CPF contributions history for last 12 months, if employed
  12. 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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Rejection is given without explanation.  Obviously, you have failed to persuade or motivate the Government Officials. Reasons for rejection could include:

  • Shaky finances
  • Criminal elements
  • Failure to convince officials you’ll remain on the island.

You might:

  • Arrange a private meeting with the Senior ICA Officer from the Citizenship Section. Perhaps you can find a way to convince him to expedite your re-application.
  • Review all documents for mistakes, misstatements and unhelpful information.
  • Be prepared to wait a year.

Yes, if they catch you in a lie or find you failing to live up to your Loyalty Oath.  You will then be a stateless individual with extremely poor prospects.

Some individuals choose to renounce citizenship. This requires careful thought and it might forever dominate your destiny. Should you choose this fate, you will have to follow a procedure and fill out some papers.

Implications of Singapore Citizenship Renunciation
Here is what awaits you:

  1. You will cease to be a citizen of Singapore.
  2. You will be stripped of  subsidies in health-care, education, taxation, employment and other privileges.
  3. You will not be readmitted.
  4. You may lose your job and perhaps other things.

Eligibility Criteria
Under Article 128(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, anyone who wishes to renounce Singapore citizenship must fulfill the following three conditions:

  1. He/she must be 21 years of age or above
  2. Must be of sound mind
  3. Is or is about to become a citizen of another country

In addition, for a male citizen, the government may withhold the registration of declaration of renunciation of Singapore Citizenship under Article 128(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, the provisions which are listed below:
If the declaration is made during any war in which Singapore is engaged
Or
If the declaration is made by a person subject to the Enlistment Act unless he has:

  1. Discharged his liability for full-time service under Section 12 of the Act
  2. Rendered at least 3 years of service under Section 13 of the Act in lieu of such full-time service
  3. Complied with such conditions as may be determined by the Government

What this essentially implies is that if the male citizen is subject to the Enlistment Act and has not discharged his duty for National Service (or equivalent service), the Government has the right to withhold his renunciation of Singapore Citizenship.

Who to Approach
If you are residing in Singapore, you may visit the Citizen Services Centre of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). If you are residing abroad, you can approach the Singapore Overseas Mission.

List of Documents to Submit
The following are the documents are necessary:

  1. Certified true copy of Birth Certificate or the original Singapore Citizenship Certificate.
  2. Original Singapore Identity Card.
  3. Original Singapore passport.
  4. Certified true copy of your foreign citizenship certificate and foreign passport. Such certification must be made by the Foreign Government Authority or the foreign country’s representation nearest to you in your country of residence.
  5. Completed “Acknowledgement letter from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority”. This form is available at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Citizen Services Centre or you can approach the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission if you are residing overseas. This form has to be dated and duly signed by you.
  6. Completed “Renunciation of Singapore Citizenship” Form. This form is available at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Citizen Services Centre or you can approach the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission if you are residing overseas. This form has to be dated and duly signed by you. Additionally, a Notary Public or Consular Officer of Singapore has to date, sign and affix his official stamp on the form.
  7. Completed “Questionnaire for Singaporeans who renounce Citizenship”. This form is available at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Citizen Services Centre or you can approach the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission if you are residing overseas.
  8. A cover letter providing the following particulars: complete name, mailing address, e-mail address and all contact phone numbers for ease of communication.
  9. If you have changed your name you have to provide documentary evidence from the relevant authorities to substantiate the change (e.g. Change of Name Certificate, Marriage Certificate etc.).
  10. Marriage Certificate (for females married to foreign nationals).

Processing Time and Fee
Once you are ready with all the documents, you can approach the ICA or Singapore Overseas Mission (who will in turn forward your application to the ICA in Singapore). The processing fee is SGD 35. The processing time is four weeks for female applicants and eight weeks for males. The ICA will consider each application on its own merits. Once the renunciation of Singapore citizenship is formally registered, a short stay in Singapore will be allowed (if you are residing in Singapore) so that you have sufficient time to make arrangements to leave. Once your application is approved, the ICA will issue the notification letter of cessation of citizenship to you. If you are overseas, the Singapore ICA will forward the letter to the relevant Singapore Overseas Mission, to be issued to you.

Withdrawal of CPF Balance
You may withdraw your CPF in full, from all the accounts, if you have left Singapore and West Malaysia permanently with no intention of returning to either country for employment or residence. In addition you should have renounced your Singapore Citizenship. You may apply for withdrawal online under my cpf online services – My Requests if you have a SingPass (Singapore Personal Access Identity). Alternatively, you can complete the Withdrawal Application Form and mail it to the CPF Board, Withdrawal Schemes Department in Singapore.

The application form needs to be accompanied with relevant supporting documents (mentioned in the form). These documents must be certified by a Notary Public or an official from the Singapore High Commission, with his official seal/stamp duly affixed. Certifications by Justices of Peace or Commissioner of Oaths are not accepted. Once the CPF Board receives the form your CPF Funds will be forwarded to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to settle your income tax liabilities (if any). You will receive your money either through a bank transfer or a CPF withdrawal cheque (if you are in Singapore) or demand draft (if you are overseas). The processing time takes anywhere between 4-6 weeks.

The two most commonly asked questions are: Can I re-apply for Singapore citizenship in the future? and Can I come back to Singapore to work or study?

Once you renounce your Singapore citizenship, you will be treated like any other foreigner and any application for immigration facilities, including Singapore citizenship, will be considered on its own merits under the prevailing rules and regulations. To be able to work or study in Singapore you will need a valid work pass and student’s pass. Applications for these passes will be treated like any other application and will be considered on their own merits. Being an ex-Singapore citizen has no standing in these matters and there is no assurance that you will be allowed to enter Singapore. If you are granted PR or citizen status again, please note that you will have to refund the amount withdrawn from your CPF Account at the time of renunciation, along with interest rate accruals.