Guide to Permanent Residence Schemes in Singapore

Permanent Residence Schemes Singapore

Being a permanent resident in Singapore enables one to benefit from privileges such as better tax rates, subsidised housing and healthcare, and being able to travel in and out of Singapore without a visa. This is valuable especially if your business or work requires travelling to foreign states. In addition, permanent residents do not need to renew or obtain work permits in order to work in Singapore. This is why many expatriates consider applying for permanent residency, which is an intermediary step towards citizenship.

The benefits of holding a Blue Card in Singapore include:

  • Being able to start your own business as directors and officers of Singapore companies, or be self-employed
  • Your parents will be eligible for long-stay visas
  • Your school-going children will be given priority after citizens for enrolment in public schools
  • Be eligible to purchase second-hand HDB flat units
  • Enjoy the financial benefits provided by Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme (i.e. contribute a monthly amount to your pension fund, which can be used for healthcare, home ownership, family protection and growing your assets)
  • Be eligible to apply for full citizenship after a number of years of permanent residency

With a declining birth rate and an ageing population, immigration remains important in augmenting and diversifying the Singapore population. As such, Singapore grants permanent resident status to about 30,000 eligible candidates each year.

There are a few ways through which you can attain permanent resident status:

  1. Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme (PTS Scheme)If you are working in Singapore on an Employment Pass or S Pass, you may submit an application for permanent residence under the Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme (PTS Scheme).Under this scheme, you may include in your application your spouse and any unmarried children below the age of 21. Male dependents will be liable for Singapore National Service.The government takes into account the following factors when reviewing your application:
    • Family ties to Singaporeans
    • Economic contributions
    • Qualifications
    • Age
    • Family Profile
    • Length of residency

    This assesses your ability to contribute to Singapore and integrate into society, as well as your commitment to sinking roots.

  2. Global Investor Program Scheme (GIP Scheme)
    If you are a capital investor or entrepreneur who intends to drive your businesses and investment growth from Singapore, you may apply for the Global Investor Programme (GIP). The GIP is an initiative that accords Singapore permanent resident status to eligible global investors. To qualify, you will need to have a substantial business track record and a successful entrepreneurial background. Spouses and children of investors are also eligible for Singapore permanent residency.

    To qualify for the GIP, you can choose from two investment options:

    • Option A: Invest at least SGD 2.5 million in a new business entity or in the expansion of an existing business operation
    • Option B: Invest at least SGD 2.5 million in a GIP-approved fund that invests in Singapore-based companies

    In addition, you must possess at least 3 years of track record in entrepreneurship and business, and produce audited financial statements of your company for the last 3 years. Your company must also have a turnover of at last SGD 50 million a year for the three years preceding your application.

    Your business must also be in the following industries:

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Alternative Energy/Clean Technology
    • Automotive
    • Chemicals
    • Consumer Business (e.g. flavours and fragrances, food ingredients, nutrition, home and personal care)
    • Electronics
    • Energy
    • Engineering Services
    • Healthcare
    • Infocomm Products & Services
    • Logistics & Supply Chain Management
    • Marine & Offshore Engineering
    • Media & Entertainment
    • Medical Technology
    • Nanotechnology
    • Natural Resources (e.g. metals, mining, agri-commodities)
    • Safety & Security
    • Space
    • Shipping
    • Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
    • Precision Engineering
    • Professional Services e.g. consulting, design
    • Arts Businesses
      • Visual arts businesses, e.g. auction houses, art logistics/storage
      • Performing arts businesses
    • Sports Businesses
    • Family Office & Financial Services
  3. Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme (ForArts Scheme)
    If you are an international arts professional, you may consider applying for permanent resident status through the Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme (ForArts scheme). The ForArts scheme is a highly selective scheme aimed at attracting committed and talented individuals to play a critical role in advancing the arts and cultural landscape in Singapore.To be considered, you must meet all the following criteria:

    • Possess relevant training/education in their field of practice
    • Possess relevant professional experience, with outstanding achievements, in the field of Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Literary Arts, Design and/or Media
    • Have made significant contributions to Singapore’s arts and cultural scene, including a strong track record of local engagements at leadership level
    • Have concrete future plans to be involved in Singapore’s arts and cultural sector


  4. Financial Investor Scheme (defunct)
    Since 2012, the Financial Investor Scheme (FIS) has been scrapped. The scheme previously allowed wealthy foreigners to gain permanent resident status by investing SGD 10 million in the economy for a period of five years.

Engage a Corporate Services Provider

Singapore welcomes professionals and other foreigners who are able to make positive contribution to the country’s development and economy in different ways. There are various permanent residence schemes in place to help you obtain Singapore permanent resident status and at Corporate Services Singapore, we can guide you on the most relevant scheme for you.

Beyond permanent resident applications, Corporate Services Singapore provides a comprehensive range of services from incorporation to keeping and maintaining statutory books and registers, to helping you meet the various statutory compliance deadlines. Besides leaving you with more time and resources to plan your move and focus on your core business, this ensures that your business never misses a submission or statutory filing.

Looking to expand or start a business in Singapore? At Corporate Services Singapore, we make moving to Singapore simple. Over the years, we have helped several foreign entrepreneurs, investors and business owners with company set-up to kick start their business in Singapore. To prepare your move to Singapore, give us a call at 6602 8286 or email us at to get started today.

Posted in Company Incorporation.