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EI Article Series

How to Apply PR for a Spouse?

PR Application for Spouse: Introduction

A person currently either a Singapore citizen or permanent resident can apply for Singapore permanent residency for their foreign national spouse. Applicants of this type of visa will fall under a sponsorship scheme under which the spouse who holds Singapore citizenship or permanent residency is the sponsor, while the foreign spouse is referred to as the applicant.

The sponsorship scheme also allows unmarried children under the age of 21 to apply for permanent residency. However, this article focuses mainly on PR for spouses.

PR Application for Spouse: Introduction

To apply for PR for spouse under this scheme, you must be legally married

To qualify for this scheme, you and your spouse (The applicant) must be legally married and a marriage certificate must be available. Any marriage that is not legally recognized, cannot be used to apply for PR for the spouse. So common law marriages and live-in relationships are not eligible.

To apply for PR for spouse under this scheme, you must be legally married

Why apply PR for Spouse?

The first point is to understand what are the benefits of applying for PR for the spouse. After all, the spouse will get an LTVP and use it to stay and work in Singapore. Below are the main reasons why you should apply PR for the spouse.

Applying PR for Spouse Benefit 1: Buying a resale HDB flat

Buying affordable housing is on the cards for most of the PR. However, to buy a resale HDB unit, you need a minimum of two Singapore permanent residents. They are from the family unit, husband and wife. If you are an existing PR and your spouse is on LTVP, you cannot buy an HDB unit in the resale market. So you need to apply PR for your spouse.

Applying PR for Spouse Benefit 2: Wider job scope

Getting permanent residency in Singapore, a thriving metropolitan city, could open doors to a more promising career path. Many PRs value the flexibility of changing jobs without undergoing the necessary paperwork that comes with any job change. When an LTVP pass holder changes jobs, a process is required to notify MOM about the job change. Also, many employers still shy away from employing a person on LTVP.

However, this is not an issue for Singapore PRs since they are readily acceptable as a local workforce. There are also a lot of job postings that only seek out Singaporeans and PRs due to the hiring restrictions. Getting a PR status for your spouse would allow you to bypass these hiring limitations.

In general, getting a PR for the spouse is considered significantly beneficial from a career point of view.

Applying PR for Spouse Benefit 3: Access to CPF

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) requires you and your employer to set aside and stash a monthly minimum amount in your retirement fund. With this store of money, you can pay for various necessities, such as medical care, your home, and retirement. So long as your spouse is on LTVP, there is no CPF plan for them. This means that despite working here, your spouse will not be able to participate in this scheme or receive interest from your CPF account. CPF accounts can be opened only after your spouse achieves their PR status.

Applying PR for Spouse Benefit 4: Ability to stay in Singapore for an extended period of time

A long-term visit pass can be applied for your spouse, but it only lasts for two years. The benefit of being a permanent resident of Singapore is that your spouse can remain here for long. Applying for PR is a suitable option in this case.

Applying PR for Spouse Benefit 5: Other benefits

In addition to the above, a PR also enjoys other benefits like subsidized medical facilities, qualifying for skills future courses, government-funded training plans, being considered for local job fairs, and so on.

Why apply PR for Spouse?

What is the success rate of PR applications for Spouse under the sponsorship scheme

There is a greater success rate for applications filed under the family sponsorship scheme than under other schemes. This is because under the sponsorship scheme for a family member, the ICA usually has not have many things to check. The sponsor is already a citizen or a PR living in Singapore and asks for the spouse's PR as well. As a result, this is a very straightforward application.

There are even greater chances of approval when the application is sponsored by a Singapore citizen (versus a Singapore PR sponsor). However, do take note of the following points as well.

success rate of PR applications for Spouse

Evaluation Criteria for application for PR for Spouse

When a Singapore citizen or PR's spouse applies for PR status under a sponsorship scheme, both the applicant and their spouse are evaluated. ICA is strict on some of these criteria.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 1: Criteria related to finances & income

As Singapore places a high value on education and careers, an applicant with a successful career and a good role in their field will have a much greater chance of success. This evaluation will also consider the spouse's economic status and whether the applicant's income is sufficient to support the household and contribute to societal taxes.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 2: The educational background of both

A qualification's reputation and the institution it was obtained from significantly impact your application, as does its potential economic impact on Singapore.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 3: Social Considerations

Social cohesion plays a critical role in Singapore's multicultural society. They value individuals who add meaning to society and integrate well into the local community. Family ties will also play a relevant role here as in how long applicants live and work in Singapore.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 4: Age of the sponsor and the spouse

In particular, the current age and the age at the time of marriage are carefully examined by the ICA. If the age is a natural age for marriage, then the application will be approved more quickly.

It might take some time for the application to be approved if the applicant and sponsor get married relatively late in life.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 5: Duration of marriage

ICA will similarly consider the duration of the marriage. The general practice is to wait for 2 years before applying for PR.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 6: Presence of Children

If a child is born out of the union, it is a positive thing and significantly boosts your chances of PR approval. ICA is often worried about sham or fake marriages. So any factor which contradicts this doubt is beneficial for your application.

Applying PR for Spouse criteria 7: Number of previous marriages

ICA will similarly consider the number of prior marriages for both applicant and the souse.

Evaluation Criteria for application for PR for Spouse

Documents Required to apply PR for Spouse

For the Applicant:

  • Payslips for the last six months (if employed in Singapore)
  • Letter of employment
    • Date of commencement
    • Role in the company
    • Monthly salary
  • If self-employed:
    • Valid Business Registration Certificate from ACRA
    • Company's Profit and Loss statement for the last twelve months
  • Current LTVP pass
  • Copy of the passport biodata page
  • Recent passport-sized photo as per the photo requirements
  • Educational Certificates
  • Educational Transcripts
  • Birth Certificate

For the Sponsor:

  • Payslips for the last six months
  • Letter of employment
    • Date of commencement
    • Role in the company
    • Monthly salary
  • If self-employed:
    • Valid Business Registration Certificate from ACRA
    • Company's Profit and Loss statement for the last twelve months
  • Notice of Assessment for Singapore Income Tax for the previous three years
  • A statement from the Central Provident Fund showing your monthly contributions for the last twelve months
  • Identity Card
  • Current Marriage certificate for the marriage with the applicant
Documents Required to apply PR for Spouse

Steps in applying PR for Spouse

To apply for Singapore PR, you will need to submit your application form and all required documents through ICA's e-Service. As the ICA does not conduct face-to-face interviews, the e-PR system captures all the information needed for the PR Application for the spouse ICA.

Before beginning your application, it is recommended that you download the 4SC application form and the explanatory notes. Make sure that you have all the documents ready to submit. You should not start the application process until you have all of the required documents if you are still awaiting some of the required documents. The process will automatically submit after seven days if you do not complete it within that time.

Applying PR for Spouse Step 1: Complete the Application Form

Your application form must be correct, consistent, and complete. This is done offline and then submitted online once complete and checked for errors.

Provide all details accurately, and keep them consistent throughout your application and the supporting documents. Do not leave any important information out.

Applying PR for Spouse Step 2: Prepare Documents

The form and the explanatory notes will list the documents required for the applicant and sponsor. Scans of these documents need to be high quality and legible.

Please ensure your documents are smaller than 2MB each and in PDF or JPEG format.

To be accepted, private translations must be attested by the country of origin and notarized by a notary public in Singapore or the country where they were issued. Translations produced in Singapore or the country where a notary public gave the documents are accepted. It is also acceptable to have a translation provided directly by the embassy of the originating country.

Your application can be denied if you do not provide the required documents.

Applying PR for Spouse Step 3: Online Submission

Log in to your valid SingPass Account once you are ready to submit. The application form should be submitted by following all instructions provided, and you should review all the details you provide. During this process, you should also be able to pay the application fee.

As soon as you submit your application, you will receive an acknowledgment from ICA. You must save this document and your completed application form and payment receipt.

Applying PR for Spouse Step 4: Waiting for Feedback

On average, Singapore authorities will review your PR application in four to six months. However, this is only an estimate, and the process can sometimes be much shorter or much longer. Extreme examples range from two to eighteen months.

Upon approval of your Singapore PR application, you will receive your feedback via mail. This is yet another reason to keep your details up to date.

In processing your application, you can track its progress online. The status will change from pending to approved if your application for Singapore permanent residency is successful. If you were unsuccessful in your Singapore PR application, your status will be rejected.

Steps in applying PR for Spouse

Result of PR Application for Spouse

Singapore PR Status is Granted to the spouse

The approval letter will be sent to you after applying to become a Singapore permanent resident (PR). Further instructions will be provided on getting your NRIC and Re-Entry Permit. In case your family member does not yet have PR or is not an S-Pass holder, you must pay an additional fee for documents such as your re-entry permit or entry visa.

Singapore PR Application for spouse is Rejected

It will take a minimum of six months for you to reapply if your application for Singapore permanent residence has not been successful. If your application is rejected for no apparent reason, you can appeal it; however, if your appeal is unsuccessful, it will further delay it by a few months. It is, therefore, essential to think carefully before attempting to appeal a Singapore permanent resident application.

Result of PR Application for Spouse

Other Considerations when applying for PR for Spouse

You must begin collecting supporting documents for Singapore immigration if you and your spouse are serious about becoming permanent residents. To answer the question: Is my spouse eligible for Singapore PR status? You must be able to provide evidence.

In your PR application, you are suggested to include any family ties you have to Singapore citizens or PRs. This is known to have boosted the chances of PR application considerably. Also, you need to make sure that all the document copies that you need to submit are proper and acceptable as per ICA standards.

Visit the rest of our website for more information on other types of PR applications. We have information on all types of PR and citizenship applications, including information for international students. If you plan to use an agent for applying PR for spouse, please get in touch with our office for the next steps.

Other Considerations when applying for PR for Spouse
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