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.
If you're sponsoring your spouse, you must meet one of two conditions. The first condition is being legally married, which means going through a ceremonial marriage and registering it with the marriage authority in your country of residence.
However, nowadays, some couples choose to live together without a formal ceremony or registration. These relationships are known as common law marriages, and they are also eligible for permanent residency (PR) sponsorship. Common law marriages used to be disallowed in the past, but that's no longer the case.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A qualification's reputation and the institution it was obtained from significantly impact your application, as does its potential economic impact on Singapore.
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.
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.
ICA will similarly consider the duration of the marriage. The general practice is to wait for 2 years before applying for PR.
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.
ICA will similarly consider the number of prior marriages for both applicant and the souse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.