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EI Article Series

Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP Scheme)

This article aims to guide the Global Investor Programme, an immigration scheme that grants Permanent Resident status to eligible global investors who intend to manage their businesses and investments from Singapore.

What criteria qualify you for the Global Investor Programme? How can you apply? Are family members eligible for PR status under the program? Read on for answers to these and other questions about the Permanent Residence GIP scheme.

Watch the video or read below

Introduction

Singapore is widely recognized as a global business hub because of its business-friendly legislation, attractive tax regime, and political stability. In addition to its favorable immigration policies, Singapore attracts foreign professionals from all over the world and its numerous programs grant permanent residency to foreign talent and their families. Singapore offers a Global Investor Programme for foreign investors.

Global Investor Programme Singapore: Why People Like SG

What is the Global Investor Program, Commonly known as GIP?

Singapore GIP (Global Investor Programme)

An investor or entrepreneur who meets the minimum requirements may apply for the Global Investor Program (GIP), sometimes known as the Singapore Investment Visa. This is a scheme that awards permanent residency status to the qualifying applicants based on their investment plan and work background in the entrepreneurial or investment sector.

Global Investor Program is the only program in Singapore's immigration landscape that allows a foreigner who has never worked or lived in Singapore to apply and get permanent residency status.

Contact Singapore, a Singapore Economic Development Board division, administers the GIP, which was introduced in 2004 to attract, work, and live in Singapore for international investors.

Global Investor Program Eligibility

Government authorities updated the Global Investor Programme eligibility in 2019. This was done to accommodate the emerging industries and the startup scene.

The GIP program now has two aspects ;

Qualifying Criteria – A person must satisfy in order to be eligible for applying to the GIP.

Commitment Criteria – A person must invest (2.5 Million SGD) in specific types of companies, funds or schemes to get PR status.

As you can see, Singapore Global Investor Program is not an investment visa scheme really, as it has stringent qualifying conditions. At best, it can be called an entrepreneur Investor scheme of obtaining permanent residency.

You must satisfy both the requirements to qualify for GIP

Global Investor Program Qualifying Criteria

In order to be eligible to apply for the GIP visa, a person must satisfy the requirements specified under one of the categories below.

GIP Qualifying Category 1: Business Owners to qualify must:

  • Experience in entrepreneurship and business activities for at least three years;
  • The applicant must be currently running a company that had a turnover averaging at least S$200 million per year over the three years immediately preceding the application;
  • Own at least 30% of the shareholding in the company if it is privately held;
  • Work in one or more of the qualifying industries.
  • The applicant must commit to making an investment in one of the options - either A, B, or C investment options.

GIP Qualifying Category 2: Next-Generation Business Owners :

Next-generation business owners refer to those people whose parents or grandparents started a business and grew it to a sizable level. So this scheme attracts such next-generation scions of family businesses. To qualify under this category, they must ;

  • Hold at least 30% shareholding in the company they use to qualify within their immediate family;
  • In the year immediately preceding the application, the company's annual turnover must have been at least S$500 million, and it must have averaged at least S$500 million per year for the three preceding years;
  • They are part of the company's management team (e.g., C-suite or Board of Directors);
  • The company work in one or more of the qualifying industries.
  • The applicant must commit to investing in one of the options (options A, B, or C.)

GIP Qualifying Category 3: Founders of Fast Growth Companies Must:

  • A founder and one of the largest individual shareholders of a company valued at at least S$500 million;
  • The company must be invested in by reputable venture capital or private equity firms; and
  • A company must be engaged in one or more of the qualifying industries.
  • The applicant must commit to investing in one of the options (in Option A, Option B, or Option C)

GIP Qualifying Category 3: Family Office Principals Must:

  • Experience in entrepreneurship, investment, or management of at least five years;
  • Investable assets of at least S$200 million. These include bank deposits, capital market products, collective investment schemes, premiums paid on life insurance policies, and other investment products, excluding real estate.
  • Investment options C and D are the only options available
Global Investor Programme Singapore : Qualifying crieteria

Global Investor Program Investment Commitment

Applicants who meet the criteria of one of the four categories described above then must choose from three investment options in Singapore to obtain the PR.

Option A

  • Investing in a new business entity or expanding an existing business operation. must invest S$2.5 million to qualify for this option.
  • You must submit a detailed five-year business or investment plan with projected employment, expenditure, and financial projections. The business plan will be evaluated based on its feasibility, your role in growing the option A company, the business activities, and the creation of local jobs.
  • Ideally, you should hold 30% or more shares in Option A and be involved in the company's management (e.g., C-suite, Board).

Option B

  • Investing S$2.5 million, in a GIP-approved fund that invests in Singapore-based companies qualifies you for this option.
  • An assessment of your application will be based on your future business or investment plans in Singapore, which may include details on the proposed business activities, the amount of investment, and the creation of local employment.

Option C

  • To qualify for this option, you must invest S$2.5 million in a Singapore-based single-family office with at least S$200 million in assets under management.
  • A detailed five-year business plan with employment and financial projections will be required. The business plan will be assessed based on your role in the single-family office, your family office functions, your proposed investment sectors, asset types, and geographical focus.

Global Investor Program Qualifying Investment Industries

Singapore GIP approved industries

In order to qualify for the GIP, the qualifying business must be in one of the following industries:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Alternative energy or clean technology
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer business (e.g. flavors and fragrances, food ingredients, nutrition, home and personal care)
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Engineering services
  • Healthcare
  • Infocom products and services
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Marine and offshore engineering
  • Media and entertainment
  • Medical technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Natural resources (e.g. metals, mining, agri-commodities)
  • Safety and Security
  • Space
  • Shipping
  • Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
  • Precision engineering
  • Professional services e.g. consulting, design
  • Arts businesses (visual arts businesses, e.g. auction houses, art logistics or storage, and performing arts businesses)
  • Sports businesses
  • Family office and financial services

The procedure for applying for the Global Investor Programme

Foreign investors must comply with the following steps to obtain GIP approval and PR status as soon as they determine whether they fall into one of the four groups of investors.

Step 1. Submitting an application

In order to submit application forms, a non-refundable fee of S$10,000 is required. Any transaction fees must be paid by the applicant. Typical documents those need to be submitted are ;

  • Undertaking* on the Terms and Conditions of the Global Investor Programme;
  • Declaration form for Application of Global Investor Programme in Form A
  • Declaration form for Proposed Investment Plan in Form B
  • Payment details of the Application fee in Form C
  • Statutory Declaration Form
  • A print-out copy of the GIP E-application form
  • Application for an Entry Permit to enter Singapore
  • Notarised copies of the travel documents or passports pages showing personal particulars and official descriptions (if the applicant has more than one passport, please include them)
  • Notarised copy of the birth certificate showing the names of both parents
  • A detailed write-up of immediate family members' backgrounds (i.e. their name, age and employment)
  • Notarised copy of official marriage certificate (if applicable);
  • Notarised copy of divorce certificate in respect of your previous marriage/s (if applicable)
  • Notarised copy of "Deed Poll" or "Change of name" certificate (if applicable)
  • Passport photographs

Additionally, the following documents are required to prove the qualification for applying to the GIP program

  • Original audited financial reports (for the last 3 years) of the applicant's main business as listed in Form A
  • Latest notarized copy of the documents stating the applicant's share ownership of the main business and any other business included in the application
  • Diagrammatic illustration of the shareholding structure of the applicant's main business
  • Latest notarised copy of the Business Registration Certificate/Business License for the applicant's main business and any other business included in the application
  • Detailed curriculum vitae of the applicant
  • Detailed business plan
  • Any additional documents to support the applicant's investment decision

Step 2. Interview

EDB will interview you after you submit your application.

Step 3. Approval-in-Principle for Global Investor Program Singapore

Upon passing the interview and meeting the assessment criteria, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will issue you an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) status. This is an indication that you have qualified for the GIP Program, and now you can proceed to make the required investment.

Step 4. Completing Global Investor Program Investment Commitment

Within six months of receiving the AIP letter, you must make the necessary investment under the selected investment option from your personal bank account in your sole name, opened in a Singapore-registered bank.

Step 5. Providing Evidence to EDB for GIP Investment done

You should provide evidence of the investment (e.g. a certified true copy of the share certificate, bank statement, and other relevant documents) to the EDB upon making the investment.

Step 6. Final Approval

After the EDB has verified the investment documents, ICA will issue a letter of final approval of your PR status. You should formalize your PR status as soon as possible. Permanent Residence status within 12 months from the date of the final approval letter.

In most cases, the application process takes between six and eight months to complete. As soon as you make the investment, complete all the formalities, and receive your PR identity card, you will be able to enjoy most of the benefits available to Singaporeans. The benefits include visa-free residence in the country, tax relief, reduced stamp duty on real estate purchases, reduced medical expenses, priority access to government-supported infant care facilities, and government-run primary and secondary schools for your children, as well as many other benefits.

Re-Entry Permit and PR Renewals

You will receive a Re-Entry Permit (REP) after the formalisation of your PR. It is possible to keep your PR status even when you are outside of Singapore with the REP. In order to renew the Re-Entry Permit and your PR status, you must meet the Re-Entry Permit Renewal Conditions by the fifth year of your PR status.

PR for the Family

A successful application under any of the above options will entitle the applicant and his or her family members to Permanent Residency in Singapore.

Thus, your spouse and unmarried children aged younger than 21 years old can apply for PR under your GIP application. Note that male children who obtain PR by virtue of being your dependant will be liable for national service. Please visit the Central Manpower Base website for more information on national service in Singapore.

However, your parents and unmarried children 21 or older are not permitted to apply for PR under your GIP application. Instead, they can apply for a 5-year Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), which is tied to the validity of your REP. Please refer to Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website for more details on LTVP.

Global Investor Programme Singapore: PR for entire family

Summary

The Global Investor Programme may be of interest to you if you are a high-net-worth investor who wishes to start or relocate a business in Singapore. High net-worth individuals and business owners who meet certain criteria can apply for Permanent Resident status under the GIP. Demonstrate a plan for bringing capital into the Singapore economy as well as creating employment opportunities for Singaporeans while driving your business growth here.

As you can see, the paperwork involved in the application for Global Investor Programme Singapore is quite detailed and extensive. So you should always use a competent agency to manage this process for you.

Frequently Asked Questions about Global Investor Program (GIP)

Answers to some common questions
If I want to get PR in Singapore, how much money do I need to invest?

To qualify, you must invest 2.5 million SGD. However, the investment alone is not enough. You must also meet the qualifying criteria.

In Singapore, what is a GIP-approved fund?

A list of EDB-approved funds can be found on the EDB website if you are planning to invest in such funds.

An "Preferred Provider" rating is awarded to funds that meet the rating benchmark. After the GIP Fund application exercise concluded in August 2019, two funds have been rated as "Preferred Providers" and are eligible to participate in the program.

For approved GIP funds to remain in compliance with EDB's requirements during their fund raising period, Mercer must conduct on-going surveillance.

What is the process for getting Singapore citizenship through investment?

It is not possible to obtain citizenship by investment in Singapore. Singapore PR can be obtained through the GIP scheme, and you must wait for 2 years before applying for citizenship. Generally, it will take 4-6 years to become a Singaporean.

Is my male child required to serve in the army when he applies for PR under the GIP?

Yes. The 2nd generation male child is not exempt from NS even if he receives PR status under the Global Investor Program.

What is the validity period of the GIP?

validity period is 5 years

What is the process for renewing my PR under the GIP scheme?

Before you are able to renew your PR for another five years, you need to be able to meet certain business milestones. The approval is given only on completion of those milestones.

Can I use my existing investments in Singapore as part of the 2.5 million investment amount?

No. The investment must be in the approved funds on companies.

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