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EI Article Series

PR Application Process in Singapore

PR Application Process: Introduction

If you are working in Singapore and plan to apply for permanent residency status (PR), you will think of applying to Singapore PR at some point. However, applicants are at times clueless about how to go about it. Sometimes they know some of the aspects but not all.

Therefore we have created this small article that will explain to you the PR Application step-by-step process that you need to follow for Singapore PR. The purpose of this guide is to give you an overview of the complete step-by-step PR Application Process in Singapore. For each of the subsections presented below, we have a corresponding detailed guide on our website.

PR Application Process: Introduction

PR Application Process Step 1: Are you Eligible?

The first thing you obviously need to check is whether you are eligible to apply for PR in Singapore. There are five different schemes under which the application for permanent residency can be filed. Those are as follows;

PTS (Professional, Technical, and Skilled Workers) Scheme

Foreign professionals working in Singapore can apply under the Professionals/Technical Personnel & Skilled Worker scheme (or the "PTS scheme"). PTS is the most common route for obtaining Singapore PR. Nearly 90% of the people who receive Singapore PR do so through it.

Family-Sponsored Scheme

Families that are PRs or citizens of Singapore can apply for the family-sponsored scheme. A Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) may be married to a foreigner. A Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) can also give birth to a child overseas who is a foreigner.

A family sponsor scheme allows such spouses or children to apply for PR under the sponsorship of the main applicant.

Foreign Students Scheme

Students studying in Singapore have the option of applying for Singapore PR. To apply, foreign students must have resided in Singapore for at least two years, have passed at least one national exam (PSLE or N' / O' / A' levels), or are in an integrated program.

Foreign Artistic Talent scheme (For Arts)

To apply for Singapore PR status under the ForArts Scheme, applicants must be 1) Educated/trained in their specific field, 2) Have relevant professional experience in the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, design, and media fields, with outstanding achievements 3) Contributed significantly to Singapore's arts and culture scene, including leadership roles at the local level and 4) Plan to participate in arts and cultural activities in Singapore in the future.

Global Investor Programme Scheme (GIP Scheme)

Singapore's Global Investor Programme (GIP) is the preferred route for investors who wish to obtain permanent residency status for themselves and their families. As Asia's business epicenter, Singapore has received numerous accolades for being one of the best places to live, work, and play.

As a result, many high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) want to get Singapore permanent residency (PR) and settle with their families here. The GIP program is designed exactly for them.

Each of these programs has its own detailed requirements, so you will have to check against it to determine whether you qualify for that scheme.

PR Application Process Step 1: Are you Eligible?

PR Application Process Step 2: Do you want to apply for PR?

The next step is to decide whether you want to apply for PR. The PR status in Singapore has many advantages and some disadvantages. So generally, most people will opt for applying to the PR. However, you may have specific reasons; you may not want to apply. So consider all these advantages and disadvantages carefully. Below are some primary advantages and disadvantages of permanent residency status in Singapore.

Advantages of acquiring Singapore PR Status

There are a large number of benefits that you can enjoy after becoming a Singapore PR. As a Singapore permanent resident, you get the right to live, work, and socially integrate, just like a Singapore citizen; there are no visa restrictions. Other huge advantages include visa-free travel, family proximity, and career flexibility. Your children get priority placement in public schools of Singapore, and you also enjoy medical and housing perks. The Singapore government also offers various tax relief schemes to PRs. Becoming a PR also means that you are on the road to becoming a full-fledged Singapore Citizen.

Disadvantages of acquiring Singapore PR Status

There are not many disadvantages, and most of them are subjective. However, from an unbiased or neutral point of view, there will be disadvantages if you choose to renounce your PR status. Singapore has a lean population, and thousands of talents are attracted to gain PR status here. If you abandon your Singapore permanent residency, it will be harder for you to acquire it again. Another disadvantage with your PR status is that all your healthy male children must serve the Singapore National Services once they reach the required age.

PR Application Process Step 2: Do you want to apply for PR?

PR Application Process Step 3: Compile Documents

Once you are clear that you qualify and want to apply for the PR, the next logical step is to compile all the required documents. We already have a detailed article on this topic. So we will not go into significant details here. But in general, the documents (Scan copies) that you need to compile for the PR application are given below. Since most people file applications under the PR-PTS scheme, the focus here is on the documents required for the PTS scheme.

PR Application Requirements: Documents required for each person included in your application

  • Scan copy of valid Passport
  • Scanned Copy of National Identity Cards (If applicable)
  • Scanned copy of the Employment Pass or S Pass
  • Scanned copy of the Birth Certificate
  • Official Marriage Certificate
  • Scanned Copies of Educational Certificates & Transcripts
  • One digital Passport-sized color Photograph in white background

Additional documents required for the main applicant

  • IRAS Consent Form – Appendix 1 (PR-PTS)
  • Current Employer's letter
  • Payslips in the last 6 Months 6 months prior to the e-Submission date
  • Annex A to Form 4A
  • Form submission declaration form
PR Application Process Step 3: Compile Documents

PR Application Process Step 4: Fill up the Form

Once you have compiled all the necessary documents, the next step will be to fill out the application form and lodge the application with ICA.

To access the Singapore PR Application form, you first need to log in to the ICA website  Pass holder  Apply PR section. After logging in, you will be then presented with an option which is as shown in this image.

PR Application process Step 4: Fill up the Form

PDF Option vs. Direct Entry

You can download the Singapore PR Application Form 4A in PDF format, fill up all the details in that PDF form and then upload it for further processing. The other option is to fill in the details directly in the ICA system. The recommended way by ICA themselves is to follow the PDF method.

The details required for the Singapore PR application are quite extensive. If you are applying with family and have an extensive work history, you will be preparing details that may span over 10-12 pages. This is a lot of material. Therefore it is not recommended to enter this directly in the system. It is better to fill up these details in the PDF and upload them.

PR Application Process Step 4: Option

PR Application Process Step 5: Lodge the application

Once you have entered all the details in the PDF and are ready to start the lodgement process, you must log in to the e-PR system again and upload the completed file using the "Upload form" option. Once you upload the form, the ICA e-PR system will extract all the details from the form and will present it to you for confirmation.

What happens next?

Once you upload the completed form 4A the ICA system will offer you to confirm all the details. Here you will go through the details of each person one by one and confirm whether those are ok or not. These details are extracted from the PDF form which you have uploaded.

Uploading the document copies

In the next stage, you will upload the required document copies one by one. Based on the information given in your PR application form, ICA e-PR system will decide which documents are required to be uploaded. Typically a family of 4 will be uploading approximately 50 document scan copies.


After the uploading of documents is completed, the last step will be payment of the required fees. You have to pay 100 SGD per person included in your application.

PR Application Process Step 5: Lodge the application

PR Application Process Step 6: Wait for the results

After completing all the above steps, you have finished applying for the Singapore PR. Now you will have to wait. The average waiting time ranges between 6 months to 15 months.

During this period, if there are any significant changes to your profile, you should promptly inform the ICA.

PR Application Process Step 6: Wait for the results

PR Application Process: Summary

We hope you have got a clear overview of the PR Application process. With this, you are well-equipped to file your PR application. You should also consider using a consultancy company like Epica Immigration to assist you in your application. The PR approvals are low; hence, many people are taking support from consultancy firms to prepare their cases.

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