Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Best time to apply for PR in Singapore

Being a Singapore Permanent Resident is one of the most important steps to immigrate to Singapore as a resident. As we have covered recently it is relatively hard to get Singapore PR since 2009 compared to 2006 - 2008 period and a lot of permanent resident applications are rejected due to effort of the government to control/reduce the intake of foreigners. From the chart below you can see that the Singapore PR approval numbers significantly fell to 29,265 approvals in 2010 from heights of 2008. This is a 63% drop in approvals compared to 2008.

When is the best time for Singapore Permanent resident application? For individuals, the best recommended time to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency is after 2 years of employment in Singapore. I believe it is best to complete 2 full years as tax resident and apply PR after second tax notification from IRAS (notification about the amount of tax you will pay based on your declaration). Documents from IRAS about your individual income tax payments are very valuable documents which shows solid/monetary contributions to Singapore and also shows that you are a stable tax resident of Singapore. An application before 2 years of employment can still get approval if the applicant has good qualities in terms of education, employment, salary, family but do not forget, less than 2 years of employment here will work against your qualifications and risk an approval by putting you behind the people with the same qualifications but more employment history in Singapore.

Best time to apply for PR in Singapore
Number of Singapore PRs approved per year (2001 - 2010)
For individuals whose Singapore PR is rejected previously, the best time to apply for Singapore PR is after waiting for the stated period in the rejection letter. For example if ICA requested you to apply 2 years later, they mean it and it is best to wait for 2 years. If in the rejection letter, ICA does not mention any date to reapply, the shortest period to reapply after rejection letter date is 6 months. Unfortunately, some people do not take this notice seriously and reapply Singapore PR after waiting less than the stated period. For example look at this forum entry from Singapore expats:
I(from india) am working in singapore since from oct 2007 to till date. I have applied my PR first time in Aug 2009 with my wife (married march 2009). It was rejected. they mentioned the rejection letter apply after 2 yrs. The result was same as all of my friends. Then again i applied march 2010, again it was rejected at may2010 but the letter they never said anything the date period.My wife got the student pass on May2010(8month course) before a week of PR rejection letter. I am holding S Pass(expire sep 2010).My company ready to renewal.
My Question is Shall i apply again july2010 with my wifes details.

It is not hard to see why ICA rejected his permanent resident application second time, pretty fast (just in 2 months). Although ICA clearly stated to reapply 2 years later, he chose not to take ICA seriously and reapplied just after 8 months. He greatly risked his future chance to get Singapore PR.

Currently it is advised in online forums that anyone considering Singapore PR should wait for the elections of 2011. Since many Singaporeans think Singapore PR intake should be reduced or more difficult to get, Singapore Government would continue to keep PR criteria tighter and will not increase the number of approvals. Although there is no guarantee that the criteria will be eased and more PRs will be approved after the elections of 2011, it is still better to wait now. However if everyone is listening to this advise, then there will be a rush to ICA after the elections and it will really be difficult to float up top among all these rushers and get PR.

So 2011 also does not look like the best year to apply for PR. This does not mean you should not apply if you meet all minimum criteria, have good qualifications and - more important -you really plan to permanently reside in Singapore. This just means that those days of PR approval with relatively loose criteria has long gone and the best time to apply for PR is a date after you make sure that very less works against your application. So if you have room for improvement (i.e. only worked here 1 year, Employment Pass is Q Type, etc) improve first as much as you can then apply. You will have more chance and you will probably wait less to get your PR.

Related articles:
Singapore PR (Permanent Residency) 2012 outlook
Singapore PR Rejected? Appeal or not?
Singapore PR (Permanent Residency) rejected? What to do?
Number of Singapore PRs down in 2011
Sharp decline in chances of getting Singapore PR
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  1. Hi I was working in Singapore for an year and
    8 months, I was teaching in an international
    school and then with a language centre. I
    returned to india an year back due to personal
    reasons,now if I go back To Singapore, after
    an years time, can I apply for a SPR , based
    on my previous stay, or do I need to have 2more years
    of experience to get SPR.kindly let me know. Thanking you.

  2. Hi I'm working in Singapore for last 6yrs. First 3.5 yrs I was in work permit. But in 2008 end I got Spass. I applied PR after 7 months I got Spass. It took 7 months but rejected. In 2009 end I got married in Singapore & I apply again in 2010. It's took 10 months for reply from ICA that rejected. My wife is a PR. Then this year I applied again as my wife as sponsor. . Will be approved this time????

  3. Ayesha,

    Only ICA knows the answer. Address changes like this generally does not look "permanent resident" and it is better to put more time on this long break.


    In 2010 you applied and got rejected. If you did not apply on Jan 2010 and did not applied again on April 2011 you did not wait 6 months! If this is the case, it is definitely not good for your application.

  4. The six months is from the date I applied or from the date I got the letter from ica?

  5. George,
    Six month is from you receive ICA reply letter. It is the advised minimum wait period.

  6. If one calls ICA customer service they will say that the minimum duration between the rejection date and the next application has to be 6 months.

  7. Hi,

    I applied PR on 2010 April, it got rejected, but in rejection letter it is not mentioned about the next apply date, i changed my company now, and i got married and my wife also got job in singapore, can i re apply PR now? is there any possibility to get the PR now? please reply.

  8. Hi Nenjukkul,

    What was the date of the rejection letter?

  9. i got the rejection letter on july 10th 2010, i am planning to get PR appointment for my wife and me this month july , my wife is under Dependant pass, and my EP type is P2, kindly advice can we get it this time?

  10. Nenjukkul,

    No one can tell you you can get this time or not. It depends of a lot of factors. And one of the most important is how long have you been here in Singapore? When did you start working here?

  11. i came to singapore 3 years back and i am working here for 3 years, my wife came here 8 months back, she got job last month.

  12. Well if you have doubts you call and ask to ICA before going forward.

    Can you reapply now? It looks you can.

    Can you get it this time? No one knows. I would wait 2 years after my rejection to increase my chance of approval but this does not mean you should do. It depends on you. There are many factors and these factors are not open to public. We just guess based on anecdotal evidence. Being married is an advantage over being single, Employment Pass P2 is an advantage over Q1 and Work Pass, being Malaysian Chinese looks favorable compared to other country citizenship.

    One thing which would most probably lower your chance is being Indian at the moment since last decade proportion of Indian race among resident population increased 2%. This is not a racist quota, ICA just tries to keep the race balance fixed so they will most probably lower the approval of PR for Indians until we see the percentage decreased to prev level in the news.

    As you can see what we can only say "may" since it all depends on ICA. So there is no sure answer to your second question.

    I also suggest you read this link.

    Is it a right time to apply for PR now ?

  13. Hi, I would like to seek your kind advice.
    I am a bachelor graduate from one of Singapore's private university. After graduation (July 2010), I started working as Admin under S Pass for 1 year 1 month. Currently, I move to another company as Accounts under S pass also. My question is, when should I apply for PR?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  14. Hi, I would like ask your best advice,

    I Came to Singapore Sep-1999, I am Working here till from the date. I never even change my company till now. I am a S pass holder from Aug 2008 to till now. My family (Wife and Daughter) stay with me in Singapore from jan-2011 till now under Dependent please advice to me there is any possibility to apply and get PR for me and my family as well.

  15. Hi, I am working in Singapore since 2006. I was rejected 3 times for my PR applications. My only son is a PR and going to NS in December 2011. He is under 21-year-old. I would like to stay with my son (and working at the same time) while he is serving singapore NS. Should I apply for PR again as my son is going to be a NS man? Should I get a lawyer? do you know any law firm working for immigration status?

  16. Singapore government is ridiculous. Having a good employment in Singapore for years is criteria but many jobs only employ Singaporeans or PR and not foreigner. I really want to work so that can get PR bit to get job many employers only take in PR. What a paradox.

  17. I own a company that is filed under manufacturing sector. I have a worker (under woek permit) who has worked with me for coming 4 years. Now my girlfriend, we are interested in her SPR application. Her WP will expire on March 2012 and my questions are:

    1) When will be the best time to apply SPR for her?
    2) should I get approval from MOM to marry her first then apply SPR?
    3) as she is a good worker, company has shown progress in revenue. Can this be a plus point for her application?

    Many thanks in advance.


  18. What are the chances of Professional Ex-Singaporeans who want to come back to Singapore for good and who just been out of Singapore for 6 years. They have spent almost 30 odd years in Singapore and have worked and were educated there prior to leaving Singapore.

  19. hi, i hope to seek advise from here, i just submitted my PR application this week, but i make 1 silly mistake.! i did not bring my Birth Certificate because i left it in my hometown, so the officer told me to sign a letter indicate the reason i cannot produce the Birth Cert. She said if the ICA require me to produce the Birth Cert then they will notify me.

    My Question is, what are the chances my PR application will be rejected because of unable to show my Birth Cert ?

    Anyone here that also failed to produce the Birth Cert, and ICA reject your application for this reason ?

  20. Hi, I am 27 years old mother with a 5 months old son, I am living with my partner here in Singapore but we are not married yet. I am currently working in the same company for 3 years now under S Pass. I have applied for PR last 3 years ago and it was rejected. My question is I am planning to reapply for PR but can I apply for myself and my son or should I apply only for myself? Which do you think has a better chance of approval? Thanks :)

  21. does changing job will affect the result of applying pr? i've been working in this company since i step in singapore… i just pply last two days and i get offer from a company… will this affect me?

  22. Hi! I have taken a look at the overall PR outlook mentioned above. Now I have 2 questions.

    1. Does the approval mentioned in the diagram above include PR renewing?

    2. It looks like indeed the 2008 year is the best time to apply. Now for me, I am 47 yrs old this year. I got my PR in November 2008 and I am considered very lucky to get it on time. However, I'm renewing my PR later on Sep 2013 as my PR is expiring.

    I heard from many people outside that it will be hard for someone who is above 45 yrs old and only earning $2100 salary as I do. Older applicant needs to earn higher income of minimum $3k above. Moreover, I'm still single and not married to a Singapore Citizen. However, I am renewing my PR and I heard there is a slight different between an existing PR and newcomer. Is it true or renewing is almost the same nowadays with the newcomer? If yes, I think I got very high chance of not being renewed!

    I need some advise! Thank u.

  23. Hi, i am native Singaporean and am married to a foreigner. Currently, i am residing in the middle east for 10years now. Been married for almost 7 years. My husband is non-degree holder and neither am I. However, I am working as a purser in an airline and my salary is more than S $3k per month. My husband on the other hand is earning much less. My plan is to return to Singapore in a couple of years, with intention of owning our own flat. Does my husband stand a good chance to get approval for PR even before we relocate to Singapore? Pls advise.

    1. Hi Iwannabe, as u mentioned that u r native singaporean the chances of approval is high,first u r husband should be in singapore and then he should start to work here for some time after that u can try. without coming to singapore the chances are very low i can say 0%.

  24. hello everyone..
    im want to apply as PR but im confused because im married but my wife were not together anymore i dont want her to be included.. so is it ok to put single or separated or still married?
    help me guys

    1. Singapore government is expecting more baby that means they expect strong family bonding. Separated i guess the chances are low.