Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Singapore PR (Permanent Residency) 2012 outlook

As we have entered 2012, it is time to review Singapore Permanent Residency (PR) outlook for 2012. Since the 79,200 PR approval peak of 2008, the PR approval numbers declined sharply and rejection numbers increased every year. We do not know the numbers for the last year yet but I expect that the trend continued into 2011 based on anectodial evidence and I expect strict criteria for PR approval condition will extend into the near future and it will be more difficult to secure permanent residence in Singapore.

Last year this time when we were writing the Best time to apply for PR in Singapore article, things were already trending down for hopeful prospects. But at that time the common thinking was that the downward trend in Singapore PR approvals were due to the upcoming general elections of May 2011 and the government will ease the criteria once the elections were over and we will find ourselves back in the relaxed immigration years of 2005 - 2008 period. Thus many have waited patiently for the elections to pass.

Well as we now know things did not end as expected. Many Singaporeans, both from opposition and government supporters as I have witnessed, have openly expressed their unease with fast influx of foreigners and relaxed immigration policies which have resulted an overcrowded and expensive city where everything per person is decreasing fast. Although GDP has grown in these years, the real measures of wealth like transportation space per person, housing space per person, hospital space per person (or simply space per person) has gone down or got more expensive in the recent years thanks to fast increase in number of persons. Transportation space, housing space or hospital space or etc. are definitely increasing. But the number of people sharing them is increasing faster.

It is now pretty obvious that 2005 - 2008 period of high PR intake rates were an opportunity window and were the best times to apply for PR. But these years are over and will probably not come back soon. Expect that 2011 approval rates will come even less than 2010 and 2012 will also not be the best time to apply for Singapore PR.
Singapore PR (Permanent Residency) 2012 outlook
Sharp decline in the number of Singapore PR approvals 
This does not mean you cannot apply for PR. If you have a very high income, you and your spouse has been in Singapore for a while, you have kids (especially you have also applied for them) you can still get a chance. But it looks to me now currently, Singapore's PR policy is something like "do not give PR to someone if he is not a real necessity for the country". On the other side, I hear that the renewal of Singapore PR is also getting difficult and the renewal rejections are also on the rise.

So if you are an average employee looking forward to apply for PR, make sure that your application is very strong. Each PR and Singapore Citizenship application is evaluated holistically on a set of criteria which includes factors such as the individual's economic contributions, qualifications, age and family profile to assess applicants' ability to contribute, integrate well into society and commitment to sinking roots.[1]
For example although you can apply with just 6 months of pay slips, it is also required to submit 2 tax return documents so an applicant with 2-3 years of work history in Singapore is in a better position compared to someone with only 6 months of experience and no history of tax payment in Singapore. 


  1. If you have good profile and you have fullfiled all the eligibilty criteria for permanent residence visa for Singapore then you should definitley get the positive results out of it.

  2. If a foreigner working with an S Pass for 2 years and currently an EP pass holder for 1 year plus earning more than 4.5K/mth with yearly increment. What other reasons could be the cause of rejection ?

    1. PR also depends on Age, qualification and salary! Maybe it is not enough if u don't have a degree. Moreover, if u are above 45 yrs old, your chances is also quite slim. Furthermore, government has extremely tightened the policy and it is getting harder and harder yr by yr!

  3. Hi Kenny,
    1 year+ EP Pass Holding is quite short, but it can be anything. One for sure is there can always be enough number of better application than yours when you apply so they pass through while you are rejected. There are a lot of criteria most not known, some are known. Race for example known to matter. 6-7% of citizens are Indian while 20% of Singapore PRs are Indian. To reduce the percentage of Indians to previous level they will probably give less chance to Indian applicants.

    It looks like if you are not really bringing some sort of new talent, Singapore is not giving PR to you anymore.

  4. Hi! I have taken a look at the overall PR 2012 outlook mentioned above. Now I have a question.

    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.

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