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Residency and Citizenship

Many foreigners, after living in Singapore, are attracted to this cosmopolitan, vibrant city that warmly welcomes high-calibre, professional talent.

Over time, you could come to the happy conclusion that this is the place you want to call “home”. When that happens, you may wish to apply to be a Permanent Resident or Singapore Citizen.

Becoming a Permanent Resident (PR)

To become a PR, apply for an Entry Permit with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Existing PRs may apply for PR status for their spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age.

For details on eligibility and application procedures, please visit the ICA's webpage on PR applications.

The Global Investor Programme (GIP) eases the way for global talent to set up and operate businesses in Singapore. Contact Singapore assists by linking up entrepreneurs and investors with local business networks, as well as facilitating a range of immigration processes for their entry and stay here.

Visit the Singapore Economic Development Board’s Guide to Investing in Singapore for more information on your business opportunities. For more information on the Global Investor Programme and application process, please click here.

Becoming a Singapore Citizen

A Singapore PR above 21 years old with at least two years of permanent residence may wish to apply for Singapore citizenship under the Economic Scheme. You may proceed to submit your citizenship application electronically to ICA via the e-SC for consideration. Each application made is considered according to the prevailing policies based on the merits of the case.

Spouses may apply for Singapore citizenship if they have been:

  • A Singapore PR for at least two years
  • Married for at least two years before the date of application

If your children were born overseas, you may apply for them to become Singapore Citizens if either you or your spouse is a Singapore Citizen.

Citizenship applications usually take about six months for processing. For details on eligibility and application procedures, please visit the ICA’s webpage on citizenship applications.

For any enquiries on immigration matters, you may contact the ICA at:

10 Kallang Road, ICA Building
Singapore 208718
Hotline: +65 6391 6100
Email: ica_feedback@ica.gov.sg
Website: www.ica.gov.sg

National Service

At around the age of 18, all male Singaporeans go through a period of military training called National Service (NS). National Service was introduced in 1967, to provide defence for Singapore and to a foster cohesiveness among male Singaporeans. The two-year stint offers an ideal opportunity for our young men to build strength of character, grow in maturity and develop leadership skills. Spending time training with fellow citizens also forges strong ties among Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, as they are bound by a common experience, national pride and a greater cause. For many of them, this rite of passage also builds lifelong friendships.

Under the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore Citizens and PRs are required to register for National Service (NS) at age 16½. They have to serve two years of full-time National Service (NS) at 18 years old, followed by 40 days of Operationally Ready NS every year until age 50 (for officers) or 40 (for other ranks).

This requirement applies also to male children who are granted PR status under their parents’ sponsorship. NS exemption is granted to main applicants who become PRs under the first-generation Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme or the Investors Scheme.

Not fulfilling the NS requirement would adversely impact your Singapore citizenship or PR status, as well as current or future applications to work or study in Singapore.

For more information on NS, click here.

For further enquiries, you may contact:

Central Manpower Base
CMPB Podium
3 Depot Road
Singapore 109680
Tel: 1800 367 3737 (local)
65 657 6767 (overseas)
Email: contact@ns.sg

Central Provident Fund (CPF)

All working Singapore Citizens and PRs have a CPF account to which they make contributions from their earnings. The CPF is a social security savings plan to help workers provide financially for their own retirement, healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement.

To find out more about CPF contributions and rates, please visit the CPF website.

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