Relocation Assistance in Singapore
Moving to Singapore is generally hassle-free.
Things tend to get done efficiently and systematically, at immigration and customs, and by private companies providing relocation services. You just need to take care of the usual coordination and administrative details.
If your move is work-related, your company will probably help you engage a relocation company, or you may choose to engage one yourself. A relocation company is one that takes care of all the relocation arrangements needed in your move from one country or city to another, including real estate matters, visa and immigration, moving services, repatriation services and even welcome services such as language classes and orientation programmes.
If you’re making your own arrangements, engaging a one-stop relocation company is certainly convenient.
If you prefer to take care of each matter separately, or have someone helping you with different aspects of the relocation, you may need to engage just a moving company.
If you’re moving residence to Singapore, you may be granted Goods and Services Tax (GST) relief on all your used household articles and personal items, except for liquor, tobacco products and motor vehicles. To find out more about conditions to the relief, visit the Customs website.
Some items are strictly prohibited to be brought into Singapore unless you have a permit for them. They are:
- Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products
- Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape
- Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
- Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
- Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software
- Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
- Seditious and treasonable materials
Bringing in Pets
Good news if you’re coming from Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland and wish to bring in your dog or cat – no quarantine is needed. All dogs or cats from other countries will be quarantined at the owner’s expense for 30 days upon arrival. The quarantine rules are imposed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) but the actual quarantine is carried out by a private company. Quarantine kennels are limited, so do reserve a place early.
You will need to apply for an import licence within 30 days of your pet’s arrival, with a health certificate and proof that your dog has been micro-chipped. Applications may be done online.
Some breeds of dogs are not allowed in Singapore. They are:
- Pit Bull - including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Bull Dog
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Braziliero
- Crosses of these breeds
If you are staying in a public Housing Development Board (HDB) flat, you may keep no more than one dog, and only certain breeds are allowed. Cats are not allowed in HDB flats.
To find out more about transportation arrangements for dogs and cats with the airlines, please click here.
If you’re looking to import other types of animals, do check out the AVA website for information and regulations.
To ensure that your move to Singapore is free of hiccups, here is a checklist of things to note before your arrival.
- Complete all taxation and legal matters that will affect you and your family
- Arrange for medical insurance
- Set up a bank account
- Check with the Singapore embassy in your country whether you need a visa to enter Singapore.
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the day you plan to enter Singapore
- Settle your travel and accommodation plans
- Engage a relocation or moving company
- Arrange for schools for your kids in advance - some international schools have long waiting lists
- Inform relatives and friends of your change of address, give them your new contact details
- Birth, marriage (or divorce certificates) (for whole family)
- Identification card
- Medical and dental records, including inoculation records
- Medical prescriptions
- Pension and insurance records
- Recent bank statements
- School diplomas and reports (for children)
- Update resume and letters of recommendation
- Employment contract and copies of previous employment contracts
- Driver’s license
- Passport photos
- Make sure the items you plan to bring with you meet Singapore custom’s regulations
- Some items are dutiable, others are prohibited by law
- Make sure your electrical items follow the British system or else, bring an adapter