How To Obtain A Singapore Citizenship

Singapore’s cosmopolitan glam and vibrancy attract foreigners from all over the world with its superior life quality. Based on the World Rank 2020 by looking at the GDP per capita (or, gross domestic product per capita), Singapore as one of the top ten richest countries in the world, Singapore offers scores of opportunities to experienced and seasoned professionals who seek to enjoy financial stability and a fast-paced lifestyle. 

Migration to Singapore and becoming permanent residents allows investors to explore lucrative investments and residential properties, and obtain home loans with significantly lower interest rates. Those who are already living in Singapore apply for permanent residency to enjoy countless benefits, such as healthcare subsidies, educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and more. 

However, foreign citizens have to renounce their citizenship as dual citizenship is prohibited. Keep in mind that the process of migration to Singapore requires diligent attention and dedication, and we will walk you through the application process in immense detail. The process can be frustrating, and it typically takes eight to twelve months. Applicants are required to submit various documents to confirm their identity and financial status. 

Singapore – Residency status 

In comparison with other countries, the process of migration to Singapore is significantly fast-tracked. If you process your documents and application accurately, you can apply for permanent residency within six months and full citizenship within another two years (case to case basis). 

The Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) eligibility criteria are fairly broad, and it’s not that challenging to qualify. There are various regulations for specific scenarios, such as being married to a Singapore citizen (SC) or being adopted by a Singaporean parent. 

So, how to apply for Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), and are you eligible? 

  • Before processing the application, the applicant should have been working in Singapore (i.e. either as a Holder of Employment Pass or S Pass) for at least two years. He/she should be at least 21 years old, and the applicant can apply with their spouse, unmarried children under 21 years, adopted or born within a legal marriage. 
  • Legal spouse of a Singapore Permanent Resident or Singapore Citizen. 
  • Applicants who are unmarried and below the age of 21, and were born into a legal marriage or legally adopted by a SC can be sponsored by their Singapore citizen parent.  
  • Applicants who are studying in Singapore and have been resided in Singapore for more than 2 years at the point of application, and have passed at least one national exam (i.e. PSLE or GCE ‘N’/’O’/’A’ levels) or are in the integrated Programme (IP). 
  • Elderly parents of a Singapore citizen can be sponsored by their Singapore citizen child.  

Singapore Permanent Resident – Application and Processing 

  • General processing time for applications submitted (with the correct documentation) is 4 to 6 months. Some applications may take longer to process.

  • Applicants should ensure correct documents are submitted for the application of Singapore Permanent Resident, based on the checklist of required documents, to avoid any potential delays.

  • Applicants are required to activate the Re-Entry Permit once the application for Singapore Permanent Resident is successful. 

Becoming A Permanent Resident

To become a Permanent Resident after migrating to Singapore, applicants must apply for an Re-Entry Permit (REP) at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). REP allows Singapore Permanent Residents to retain their permanent residences while they are outside Singapore. SPR will lose their permanent residence if they leave or remain overseas without a valid REP.

It’s crucial to note that while processing applications, the ICA weighs various factors, such as economic health, qualifications, professional training, family relations in Singapore, age, residency duration, family profile, etc. These factors are detrimental in examining how foreign citizens who migrate to Singapore from other countries will integrate into Singaporean society and the economy. 

Many foreign migrations wonder, can I apply for SPR/SC; well, it’s essential to understand that one must obtain the former to apply for the latter. 

How To Apply For Singapore Citizenship? Are you eligible to apply?


  • Have been a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) for at least 2 years and are aged 21 and above (you can apply together with your spouse and any unmarried children aged below 21 born to you within the context of a legal marriage or legally adopted by you).

  • Have been a SPR for at least 2 year and have been married to a Singapore Citizen (SC) for at least 2 years.

  • Are an unmarried child aged below 21 born within the context of a legal marriage to, or have been legally adopted by an Singapore Citizen.

  • Are a Singapore Permanent Resident studying in Singapore and have been residing in Singapore for more than 3 years (at least 1 year as a PR) and have passed at least one national exam (i.e. PSLE, GCE ‘N’/’O’/’A’ levels), or are in the Integrated Programme (IP).

  • Are Singapore Permanent Resident and an Aged Parent of a Singapore Citizen. 


Singapore Citizenship – Application and Processing:

  • Application of Singapore Citizenship usually takes 6 to 12 months to process. Some applications may take longer to process.

  • Children born overseas to Singapore Citizen – general processing time is within 2 months from the receipt of complete documents.

  • Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will issue an Approval In Principle letter to complete the Singapore Citizenship Journey (SCJ). Applicants will receive the final approval letter indicating the appointment date and time to register for Singapore Citizenship, upon completion of the SCJ.  


National Service Obligation


  • All make Singapore Citizen and Singapore Permanent Residents, unless exempted, are required to serve National Services (NS).

  • National Service liable persons are required to register for NS upon reaching 16 ½ years old and will be scheduled for enlistment at the earliest opportunity upon reaching 18 years old.

  • Singapore Citizen and Singapore Permanent Residents required to serve up to 40 days of Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) per year, till the age of 50 years (for Officers) or 40 years (for other ranks), upon completion of full-time National Services. 


Global Investment Programme (GIP) for Singapore Permanent Resident status

Applicants who are willing to invest in Singapore, and possess professional training or entrepreneurial acumen, can apply for the Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) status under the Global Investor Program (GIP) Scheme. 

Also known as the Investor Scheme, the GIP is a viable opportunity for foreign investors migrating to Singapore with substantial funds to invest in the country. They can use the GIP Scheme to acquire the Singapore PR status and explore lucrative investment and wealth generation opportunities. The Singaporean government facilitates foreign investors who seek to inject their wealth into the island’s economy as such investors create economic opportunities, such as employment. 

Singapore boasts a robust, business-friendly ecosystem. It facilitates businesses and investments with significantly lower taxes, enhanced safety, a clean environment, and advanced infrastructure. Foreign investors are attracted to migrate to Singapore from all over the world, including Hong Kong, China, India, Dubai, the USA, the UK, and the UAE. 

The Global Investor Programme (GIP) is a lucrative scheme that allows global investors and entrepreneurs to enjoy the ease of accessibility and facilities while setting up and operating businesses on the island. Aside from facilitating the immigration processes for their entry, stay, and Permanent Resident status, the GIP also allows foreign investors to network with Singaporean entrepreneurs, local businesses, and investors. 

The GIP makes it considerably easier for foreign professionals, business executives, and investors to relocate to Singapore, shift their business operations, or start a new business from scratch. The GIP is a comprehensive program that offers valuable assistance with networking, infrastructural facilities, and endless opportunities for business ventures and collaborations. 

More importantly, it provides a wide range of immigration facilities that make the process of migrating to Singapore considerably simpler and streamlined. However, investors or business professionals applying under the GIP must have a proven track record and a well-reputed history of investments or running business operations. 


GIP Programme – Requirements


Qualifying Criteria 

Qualifying Business Industries 

Investment Options 

  1. Established Business Owners
  2. Next Generation Business Owners

  3. Founders of Fast Growth Companies

  4. Family Office Principals
  1. Aerospace Engineering
  2. Alternative Energy / Clean Technology
  3. Automotive
  4. Chemicals 
  5. Consumer Business (eg Flavors and fragrances, food ingredients, nutrition, home and personal care)
  6. Electronics
  7. Energy
  8. Engineering Services
  9. Healthcare
  10. Infocomm Products & Services
  11. Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  12. Marine & Offshore Engineering
  13. Media & Entertainment
  14. Medical Technology
  15. Nanotechnology
  16. Natural Resources (eg metals, mining, agro-commodities)
  17. Safety & Security
  18. Space
  19. Shipping
  20. Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 
  21. Precision Engineering
  22. Professional Services (eg. Consulting, design) 
  23. Art Businesses (eg. Virtual arts businesses, art performing businesses) 
  24. Sports Businesses
  25. Family Office & Financial Services 
  1. Investment of S$2.5 million in a new Business Entity or in the expansion of an existing Business Operations.

  2. Investment of S$2.5 million in a GIP Fund that invests in Singapore-based Companies.
  3. Investment of S$2.5 million in a new or existing Singapore-based single family office having Assets-Under-Management (AUM) of at least S$200 millions.


GIP Programme : Application and Processing

  • Application of Singapore Permanent Resident via GIP Programmes take approximately 9 to 12 months to be processed, subject to complete submission of all required supporting documents.

  • Each application will also be submitted to due diligence checks by the Government Agencies.

  • Applicants will be issued a Re-Entry Permit (REP) that is valid for 5 years, upon the formalization of the Permanent Residence status. 



We sincerely hope that applicants find our guide on how to apply for SC and SPR informative and helpful. As mentioned above, the process is not that challenging; in fact, the Singaporean authorities have ensured a comprehensive and easier process that allows foreign nationals to change their citizenship by following a series of simple steps. 

As long as you have your documents in order and adhere to the eligibility requirements, the process will be over in a breeze, and you can enjoy the enhanced life quality and economic stability that comes with Singaporean citizenship.