Singapore Permanent Residence Scheme for Singapore Work Pass Holders

This is Part II of the step-by-step guide of applying for Singapore permanent residence under the PTS Scheme.

Here's a recap on what we have covered in Singapore PR Application Filing – Part I:

  • Step 1: Decide when to apply for PR
  • Step 2: Think about your chances of approval
  • Step 3: Decide on PR filing for your children
  • Step 4: Download documents & review filing requirements
  • Step 5: Prepare supporting documents
  • Step 6: Completing the PR application form

We will now continue with Part II.

Step 7: Submit PR application

Ensure that you have (a) completed the PR application form; (b) received the completed Annex A back from your employer; and (c) prepared the supporting documents. You will need to submit your PR application and supporting documents online and ensure that all the forms and documents are up-to-date as of the date of the online submission.

It is a simple procedure of submitting your PR application along with the necessary documents to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) via online submission.

Step 8: Wait for results

Once you have submitted your PR application, the most anxious time begins – waiting for the application outcome. The more you think about it, the more restless you will be and it will make no difference to the outcome. So sit back and relax.

It can take approximately 6-12 months before you receive a letter from ICA notifying you on the outcome of your PR application. Their processing time may be longer or faster and varies quite extensively. This is solely at the discretion of the ICA. If you do not receive the letter after 6 months and are anxious to know the status, you can call ICA and they will inform you of the current status of your PR application. Most of the time, you will end up hearing “it’s under processing”, unless it has been approved or rejected. You will not be provided with any other explanations or reasons. In reality, the operator answering your phone probably does not know the details anyway; all he or she can see on the computer system is just the status of the application.

Step 9: Upon Approval

If your application has been approved, congratulations! An approval letter will be sent to you and upon receipt, you will need to make a visit to ICA's office within 2 months to complete the formalities. You will need to make an appointment and visit the 5th floor of the ICA building to complete your PR formalities. You can access ICA’s website to make this appointment electronically. The officer will collect all your documents from you and finish the necessary formalities (signing, fingerprinting, etc.). The approval letter will specify the list of documents to be submitted, and you should read the list carefully before making your trip. Typically, the following documents would be required:

  • Approval letter
  • Travel documents for yourself and your family (if they were included in the PR application)
  • 2 recent colour passport-size photos for yourself and your family (if they were included)
  • Your EP and your family’s DPs
  • Results of the medical check-up which you (and your family) will be required to do, as specified in the approval letter. Typically, this will involve an HIV blood test and chest x-ray. The approval letter will provide a format for the medical report, which should not be issued more than 3 months before the time of submission to ICA.
  • Form EP 152, which needs to be completed and signed by your employer. The purpose of the EP 152 is to confirm that you are still working in the same company as declared in the application form.
  • Payment for the identity card registration, re-entry permit and entry permit. The specific amounts would be specified in the approval letter. Payment modes are via NETS or Cashcard only.

The officer will advise you on the date of collection for your identity card (commonly known as National Registration Identity Card, or “NRIC”). You will need to make another appointment to collect this

At the end of all the formalities, you should have the following items:

  • NRIC for you (and your family). This is the card that you will often be required to produce (e.g. when applying for mobile phone, bank account, etc.) in Singapore as a proof that you are a Singapore PR holder. Note that children don’t get an NRIC until they turn 15.
  • Each PR applicant will get a PR certificate (mostly for safekeeping, you won’t really use it anywhere)
  • Each PR applicant will get a re-entry permit stamp in the passport. The re-entry permit enables you to get in and out of Singapore visa free. The re-entry permit is typically issued for five years at a time and is renewable thereafter. If you plan to leave Singapore, make sure that your re-entry permit is valid until your return.

Once you have completed the above PR formalities, you are a full-fledged Singapore permanent resident. With your new status, you can enjoy many of the benefits given to full citizens, including the freedom to live and work in Singapore without visa restrictions, priority government schooling for your children and compulsory participation in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Scheme, which grows your pension fund. Don’t forget to:

  • Inform your employer of your new PR status. Your employer will require a copy of your NRIC to update HR records and will also need to start making contributions to your CPF fund.
  • Inform banks so they can update your bank account personal details.

Step 10: Handling PR Rejection

Although receiving a PR rejection letter can be a very disheartening experience, remember that it’s not end of the world or the end of your pursuit to obtain permanent residence in Singapore. There are no limitations on how many times you can apply for Singapore PR. However, realistically, you should wait at least 6 months before re-submitting your PR application. This is because, in case you are rejected, it is unlikely that your re-application will be approved unless there is a notable change in your circumstances (e.g. higher salary, obtaining new qualifications, etc.). It would be wasted effort to re-apply without such significant changes that would improve and strengthen your application considerably.

Professional Help

Should you engage a professional firm to assist you with your Singapore PR application filing? It depends on your needs. If you feel that you know what you are doing, you can probably go without. But most times, having an experienced set of eyes to review your application and supporting documents, and giving you recommendations to maximise your chances of success could be beneficial for your application.

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