Singapore Immigration

Singapore, originally founded as a British trading colony in 1819, is a city-state located on the southern tip of the Malaya peninsula in Southeast Asia. Despite having a population of just five million, Singapore has a GDP of $ 235.7 billion and is one of the best developed countries in the world. Singapore is one of the best places to settle and live in. The first thing that’s likely to strike you on landing here is the incredible efficiency from the immigration authorities to the transportation etc.

Singapore, the tiny red dot on the globe, with some strategic advantages welcomes investors and foreign talents with professional qualifications and skills or entrepreneurial acumen. It subsequently became one of the world’s most prosperous countries alongside strong international trading links and per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe. Singapore adopts an open immigration policy with a strong belief in human resource as the most valuable and important tool in the country’s economic growth. In recent months, the government has also spoken of the urgency to attract even more foreigners – whom the government calls “Foreign Talent”.

Foreign talent is skilled employees that carry professional business or educational background, whereas foreign workers are the unskilled labour force. Foreigners who want to pursue full time studies in universities, schools or institutes of higher education in Singapore must apply for a Student Visa or Student Pass. The processing of this student pass will take about four weeks. Foreign talents which account for about 30% of the workforce, are interested by open recruitment policies, low personal taxation, a meritocratic community which embraces variety, and last but not least, a high quality of life in Singapore’s cosmopolitan environment. These have been proven by the Worldwide Quality of Living Index which rated Singapore as the top Asian country for its quality of life.

Singapore Employment Pass is granted by the Ministry of Manpower to qualified applicants providing them a validity of 1 or 2 years. Employment Pass is renewable as long as the pass holder remains employed in a Singapore company. Singapore passport holders enjoy visa free travels to 155 countries across the world. UK passport holders top this list with visa free travels to 166 countries. Singapore is among the world’s most popular immigration and work destinations. It is a cosmopolitan city-state.

Foreigners who hold preferred university qualifications or skilled migrant visas shall apply for the pass. The EPEC is not a work pass. Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to develop their business in Singapore and also stay here have two options to choose from: Entrepass and Employment pass. Each one has its own benefit in terms of ease of approval, processing period and mandatory requirements.

Depending on the type of EntrePass you hold, you can apply for the Dependant’s Pass or the Long Term Visit Pass for your family members. These admit your immediate family to live in Singapore while you start and grow your business here. Depending on your skills levels, the terms and conditions for foreigners to work or stay in Singapore differ substantially. Skilled workers, professionals and entrepreneurs are encouraged to take up permanent residence and citizenship may be granted after two to ten years of residence (Social Integration Management Service 1994).

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