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How to Move to Singapore & Stay Long-Term

Singapore is just a tiny dot on the map that is not even visible to the eye. Yet, in a short span of over 50 years, Singapore has become a successful global financial centre and has a world-class city airport with a futuristic glass waterfall. Without any natural resources, Singapore however, is blessed with an internationally connected trade route that has become the busiest port in the world. 

With such a healthy financial ecosystem and world class infrastructure, the country requires a talented workforce that can help to flourish the economy. Hence, the Singapore government has always emphasised the importance of its people to continue its prosperity and to keep the economy sustainable long-term. 

Even during the pandemic, Singapore managed to attract technology, pharmaceuticals, and financial companies to set up their offices in the country, resulting in a demand for more talents. Due to Singapore’s ageing population, the government has been attracting foreign talent to help plug the gaps in the workforce to sustain the economy.

3 Ways You can Move to Singapore

  • Employed by a company in Singapore

Obviously, this first option is the most common. There are a few types of work passes that expats can get to be able to work in Singapore and some of them are:

  • Employment Pass (EP)
  • S-Pass
  • Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)
  • Training Employment Pass (TEP)
  • Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)
  • Tech.Pass
  • Work Permit

These passes are issued by various Government Agencies including the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB) and are tied to the job of work pass holders and its respective pay scale. For example, Work Permit holders are given to those working in the construction and domestic help industries. 

However, unless your company transfers you to their Singapore office, it is impossible to get a job from outside of Singapore. There is also a quota on the number of foreigners on various work passes that each company is allowed to hire. To add on to this, it is becoming more difficult to get a job in Singapore due to the growing anti-foreigner sentiments amongst locals. To pacify them, the Singapore government has made some changes to the foreign workforce policies to ensure that Singapore attracts only the best foreign talents. As Singapore is making their economy competitive, foreign talents in specific industries such as infocomm technology, pharmaceuticals, and financial services are in demand. 

Once a foreign talent has attained their work pass, it can be renewed every two years as long as they are employed by a company in Singapore. Some work pass holders who decide to stay in Singapore long-term, may try to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency. 

It sounds daunting but with expert guidance and help from immigration consultancy firms like Immigration@SG (IASG), it can be a breeze. IASG can help individuals attain their work pass, then Singapore PR and Singapore Citizenship eventually. 

  • Set up a business in Singapore

Singapore’s attractive tax benefits draw business owners to set up offices in Singapore. Regarded as a tax haven, Singapore’s standard income tax of 17% is so much lower than the USA, for example. With numerous incentives and breaks, the amount tends to get lower than this in practice. 

Due to Singapore’s regional and global connections, business owners can tap on this advantage to expand their business operations easily, thus, increasing their presence, profit, and revenue.

However, the Singapore government would want to see a good amount of capital when the business is set up to ensure that the business is sustainable and is able to pay its employees for a period of time. It is also compulsory for foreign business owners incorporating their businesses in Singapore to hire local directors.

To stay in the country long-term, business owners may apply for an Employment Pass (EP) and be an employee of their own company. Immigration experts like Immigration@SG (IASG) are able to provide more guidance and information on this.

  • Invest in Singapore

Due to its healthy business landscape, there are a lot of opportunities for investment in Singapore. Ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI) have the option to live in Singapore via the Global Investor Programme Scheme (GIP Scheme) where they can “park” their wealth into businesses in Singapore. Singapore’s thriving financial environment provides a safe and exciting opportunity for investors to increase and manage their wealth. 

This is the least common method of getting a pass to stay and live in Singapore long-term, obviously due to its eligibility factor. Individuals need to prove that they have the capital to invest in Singapore. Because of this, it is not easy to apply for this scheme. Get expert help from Immigration@SG (IASG) as they offer advisory on this scheme as well. 



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