28 Mar Singapore residency by investment [2023 Guide]
Singapore frequently tops international lists of the best cities to live in. This is not surprising, given its high investment in technology, excellent infrastructure, low crime rates and high standards of living. Residency in Singapore is therefore highly prized.
In this article, we’ll describe the Singapore Global Investor Program and its residency by investment options, highlighting the many benefits of this scheme. We’ll look at the following areas:
- Overview of Singapore’s residency by investment program
- Types of investments that qualify for residency in Singapore
- Requirements for residency by investment in Singapore
- Minimum investment amounts
- Eligibility criteria to become a resident in Singapore
- Benefits of residency by investment in Singapore
- Process of applying for residency by investment in Singapore
- Documents required for residency by investment in Singapore
- Timeline and expected processing times to acquire residency in Singapore
- Singapore residency by investment: Conclusion
Overview of Singapore’s residency by investment program
The Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP), sometimes referred to as the Singapore golden visa, is aimed at entrepreneurs and investors who can make a substantial financial investment of at least SGD 10 million in Singapore and make the country their home. The scheme reflects Singapore government’s drive to attract talent and investment to the country.
Types of investments that qualify for residency in Singapore
Investors can launch a new business in Singapore or invest in an existing Singapore company. There are three investment options currently available.
Invest SGD 10 million into a new or existing business in Singapore. The business must hire a minimum of 30 people if you wish to renew the residency permit after five years. At least half of these employees must be Singaporean citizens, and if you have invested in an existing business, ten of its employees must be new hires.
Invest SGD 25 million into a fund approved by the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Establish a Singapore-based office with assets worth a minimum of SGD 200 million, of which at least SGD 50 million must be invested throughout the five-year duration of your residence permit in any of these categories:
- Companies listed on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s licensed exchanges
- Government-approved debt securities (e.g., bonds, notes, commercial papers, certificates of deposit)
- Funds distributed by Singapore-licensed/registered managers
- Private equity invested in non-listed Singapore-based businesses
Under Option 3, you must employ a minimum of five people by the end of the five-year duration of the permit, at least three of whom must be Singaporean nationals.
Requirements for residency by investment in Singapore
Ask Huriya Private for assistance with the residency by investment application, which usually takes nine to 12 months. The process is relatively simple, but there is still a lot of paperwork required. We will guide you through these two basic stages, advising you of the various documents needed and the timescales:
Step 1: The first step is to submit a personal profile and investment plan. This can be submitted via an e-application form, but you will need hard copies of all supporting documentation.
Step 2: Attend an interview in support of your application. If approved, you will receive approval in principle from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore soon after this interview. During the six-month validity of this approval in principle, you will be required to make your chosen investment.
Step 3: Following successful investment, you will receive a permanent residence visa. This must be formalised within one year of receiving your permanent visa approval letter. You will then receive a re-entry permit (REP), valid for five years. The REP enables you to travel to and from Singapore and retain your permanent residence status during your absence from Singapore.
Step 4: After five years, the REP can be renewed as long as you fulfil the conditions of the chosen investment option. The renewal procedure differs depending on factors such as the impact of the business and the physical time you have spent in Singapore.
Minimum investment amounts
The minimum investment required for the Singapore Global Investor Program is SGD 10 million.
Eligibility criteria to become a resident in Singapore
Investors must be aged at least 18. You can include your spouse and children under 21. You should be aware, however, that any male dependents who become permanent residents will be liable for Singapore national service. Parents and children over 21 cannot be included in the permanent residence application, but they are eligible to apply for a five-year long-term visit pass.
You will also be required to demonstrate your financial standing and ability to make the investment, and must produce certificates attesting to your good health and lack of criminal convictions.
Benefits of residency by investment in Singapore
Singapore is an international financial centre, home to many international banks. Residency here delivers many benefits, including:
- A favourable tax regime, with regulations that consistently favour foreign investors
- Political and economic stability, with a highly developed free-market
- Safe, with strictly enforced rule of law and one of the lowest crime rates in the world
- High living standards, with excellent residential options
- One of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita
- World-class education and healthcare
- Fantastic transport systems by road, air and rail
- Excellent business facilities with state-of-the-art telecommunications, digital and tech infrastructure
- Harmonious, multicultural environment, with English and Mandarin as the main languages spoken
Process of applying for residency by investment in Singapore
As described above the process of applying for residency by investment in Singapore through the GIP is very straightforward. If you have any questions on this matter, please contact Huriya Private for more information and clarification.
After holding a permanent residence in Singapore for two years, you may be eligible to apply for full Singaporean citizenship. If successful, you will have a Singaporean passport – one of the strongest passports in the world. You will then enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 193 destinations, including Europe’s Schengen Area, the USA, Canada and China.
Note: Singapore does not allow dual citizenship – to become a Singaporean citizen, you will need to renounce your previous nationality.
Documents required for residency by investment in Singapore
These are some of the documents typically required for the Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP) application:
- Completed GIP application forms.
- A valid passport with at least six months’ validity for you and any accompanying family members.
- Recent passport-sized photographs of all applicants.
- Birth certificates for you and any family members included in the application.
- Marriage and birth certificates, if applicable.
- A detailed business plan outlining your investment proposals.
- Employment records and contracts, including records from companies under your name.
- Documents to prove assets, such as business financial statements, bank statements, share certificates and property ownership documents.
- Police clearance or records of good conduct from home country.
This list is not exhaustive, and your specific situation may require additional documents. It is essential to ensure all documents are original or certified copies and translated into English where necessary. Ask Huriya Private for assistance with gathering all the required documents and paperwork.
Timeline and expected processing times to acquire residency in Singapore
The Approval in Principle (AIP) for your residency permit will usually be issued within nine to 12 months, and the relevant investment must be made within six months of receiving the AIP. The Final Approval will be granted when proof of the qualifying investment has been received and acknowledged.
Once you have received Final Approval, you are required to relocate to Singapore and complete all the permanent residence formalities within one year.
A five-year Re-Entry Permit (REP) will be issued to enable your residency status to be maintained when you are away from Singapore. The REP can be renewed for three or five years, subject to conditions.
Singapore residency by investment: Conclusion
Permanent Residence in Singapore via the Global Investor Program offers several benefits, including a favourable tax environment, ease of travel, excellent healthcare, and exceptional business opportunities.
As with all residency by investment programmes, the GIP scheme may undergo changes from time to time, so it is essential to check the latest updates and requirements with official sources or seek professional advice from Huriya Private before applying.