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Permanent Residency in Singapore

Singapore is a small island nation in South East Asia. Located just below Malaysia, on the Singapore Strait, Singapore has a great economy and is one of the wealthier nations in the world on a per capita basis. It is also the fourth largest financial center and one of the busiest ports in the world. 

The city-state has seen an average of 7.7% economic growth since its independence. The Heritage Institute rates them as the world’s freest economy in 2022. Singapore has a population of only 5.6 million people, who are predominately ethnic Chinese. Their Changi Airport is consistently rated among the best in the world, featuring a nature-themed entertainment park and an indoor waterfall. Passengers on layovers can also enjoy substantial retail shopping, a wide variety of restaurants, and an Imax theatre.

Related Content: Top 8 Locations Expats Can Build A Real Life Abroad


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Map of Singapore

keys to permanent residency

The government of Singapore grants permanent residency to individuals who qualify under one of the following categories:

  • Marriage to a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore
  • The unmarried minor offspring of a citizen of Singapore or a permanent resident.
  • Elderly parent of a citizen of Singapore
  • If you have work in Singapore along with an employment permit
  • If you are a student who is going to school in Singapore
  • Or if you have made a substantial investment in Singapore’s economy

In addition to requiring applicants to meet one of the above criteria, the Immigration Authority also considers a number of other criteria when deciding whether to approve an applicant. Whether or not you have ties to the community, what economic contributions you have made, what familial ties you have if any, and how long you have been residing in Singapore are just a few of the many factors they consider.

While permanent residency allows you to live in Singapore indefinitely, if you want to leave and come back you will need a Re-entry Permit. There is also a quota on the number of permanent residents allowed to enter Singapore. No more than 30,000 people may qualify in any given year.

Another option for people that are interested in residency in Singapore is the Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme (ForArts). First introduced in 1991, this program is designed to allow talented artists residency in Singapore. To qualify under this program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You must have formal artistic training
  • You must have substantial professional experience
  • You must have made a substantial impact on the cultural scene of Singapore
  • You must have plans to be involved in the artistic and cultural scene in Singapore

Singapore is also infamous for its draconian legal system and liberal use of corporal punishment in the form of caning. While this system is criticized by many as cruel and barbaric, Singapore has extremely low incidences of crime and is one of the safest countries in the world. As a vestige of British colonial rule, English is the most commonly spoken language in Singapore. Singaporean cuisine is a fascinating blend of Chinese, Malay, English, Indian, Indonesian, and Portuguese influences. Street vendors were historically a big part of the culinary scene, and today they have evolved into more hygienic hawker centers. Singapore is also renowned for its seafood.

You can read this article where we look at all of the immigration schemes worldwide, it’s called: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency


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Downtown Singapore City

tax implications of residency in Singapore

If you reside in Singapore for more than 183 days in a year, you are considered a tax resident. Regardless of whether you are or are not a tax resident, income earned from within Singapore is taxable. Singapore practices a territorial system of taxation, so any income which is sourced from outside of Singapore is not taxable regardless of your status as a tax resident.

Singapore has a progressive income tax, with a top marginal rate of 24%.  In 2024 they will be implementing a new tax structure with higher brackets. The new tax structure in Singapore will be applied like this:

  • Your first $20,000 (in Singapore dollars which are 73 cents on the dollar compared to USD) is tax-free
  • $20,000 to $30,000 has a marginal tax rate of 2%
  • $30,000 to $40,000 has a marginal tax rate of 3.5%
  • $40,000 to $80,000 has a marginal tax rate of 7%
  • $80,000 to $120,000 has a marginal tax rate of 11.5%
  • $120,000 to $160,000 has a marginal tax rate of 15%
  • $160,000 to $200,000 has a marginal tax rate of 18%
  • $200,000 to $240,000 has a marginal tax rate of 19%
  • $240,000 to $280,000 has a marginal tax rate of 19.5%
  • $280,000 to $320,000 has a marginal tax rate of 20%
  • $320,000 to $500,000 has a marginal tax rate of 22%
  • $500,000 to $1,000,000 has a marginal tax rate of 23%
  • $1,000,000 on has a marginal tax rate of 24%

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Singapore Dollar

benefits of permanent residency

There are many benefits to being a permanent resident in Singapore. You can access credit and financial services, enjoy the benefits of the Central Provident Fund, become a citizen, and apply for your family to become permanent residents as well. As a permanent resident, you would have access to Singapore’s lucrative job market, where workers enjoy high wages and great working conditions. You’ll be able to come and go as you like (subject to obtaining a re-entry permit), and you will be able to live, work and/or study in Singapore.


I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of Canada or the USA (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap, however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional, your risks can be reduced considerably.

Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money™, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money.

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