Living in Singapor

 Introduction

Singapore is one of the most attractive economic centres in the world. This is because the Singaporean economy is competitive, innovative and business-friendly. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is regarded as one of the Four Asian Tigers. These four nations and areas are notable for their exceptionally high growth rates. The present contribution describes two programs allowing investors who are interested to undertake a business or invest in Singapore to obtain the Singapore Permanent Residence (PR) status. These two programs are the Global Investor Program (Section 2) and the Financial Investor Scheme (Section 3)

The Global Investor Program

The Global Investor Program (GIP) is administered by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore (ICA). This section explains the investment options offered by the GIP, the eligibility requirements for a GIP application, and the criteria for assessing a GIP application.

Investment options offered by the GIP

Under the GIP, an investor can choose one of two options. The first option is to invest at least S$ 2.5 million in a new business entity or expand an existing business operation. The second option is to invest at least S$ 2.5 million in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies.

Eligibility requirements for a GIP application

Investors are eligible to apply for permanent residence under the GIP if they meet two conditions, namely, a substantial business track record and a successful entrepreneurial background.

Criteria for assessing a GIP application

When assessing a GIP application, the EDB and the ICA will use three criteria.

  • The investor should have an entrepreneurial and business track record of at least 3 years and must produce audited financial statements of his/her company for the last 3 years.
  • If the investor’s company is active in real estate or construction-related industry, the company’s turnover must be at least S$ 200 million in the most recent year and at least   S$ 200 million per annum on average for the last 3 years. If the company is active in other sectors, the company’s turnover must be at least S$ 50 million in the most recent year and at least S$ 50 million per annum on average for the last 3 years. The applicant must submit the financial statements with the highest turnover.
  • In case the investor’s company is privately-owned, the investor needs to have a shareholding of at least 30% in the company. The investor’s role in the company as well the growth and profitability of his company would also be taken into account.

Financial Investor Scheme

  • The Financial Investor Scheme (FIS) is a scheme jointly administered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the ICA. In order to qualify for the program, foreign investors need (1) to have a minimum of S$ 20 million of net personal assets and (2) to deposit at least S$10 million in a regulated financial institution in Singapore.

Conclusion

Obtaining permanent residence in Singapore through the GIP and the FIS opens the door to an international financial centre with a competitive tax system and an excellent education system. Moreover, Singapore allows the acquisition of citizenship after two years without requiring a minimum physical stay for the principal applicant or dependent family members.

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