For those of us who have found love beyond our local shores or within our local shores with a foreign love, it is still possible to confess your love with an uniquely Singaporean HDB proposal. Increasingly over the recent years, more Singaporeans are marrying foreigners.
This leads naturally to the question of where you as a couple would stay.
If you are a Singaporean, you can buy an HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) or resale flat with a foreign spouse, albeit with a few limitations. Here are some things you need to know about buying an HDB BTO or resale flat with your foreign spouse under the Non-Citizen Spouse (NCS) Scheme.
You Can Only Buy A 2-Room Flexi Built-To-Order (BTO) Or Resale Flat
Under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme, Singaporeans with foreign spouses may only apply for 2-room flexi BTOs or resale flats. You may not apply for BTOs that are larger than 2-room flexi flats.
In general, the main applicant must be Singapore Citizen while the non-citizen spouse is listed as an occupier and not a co-applicant. Non-citizen spouse refers to spouses of foreign nationalities who are not Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs).
|New flat||Resale flat|
|Citizenship||Main applicant must be Singapore Citizen (SC)|
|Ownership||The non-citizen spouse must be listed in the application as an occupier.|
|Eligible flat types||2-room flexi BTO from HDB||All HDB flat types/ sizes sold on the open market|
|Age||SC must be 35 and older. The non-citizen spouse must have a valid Visit Pass or Work Pass.||If SC is 21 years and older: the non-citizen spouse must have a valid Long Term Visit Pass or Work Pass at time of application. The pass must have a validity period of at least 6 months from the date of issue.
If SC is 35 years and older: the non-citizen spouse must have a valid Visit Pass or Work Pass. There is no requirement of a validity period.
You Are Eligible For The Same Grants As Singles
You can apply for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) (Singles) under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme, if you meet the requirements:
– Your gross monthly household income (including your spouse’s income) divided by two must not exceed $4,500
– You and/or your spouse must be employed for 12 months before and at the point of flat application
– The remaining lease of the flat must be 20 years or more. If the remaining lease is insufficient to cover the youngest buyer and spouse to the age of 95, the EHG EHG will be pro-rated.
– You or your spouse must not own any properties whether locally or overseas, or have disposed of any such properties in the 30 months before your new flat application.
The amount of EHG (Singles) you can receive would depend on your income.
However, the grant amount (between $2,500 to $40,000) is similar to the amount for singles and not as generous as the grant amount for couples. For couples who are in the process of applying PR status for the foreign spouse, it may be more prudent to wait and reserve the opportunity to apply for CPF Housing Grants after the foreign spouse attains PR status.
You Can Consider Forming Alternative Family Nucleus Instead
You may not need to be restricted to the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme if you have a child with your foreign spouse. If the child is Singaporean or SPR, you can form a family nucleus (including your foreign spouse) with your Singaporean or SPR child and apply under the HDB Public Scheme which allows you to purchase BTOs that are larger than the 2-room flexi flats.
Alternatively, you can consider forming a family nucleus with a SC or SPR parent to qualify for the Public Scheme.
While the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme is available for Singaporeans who marry foreign spouses, the scheme is still limited and does not confer much additional benefits over applying as a single. However, it does lower the age limit for those who apply for resale HDBs with their foreign spouses and would help who are below the age of 35 find and build a home with their foreign spouses.
Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.