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Singaporean Permanent Residents’ Roadmap: Key Personal Financial Schemes And The Decisions You Have To Make

Most of the benefits come as soon as you become a PR.

After becoming a Singapore PR

In Singapore, there are close to half a million Permanent Residents (PRs). This comprises about 10% of Singapore’s population of 5.45 million as of 2021. In terms of benefits, PRs fall in between what Singapore Citizens receive and what non-residents receive.

In this article, we look at the roadmap of schemes and decisions we have to make as a Singapore PR.

Before Becoming A Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)

Foreigners can apply to become a Permanent Resident in Singapore if they are a/an:

  • Spouse of a Singapore Citizen or Singapore PR
  • Unmarried child aged below 21 years old, born within the context of a legal marriage to or have been legally adopted by a Singapore Citizen or PR
  • Aged parent of a Singapore Citizen
  • Holder of an Employment Pass or S Pass
  • Student studying in Singapore
  • Foreign investor in Singapore (under the Global Investor Programme)

While there is no measurement for one’s ability to become a PR, the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) does state certain factors it considers. These include:

  • family ties to Singaporeans
  • Economic contributions
  • Qualifications
  • Age
  • Family profile
  • Length of residency
  • Ability to contribute to Singapore and integrate into our society
  • Commitment to sinking roots in Singapore

Again, there is no stated length of time that a person must wait before being granted their PR status. However, ICA does state that PR applications take about 6 months to process.

Read Also: Marrying A Foreign Spouse in Singapore: This Is What You Need To Plan For

When You Become A PR In Singapore

Naturally, the bulk of the changes you experience between being a foreigner and a Permanent Resident in Singapore will come at the moment your status changes.

Upon becoming a PR, foreigners are allowed to live in Singapore on a permanent basis – without requiring new visa applications. You can also work without another valid work pass. If you are 15 years or over, you will be issued a blue identity card (IC), and you will also be able to register for a Singpass account. However, you must note that PRs require a valid Re-Entry Permit (REP) when travelling, to be able to return to Singapore as a PR.

Males who become a PR are required to register for National Service (NS) when you turn 16½ years old.

For PRs who wish to buy a home, you no longer have to pay 30% Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). Instead, PRs only need to pay an ABSD of 5% on your first property purchase. Even your second property purchase only requires a 25% ABSD – less than the 30% ABSD foreigners must pay on buying any residential properties in Singapore.

Read Also: How Much Buyer’s Stamp Duty And ABSD Singaporeans, PRs And Foreigners Need To Pay – And When

As a PR, you enjoy certain healthcare schemes and subsidies in Singapore. Once you become a PR, you automatically fall under MediShield Life – and you have to start paying premiums through your spouse’s CPF or in cash. Being a PR, you also qualify for half the subsidy rates applicable to Singapore Citizens.

Age Next Birthday Annual Premiums
(inclusive of 7% GST)
Age Next Birthday Annual Premiums
(inclusive of 7% GST)
1-20 $145 74-75 $1,320
21-30 $250 76-78 $1,530
31-40 $390 79-80 $1,590
41-50 $525 81-83 $1,675
51-60 $800 84-85 $1,935
61-65 $1,020 86-88 $2,025
66-70 $1,100 89-90 $2,025
71-73 $1,195 >90 $2,055

Source: MOH

If you have children, who also became PRs, you can enrol them in a local school. This can save you quite a bit of money since they do not need to go to international schools. Even if your child is already in a local school, the monthly fees that a PR needs to pay is significantly lower compared to international students in local schools. Nevertheless, it is still higher than what Singaporeans will pay.

Here’s how much PR students will need to pay:

Year 2022 2023
Primary $243 $268
Secondary $460 $520
Junior College $547 $607
Diploma (annual) $6,200
ITE (annual) Nitec: $5,850
Higher Nitec: $7,760

Source: MOE

Within First Year After Becoming A Singapore PR

When you become a PR, you start earning CPF on your salary. However, first- and second-year PRs receive a lower CPF contribution.

In the first year of becoming a PR, your total CPF contributions is only 9%, compared to 37% for third-year and beyond PRs and Citizens. Employees above 65 to 70 will also not be differentiated between employees above 70 – which will come into effect once you become a Citizen or third-year PR.

The cap on your monthly wage is also $6,000.

PR Employee’s Age Employer CPF Contributions Employee CPF Contributions Total CPF Contributions
55 and Below 4% 5% 9%
55 to 60 4% 5% 9%
60 to 65 3.5% 5% 8.5%
Above 65 3.5% 5% 8.5%

Source: CPF

(for employee wages is $750 and above)

In general, you are paid a slightly higher salary, because you’re now a PR. The drawback may be that you take home slightly less in cash, as employees also have to make CPF contributions. Nevertheless, this money remains yours.

Read Also: Guide To CPF: What New Permanent Residents In Singapore Need To Know

You have some freedom in leaving your job (hopefully for better pasture) now that you don’t have to worry about your work pass.

Within Second Year After Becoming A Singapore PR

Your CPF contributions increase from what you were getting in your first year. However, they will still be below what PRs get from their third year onwards.

PR Employee’s Age Employer CPF Contributions Employee CPF Contributions Total CPF Contributions
55 and Below 9% 15% 24%
55 to 60 6% 12.5% 18.5%
60 to 65 3.5% 7.5% 11%
Above 65 3.5% 5% 8.5%

Source: CPF

(for employee wages is $750 and above)

After being a PR for 2 years, you are also able to apply for citizenship if you are 21 years old and above.

3 Years After Becoming A Singapore PR

From your third year of becoming a Singapore PR, you will start receiving a similar level of CPF contributions compared to Singapore Citizens.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Your CPF Contributions In Singapore (2022): Salary Caps, Contribution Rates And Allocation Rates

PR Employee’s Age Employer CPF Contributions Employee CPF Contributions Total CPF Contributions
55 and Below 17% 20% 37%
55 to 60 14% 14% 28%
60 to 65 5% 8.5% 18.5%
65 to 70 8% 6% 14%
Above 70 7.5% 5% 12.5%


Source: CPF

(for employee wages is $750 and above)


Singapore PRs can only buy their own resale HDB flats after waiting for three years. This would only affect single PRs and PR/PR couples. Couples who are Citizen/PR can continue to buy BTO flats and resale HDB without restrictions. Do note that PR/PR couples also cannot purchase BTO flats.

Read Also: Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme: How You Can Buy An HDB BTO Or Resale Flat With A Foreign Spouse

5 Years After Becoming A Singapore PR

As mentioned, you need a valid REP to come back into Singapore as a PR. REPs are capped at a maximum of 5 years – which means you need to renew it at least once within 5 years or even sooner.

Read Also: Singaporeans’ Roadmap: Key Personal Financial Schemes And The Decisions You Have To Make At Every Age In Singapore

If You Decide To Depart Singapore For Good

For PRs who decide to leave Singapore, either to go elsewhere or retire in your home country, you can either keep your PR status or renounce your PR status. If you renounce your PR status, you can apply to withdraw your CPF.

If you are living in Singapore for good as a PR, your CPF monies can be managed in the same way as Singapore Citizens, especially for your retirement.

Read Also: Migrating Overseas? Here’s What Would Happen To Your CPF Monies

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