Becoming a Singaporean
With her state-of-the-art infrastructure and advancements in healthcare, it is not hard to see why Singapore is one of the most popular cities in the world to live in. Not only do Singaporeans get to enjoy subsidised real estate and education and healthcare, but the Singapore passport is also one of the strongest in the world.
As a business owner, there are also many benefits to setting up shop here in Singapore, such as tax deductibles and more. If you are looking to apply for citizenship, here’s a guide on what you will need to do.
Factors that affect your chances of citizenship
Though there is no official list of factors that the ICA looks at when reviewing your application, there are several things that are widely believed to make a difference.
- Living in Singapore for a long time. If you’ve stayed for a long time, the ICA will see that you have plans to stay here permanently.
- Having relatives who are PRs or citizens.
- Any assets that can bring benefit to the country’s development. This includes your education, salary level and other achievements in sports, arts and more.
- Having done community work. This shows that you are an active member of your community and have a part to play in the building of your society.
- Having no criminal record
- Good track record as a permanent resident
- The overall character and law-abiding nature
- Social and financial investment in Singapore
- Overall financial strength
The process of applying for citizenship
To make it simple for you, we’ll break down the application process into five steps.
Check the requirements
There are some requirements that you need to meet before proceeding with your application:
- You are 21 years old and older and has been a PR for 2 to 6 years
- Your spouse is a Singaporean citizen and you have been wedded for at least 2 years before the application date
- You are a child born outside of Singapore whose parent is a citizen
- You are an aged parent of a citizen
- You have been a student in Singapore for at least 5 years
Prepare necessary documents
Once you’ve made sure that you are eligible to apply, make sure that you have all the necessary documents ready for your application. You can get the application form for you and your family members on the ICA website.
When preparing your documents, make sure that you have both a photocopied and original version of the document ready. Here are some of the documents you will need to have prepared:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Divorce Certificate or Separation Deed (if applicable)
- Permanent Residency Card
- Educational qualifications and certificates, high school onwards
- In case of divorce, you will need to submit proof of child/children’s custody from your previous marriage
- In case of a name change, you shall need to submit a Deed Poll or a Religious Certificate
- Foreign citizenship certificate
- Letter of employment
- Income tax notice of your assessment from the last 3 years
- Last 6 months payslips and 12 months CPF contributions history, if employed
- For business owners, the latest ACRA business profile, along with the profit and loss/balance sheet statement of your business
If your wife and children are also PRs, you are considered as their sponsor and you can all apply together. Applications like these will be approved and rejected together. Though your spouse will have to provide the same documents as stated above, your child will only require their birth certificate, passport, and PR certificate.
Here are some additional documents that can help with your application:
- A cover letter that provides a summary of your application
- Proof of investment properties in Singapore
- Proof of significant financial assets
Make sure that all your documents are arranged and translated officially if required. You can check with your respective embassy for translators if needed. After which, you will need to scan your documents to submit them online.
Attend the interview
After applying online, you will be required to meet for an interview with an ICA officer to confirm that all your data and documents submitted are accurate.
According to the ICA, it can take between 6 to 12 months to process your application. But in reality, the processing time is much longer.
Renouncing your previous citizenship can take 1 to 2 months, but this also depends on your embassy. Once this is completed along with your NRIC and passport application, your ceremony will be scheduled within the next 3 to 6 months.
You should also note that there is no way to check the status of your application online. The outcome of your application will be sent to you through the mail. However, you can call the ICA office to ask about your application.
What to do after getting your citizenship
The administrative work doesn’t end once you’ve got your citizenship. There are several steps that you will have to take before you are considered a full-fledged Singaporean.
Once you have gotten your citizen approval letter, you will need to go to the ICA office for the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty. The time and date will be in your appointment letter. You will also need to bring:
- an original and photocopy of your Renunciation Letter
- Your blue PR identity card
- Four passport size photos
- Any other documents listed in the appointment letter
At the citizenship ceremony, you will receive your passport and NRIC. This ceremony is a celebration of completing your journey.
There are several fees that you will have to pay for your citizenship application, such as the $100 fee per application and $80 for the citizenship certificate and Singapore identity card.
If you are looking to apply for work visas for yourself or your employees, our experienced team at Margin Wheeler will be more than happy to assist you.