Only foreigners who have achieved Permanent Residency status in Singapore for more than 2 years are eligible to apply to become a Citizen. Among the many benefits of citizenship are:
- Freedom to travel with a Singapore International Passport with very few restrictions globally.
- Employers are more likely to hire Permanent Residents or Citizens as there are less regulations, fees, levies and other restrictions that are applicable.
- Citizens are eligible to rent or buy HDB (Housing and Development Board) flats and apartments and subsidised executive condos.
- The CPF Housing Grant can be used to subsidise the payment of HDB properties upon meeting specific criteria.
- All types of private property are available for purchase by Singapore
- The Singapore CPF (Central Provident Fund) is a type of enforced savings fund to which both employers and employees contribute and is split into 3 accounts:
- Ordinary Account – The savings in the account can be used to fund property purchases, for CPF insurance, education and investment.
- Special Account – Funds are aimed at retirement or investment in retirement plans as well as for contingencies.
- Medisave Account – Medisave funds can be used for hospitalisation or to contribute to an approved Medical Insurance scheme.
- Primary, secondary and tertiary education subsidy benefits.
- Subsidised medical benefits.
- Singapore citizens have the right to vote and stand for election.
- Parenthood incentives such as childcare leave, new infant care leave, baby bonus scheme, parenthood tax rebates, and so forth.
Even though there are such a large number of benefits to Singaporean Citizenship, just one disadvantage may steer potential applicants away from making this very important decision.
- Singapore legislation does not allow for dual citizenship. This means that all persons becoming citizens must denounce all previous citizenship and relinquish their passports. In some cases this may actually be considered a benefit as a Permanent Resident’s home country may not provide the ideal living circumstances.
- Should a citizen wish to withdraw their CPF funds in their entirety, they will be required to denounce their Singaporean citizenship.
- National Service is mandatory for all Singapore This is perhaps the stipulation that most affects the decision for candidates who are considering applying for citizenship, especially foreigners from countries where there is no draft.
Once you have considered the pros and cons and have decided to take the first step to becoming a citizen, it is recommended that you use the services of a professional agency to help guide you through the process successfully.