Singapore is listed as one of the top global cities to live in for expats, and for good reason. This powerful financial hub offers excellent work opportunities and the quality of life here in the Lion City is considerably higher than many other countries in the world. Literally the powerhouse of Southeast Asia, Singapore consist of a diverse and vibrant population living comfortably together and offers you a unique culture, unlike anything that you have seen in many other places. Aside from that, there are various benefits of staying in Singapore such as a low crime rate and well developed transport infrastructure.
If you are already contemplating on relocating to this phenomenal city-state, here are some of the things you should know before getting on that flight destined for Singapore.
As is required by every country, anytime that you decide upon yourself to relocate or settle for greener pastures in a different region on the globe, you can be sure that you have to mentally prepare yourself to dig, search, obtain and turn in a ton of vital documents and go through a pile of paperwork to file for an application. If you plan on making a trip down and pay Singapore a quick visit just to find out for yourself first-hand what you may be missing out on, you will be relieved to know that you will not be needing a visa. However, you have to ensure that your passport is well at least six months away from expiry for you to be granted entry to Singapore.
If you are planning on a long-term or permanent move to Singapore, it is best that you have already a job waiting for you here or you already have a concrete and extensive business plan that would see you quickly establishing your business as soon as you hit the shores. Alternatively, you can consider applying for an EntrePass if you are an aspiring entrepreneur and looking to start your own business operations here in one of the world’s leading financial hub.
Additionally, it is also possible to obtain permanent entry or a Permanent Residency (PR) status in Singapore if you are a middle-income wage earner. The best way to navigate your way when planning for a permanent residential move to Singapore is to speak directly with a representative at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) or to engage in the professional services of established employment consultancy agencies to further clarify your doubts about your employment pass entry and visa permit status while, at the same time, receive professional help with your essential documents such as the cover letters and application forms.
Setting up your banks accounts locally is another smart thing to do and is a process that can usually be done without any problems at all, even before your arrival. If you are currently with banks such as HSBC, UOB, Citibank or Barclays, chances are you would feel right at home as these banks, along with a myriad of others, are also operating in Singapore. Therefore, transferring your current account to the local Singapore branch will be as easy as downing McDonald’s apple pie.
Unless you envision yourself to be the next Jose Mourinho and follow the footsteps of The Special One by staying in hotels for the entire two seasons that he was with Manchester United, it is highly advisable that you hunt and sort out for your new home before your imminent move to Singapore.
Most expats start off by renting apartments from the Housing & Development Board (HDB), where the general rental rates are usually easy on the pockets. Others, who are travelling here with their families, opt for the cosier condominium spaces that comes with a wide array of family-friendly amenities, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness rooms and barbecue pits, among others. Regardless of HDB homes or condominium units, you will be pleased to know that Singapore has many affordable homes in the mix for you to choose from.
When it comes to real estate, you should consider seeking and engaging the services of a property agent. A licensed real estate agent will be able to offer you the best advice when it comes to house-hunting and will be able to help you further understand the different real estate regulations, requirements and policies before you pull the trigger. Additionally, he or she will be able to save you precious time by shortlisting and showing you the homes that tickle your fancy, instead of going from one dull home to the next.
While most people rent, buying a property in Singapore is also an option, and a feasible one at that especially for those who are sure to stay here in Singapore for a long time. Some also may prefer ownership so that they are able to modify or renovate their homes according to their own personal tastes and preferences, or to achieve that sense of stability for their family in the years to come.