With a steady influx of foreigners entering Singapore, it is no surprise that there has been a rise in transnational marriages here. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, the percentage of transnational marriages (i.e. marriages between a Singapore citizen and non-citizen) comprised about 35 percent of the total number of marriages in Singapore in 2017.
If you are a Singapore citizen or permanent resident (PR) with a foreign spouse, one of the questions you might have is whether you should apply for a Singapore permanent residency for your spouse.
Well, it is not a secret that Singapore PRs enjoy greater benefits while living in this little red dot including:
These benefits make it essential for your spouse to apply for a Singapore permanent residency.
Why Your Spouse Should Become A Singapore PR
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits your spouse will be given once he/she successfully becomes a Singapore PR:
More Employment Opportunities
As a foreigner, your spouse will be required to apply for a work visa before being able to work. Besides having to meet the eligibility criteria, your spouse will need to renew his/her visa before it expires. This is not only a hassle, but also unstable as each renewal poses a rejection risk by either the employer or government. However, if your spouse meets the Singapore PR requirements and gains PR status here, work visas will be a thing of the past. Your spouse will have the freedom to seek employment without the worry of work visa applications and renewals. In addition, employers will be more willing to hire your spouse as they will not have to go through the time-consuming task of applying for a work pass or permit.
Subsidised Medical Fees
Foreigners living in Singapore are not eligible for healthcare subsidies, which means your spouse will have to face higher medical costs during his/her stay here. As a PR, however, your spouse will be entitled to various healthcare schemes and subsidies such as MediShield Life and MediSave. Thus, your spouse can rest assured that he/she will not have to deal with the possibility of skyrocketing medical costs.
Greater Housing Options
Your housing options are limited if your spouse does not have PR status in Singapore. For HDB flats, the only options available to you are new two-room flexi flats in non-mature neighbourhoods or resale flats — excluding Executive Condominiums less than 10 years old — if you want a bigger place. Considering the limited housing options you have, applying for Singapore PR for your spouse is the obvious choice. If your spouse becomes a PR, you can apply for either a new or resale flat under the Public Scheme, which has no restrictions to the size of the flat.
Increased Protection for Your Spouse
Another downside to not applying for Singapore PR for your spouse is the inability of your spouse to co-own your flat, which poses a risky situation. For instance, in the event of your death, your foreign spouse can only hold on to the flat if he/she meets one of these two conditions:
If your spouse does not meet either of these conditions, he/she will risk losing the flat. To avoid this, apply for a Singapore permanent residency for your spouse as soon as possible, and live in this Lion City knowing that your spouse will be taken care of in the future!
No Hassle of Renewing LTVP
As a foreigner, your spouse will have to apply for the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) scheme, allow him/her to stay in Singapore for a maximum of two years. Your spouse will be eligible to apply for the LTVP+ scheme if the two of you meet one of these two conditions:
This will enable your spouse to stay in Singapore for three years as well as a further five if his/her LTVP+ pass is successfully renewed. While this pass will guarantee your spouse’s stay in Singapore for a certain duration, imagine the hassle of having to renew his/her pass every few years. Plus, there is always the possibility of your spouse having his/her renewal rejected, forcing him/her to leave the country. Do you want to take that risk? Applying for PR for your spouse will secure your spouse’s stay in Singapore, thus taking all these worries away.