With a steady influx of foreigners entering this city, 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 obtain permanent residency for him or her. Well, it is not a secret that PR enjoy greater benefits while living in this little red dot.
Why Your Spouse Should Become A PR
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits once he or she successfully becomes a PR:
1. More Employment Opportunities
As a foreigner, he or she will be required to get a work visa before being able to work. Besides having to meet the working eligibility criteria, he or she will need to renew the 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 he or she meets the PR requirements and gains PR status here, work visas will be a thing of the past. He or she will have the freedom to seek employment without the worry of work visa paperwork and renewals. In addition, employers will be more willing to hire him or her as they will not have to go through the time-consuming task of obtaining a work pass or permit.
2. Subsidised Medical Fees
Foreigners living in this country are not eligible for healthcare subsidies, which means your spouse will have to face higher medical costs during the stay here. As a PR, however, he or she will be entitled to various healthcare schemes and subsidies such as MediShield Life and MediSave. Thus, your partner can rest assured that he or she will not have to deal with the possibility of skyrocketing medical costs.
3. Greater Housing Options
Your housing options are limited if your spouse does not have PR status. 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 PR for him or her is the obvious choice. If he or she 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.
4. Increased Protection
Another downside is the inability of him or her to co-own your flat, which poses a risky situation. For instance, in the event of your death, your partner can only hold on to the flat if he or she meets one of these two conditions:
If he or she does not meet either of these conditions, he/she will risk losing the flat. To avoid this, apply for a permanent residency for your partner as soon as possible, and live in this Lion City knowing that he or she will be taken care of in the future!
5. 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. He or she will be eligible to apply for the LTVP+ scheme if the two of you meet one of these two conditions:
This will enable him or her to stay in this country for three years as well as a further five if the LTVP+ pass is successfully renewed. While this pass will guarantee his or her stay in this country for a certain duration, imagine the hassle of having to renew this pass every few years. Plus, there is always the possibility of having the renewal rejected, forcing him or her to leave the country. Would you wish to take that risk? Permanent residency will secure your spouse’s stay here, thus taking all these worries away.