Comparison of Singapore Immigration Routes
Singapore is strategically located between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, has attracted many high- net- worth people to immigrate due to its stable political environment, free trade economy, low tax rate and investment risk. Currently, there are mainly three routes to immigrate to Singapore, namely, Global Investor Programme (GIP), Single Family Office and Self- Employment Pass. Different immigration routes need to meet different conditions, the three immigration routes are briefly compared in the table below.
|Item||GIP||Single Family Office||Self- Employment Pass|
|Time to obtain Permanent Resident (PR)||Directly grant PR once approved||PR shall be applied for at least two years after Employment Pass (EP) application||Eligible to apply for PR at least three years after EP application|
|Eligibility of Applicant||Established Business Owners, Next Generation Business Owners, Founders of Fast Growth Companies or Family Office Principals||Certain educational background, above degree with investment experience||No mandatory requirement, but a certain educational background, degree or above is a plus|
|Investment fund||At least SGD2.5 million||At least SGD5 million||No specific requirement|
|Capital occupation time||Five years||Two to five years||Nil|
|Granted PR success rate||To meet the investment option, highest approval rate||If hire local employees and pays certain corporate income tax, the approval rate is higher||If hire local employees and pays certain corporate income tax, the approval rate is higher|
|Granted EP success rate||N/A||If it meets the requirements of the size of the fund, more likely to be approved||Very likely if having physical office, local employees and operations in Singapore|
|Time resided in Singapore||At least half of the five years||
EP, no specific time resided in Singapore requirement, however if you plan to apply for PR, better to stay for at least 183 days a year
|EP, no specific time resided in Singapore requirement, however if you plan to apply for PR, better to stay for at least 183 days a year|
|Salary requirement||N/A||At least SGD8,000||At least SGD8,000|
|Age requirement||N/A||Not above 55||Not above 55|
|Renewal requirement||Annual total business expenditure of at least SGD2 million||Annual business expenditure more than SGD200,000, and hired local employees||No specific business expenditure requirements, but having hired local employees, payment of corporate income tax and carrying out substantial business is a plus|
Launched by the EDB Singapore, the scheme is aimed at successful entrepreneurs who are rich in business and want to use Singapore as a platform to expand their overseas business. Successful applicants can directly obtain the permanent resident status in Singapore.
The scheme offers applicants three investment options:
(1) Invest SGD2.5 million in a new business entity or in the expansion of an existing business operation.
(2) Invest SGD2.5 million in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based-companies.
(3) Invest SGD2.5 million in a new or existing Singapore-based single family office having Assets-Under Management of at least SGD200 million.
The establishment of a Single Family Office in Singapore, where the family office investment fund may apply for Section 13X or 13R for Singapore Income Tax Act from Monetary Authority of Singapore for the tax exemption, which enables the family to act as its own fund manager, to hold and invest its assets in a tax efficient manner.
To qualify for the 13X or 13R tax exemption, the applied fund must:
(1) Not less than SGD50 million or SGD5 million;
(2) Fund managers must hire three investment specialists in Singapore;
(3) Annual business expenditure of at least SGD200,000 and 13X shall meet local business expenditure of at least SGD200,000.
Family members who join the family office as investment specialist can apply for an Employment Pass in Singapore, which in turn enables them to apply for permanent residency in the country.
A self-employment immigrant is an applicant who establishes a company by himself, applies for Employment Pass in the name of the company’s director and applies for permanent residency, two or three years after the company begins substantive business.
Currently, there are above three main ways to immigrate to Singapore. People who want to emigrate can choose the most suitable immigration scheme accordingly to their actual situation and the specific requirements of various immigration modes.