Lately, we witness a surge of interest in migration to other countries. Aside from Taiwan where remains an already famous destination for Hong Kong people to consider, Singapore is a popular jurisdiction, too. It is because Singapore holds a great deal of similarity in social culture and work environment to Hong Kong, plus the complete education and medical system.
In the view of Hong Kong people, Permanent Residency (PR) is more feasible to obtain than that of citizenship. As foreigners are eligible to apply for Singapore PR statue after they obtained Singapore work visas to stay and work there.
Note: Singapore adopts residency and citizenship programs under its immigration and nationality laws. And dual citizenship in Singapore is prohibited. By contrast, Hong Kong adopts residency only; foreigners can apply for their Permanent Resident statue in Hong Kong after they have resided in Hong Kong for 7 consecutive years. Learn more about Hong Kong PR here.
Global Investor Program (GIP)
Under this program, you can invest in Singapore to apply for permanent residency in Singapore, and your spouse and unmarried children can apply for permanent residency as a dependent applicant. It comprises of two investment plans:
Plan A: Invest at least SG$ 2.5 million to establish a new commercial entity or expand an existing business operation.
Plan B: Invest at least SG$ 2.5 million in a “GIP fund” that invests in Singapore-based companies.
Apart from the capital requirement, you must be a successful entrepreneur with a proven track record of entrepreneurship and financial capability. That said, the criteria are as follows:
Possess three years or more of entrepreneurial experience, and submit the audited financial report of your company for the last three years.
Your company’s turnover in the most recent year must reach at least SD$50 million. Then, the average annual turnover in the last three years must also reach at least SD$ 50 million.
If your company is a private company, you should have at least 30% shareholding in the company.
You are required to participate in advance science and technology-driven industries. In other words, those common industries in Hong Kong, such as real estate, construction, banking and finance, hotels, and caterings, are not acceptable.
For complete information of GIP, please refer to Singapore Economic Development Board website.
Professionals and Skilled Workers Work Visas
You can apply for your PR when you are holding a work pass (commonly known as a work visa) in Singapore. After being employed by a local Singapore company, your employer can apply for your specific work pass according to the job requirements and your qualifications on your behalf. During the employment, the higher the salaries you get paid, the higher the chance your application of Singapore PR get approved.
However, you must more be older than 50 (45 for the woman applicant) and show the capability of fitting into the local labour market.
We have selected two types of Singaporean Work Passes for Hong Kong working people to consider:
Employment Pass (EP): It’s for experienced professionals and special-skilled workers in management and executive level. You need to earn at least SG$ 3,600 a month and possess acceptable qualifications. This is the easiest way to obtain PR status.
S Pass: It’s for the mid-level skilled staff. Candidates need to earn at least SG$ 2,300 a month.
Moreover, if you can earn at least SG$ 6,000 monthly in from the employment under either EP or S Pass, you are immediately eligible to apply for residency pass, which is Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass, for your family members.
For complete information of work pass, please refer to the Singapore Ministry of Manpower website.
EntrePass is designed to attract inbound investment toward innovation and technology. It allows foreign entrepreneurs to stay in Singapore to start a new business. The keys difference of criteria to work visa mentioned above are that you do not have to secure any employment in advance and you do not need to earn a minimum salary.
After years of ongoing modifications, EnterPass welcomes foreigners with a proven track record of recognition in the startup area and achievement in the key areas of expertise. You can apply for it as an Entrepreneur, Innovator, or Investor. Either way, you have to open your Singaporean private limited company with a minimum capital of SG$ 50,000. Although it does not bound the industries, it has a blacklist of businesses as follows:
- Coffee shops, hawker centres, food courts.
- Bars, night clubs, karaoke lounges.
- Foot reflexology, massage parlours.
- Acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal dispensing businesses.
- Employment agencies.
- Geomancy business.
If you are used to buying a homeflat and putting hefty cash in the local bank in order to get your second PR, it is not the case in Singapore.
However, your family are not spontaneously eligible in the application of “family pass”, your Singapore must spend at least SG$ 100,000 in a year and have been employing at least three local full-time staff.
For complete information of EntrePass, please refer to the Singapore Ministry of Manpower website.
If you are interested in living in Singapore, you have to ensure that you will be having a business or employment that can support the high cost of living. Even if you have money, becoming a Permanent Resident in Singapore isn’t as easy as it sounds; you must possess recognized skills, qualifications and achievement in the field of your expertise which should better be technology and innovation related.
That said, there are much cheaper options for someone who seeks freedom of capital flow. Singapore offers excellent international banking service to worldwide companies, Hong Kong businesses are welcome to open their commercial bank accounts in Singapore as their alternative to Hong Kong bank account. Right now, you can open a business bank account in Singapore for your Hong Kong company without travelling to Singapore! Check out the details here.