Do Permanent Residents Have To Serve National Service?

If you apply and get your Singapore PR application approved, do you have to serve national service? National service is otherwise known as enrolling in the military in SG. The answer to this question depends on how you got your status, the age you got it, and what your future plans are. Let us discuss in the following paragraphs.

In this country, only males are affected by this, and depending on your situation, could be mandatory. However, if you are a woman, it does not matter, you are not required to, though you are more than free to join if you wish to.

Let us start discussing.

How did you get the status?

Are you a first generation or second generation permanent resident? The definition of first generation means that you were or are the main applicant for it, and you earned it through yourself, such as through the PTS scheme as a working professional or as an investor under the Global Investor scheme. In such a case, you are not required to serve National Service in Singapore. If you belong to first generation, who applied through one of these two schemes, then you may stop reading here as the answer is as per above. There is no need for you to serve.

For others, read on.

Are you a second generation PR? Second generation means that you are a child who has acquired a local permanent residence due to the sponsorship by one or both of your parents. If you are considered second generation, then yes you will be legally required to serve National Service if you are a guy. There is no other option. The only way you can avoid it is to renounce your status. That will legally and permanently remove you from being required to serve Singapore’s National Service if you do so below the age of 16.5.

How old were you when you became one?

If you are in your forties or fifties when doing so, then regardless of the scheme you use, you will not be required to serve National Service. There is no publicly or easily accessible laws regarding this matter for the maximum age, but it is widely regarded as above 40.

However, if you are in your twenties and you did not become one via PTS or GIP, you may be required.

What are your future plans?

As mentioned above, if you are a second generation, you are required to serve by law. However, we understand that everyone has different ideas and so we respect your decision either way. The following discusses more:

If you intend to stay in Singapore, there is no way out. You have to serve NS.

If you intend to leave SG for good, and perhaps only ever return for leisure purposes, then no, you do not have to serve. You simply need to cancel your status before the age of 16.5, and you will be legally cleared of all conscription requirements. While it is publicly stated that you may face repercussions if you wish to work in our country again in future after doing this, in practice and in reality, it almost never ever happens.

So there you go – the above is an in-depth explanation of your liabilities and options you have.