Can Foreigners Buy Property In Singapore?

One of the biggest reasons that many foreigners apply for Singapore PR is to become eligible to purchase certain types of property, as well as save on property taxes. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss more in-depth.

Here is the short answer to whether foreigners can buy property in Singapore

The short answer is that YES, foreigners are allowed to purchase. However, they are only allowed to get very few types of properties in SG, and even then, there will be a heft Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) tax for the foreigners.

However, even just being a permanent resident, without being a full citizen, will already open up the eligibility for virtually every other type of property in SG for you to purchase.

Buying condo in Singapore for foreigner

With the exception of executive condominiums, all private condos are able to be purchased by foreigners with zero restrictions.

Private condos

When it comes to private condos, there are no restrictions as long as you have the necessary cash to buy it, or the necessary profile required to qualify for a loan to buy it. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of these units that you can snap up. However, ABSD taxes can be quite an hefty amount above the sale price for foreigners.

Executive condominiums

An executive condo looks exactly the same as a private one. The only difference is that it is partially subsidized by the government, for citizens.

Only Singaporeans are able to get them first hand. A PR can buy it after 5 years from the completion of its development. Foreigners are able to buy it after 10 years from date of completion.

There is an income limit cap for those who purchase a unit at one of these developments.

 

Can foreigners buy landed property?

What if you are a true baller and even intending to get a local investment VISA? Perhaps you want something more prestigious and to separate yourself from the pack by getting a landed property or home. Foreigners are not allowed to buy any kind of landed houses on mainland.

Sentosa Cove is the unique exception

Ever wondered why many foreign billionaires buy houses on Sentosa Cove? This is because there are absolutely no restrictions on the buyers when it comes to landed property on Sentosa Cove. That is the only known place right now which has no restrictions for the buyer’s profile.

Can PR buy landed property?

Even if you are a permanent resident, you are only eligible to get landed properties on the mainland with manual approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), and only after you have been a PR for at least 5 years.

Can foreigners buy HDB?

Most of our readers are intending to stay in a condominium at least, or perhaps landed property. Therefore, we are answering the last. However, if you are wondering, the answer is a flat no.

Only citizens and PRs are allowed to purchase HDB units. Additionally, only citizens are allowed to buy HDB units at the subsidized rates. PRs are only eligible to buy them at the Open Market rate, which can be roughly $100,000 to $250,000 more expensive than the subsidized rates.

Immigration Intake Will Still Preserve Racial Balance

multi racial

When it comes to approvals for new Singapore PR applications, there were questions raised in Parliament just earlier on this week. The exact quote can be found here on the Ministry of Home Affairs site.

But in short, what happened was that the government was asked about whether there would be any changes to the current racial percentages which exists in Singapore, and whether changes, or the absence of which would potentially affect any sense of belonging to the country or minority rights issues. To this question, the government has officially announced that as Singapore invites and welcomes new migrants, the country will still accept new people in accordance to the current racial distribution in the country.

This is in conjunction with what was already previously discussed by ICA and the local government, that we are still expected to see stable growth rate in new migrants. Because with stable flow of new citizens or permanent residents, the racial balance of our country can potentially quite change quite drastically. For instance, at the current moment, the general location population is made up of:

  • 76 percent Chinese
  •  15 percent Malay
  • 7.5 percent Indian
  • 1.5 percent others

To illustrate very simply, if lots of new migrants come in and an overwhelming majority belongs perhaps under ethnic Indian group, they can easily distort the current population proportions in SG after only several years. This is because we have a small population for a country, and small changes over just a few years can drastically distort entire population landscapes in the city.

Do we believe whether this will affect any body who is trying to apply for a citizenship or a residence? Our answer is no. This is because such practices have been the same for years and decades – so there is no difference to the past situations anyway. What happened in the Parliament is just clarification of what was already going on.

Do we believe that this is beneficial or negative for our society? We prefer to steer clear of politics, as that is not our business. However, we believe that the past for our country has been smooth on the whole, so keeping it the same probably will not affect much to the current society anyway. So if you already like how it is like in our city, then you will still likely continue to like it in the future and vice versa.

Singapore Is Still Expected To See Stable Immigration Growth

Streets

At Dream Immigration SG, we believe that while requirements to become a new resident may become tougher over time, we do not expect any changes to Singapore still embracing well qualified individuals and their families to immigrate to ours. As recently publicly announced too on the Straits Times, there has been stable growth of new PRs and citizens for the last several years.

We believe this trend of stable growth of immigration numbers will continue, while improving the quality of the new ones. In other words, requirements and standards for applicants will likely rise sharply over time.

As published in the Straits Times article, Ms Indranee has also said that such new status are offered selectively to people who have a commitment to living in the country over the long term, can integrate and contribute (financially) to Singapore – all of which were things we have talked about multiple times before on our blog as being important for you to get your PR status approved!

Every country faces issues, and one big issue that Singapore is facing, that could be to the advantage of new migrants is that the birth rate in the country is very low at roughly 1.14. This is well below 2.1 which is required for a population to replace itself as well as for future tax burdens in decades to come to be kept at reasonable levels still. As a result of this, migrants are necessary for us to continue to flourish into the future.

We have had readers being worried that in the coming years and messaging us asking if SG will cut down on the number of new PRs soon. We are not ICA and even the government cannot answer that as it needs to adapt to on the ground changes over the years and best react accordingly. However, our stand and belief remains the same as per above.

Therefore, our recommendations to potential applicants as well as readers, that if you are serious about wanting to settle down in our country, to prepare your necessary documents, and plan out for the long term right from day one. There is no time to waste, as while ICA will still welcome migrants, your profile needs to be really comprehensive and well rounded to be approved in the future – more so than ever in the past! By being so well qualified, you have no cause for concerns, even if nationalism sentiments are increasing!

How Do Growing Nationalism Sentiments Affect Immigrations?

SG flag

Many governments and people around the world are having increasing nationalism sentiments, exacerbated by politics in the USA, and then followed by Brexit. We are not here to discuss the politics of it, as we strongly do not believe if there is a right or wrong answer. However, what we do believe is that it will affect migrations around the world, including Singapore, and we want to look at how that can affect applying for immigrations!

To add onto that, COVID related lockdowns (thankfully Singapore has recovered quickly, at least locally) have led people to realize the sheer importance of a country putting its local businesses and own people first, and independence. These growing nationalism sentiments are also growing in Singapore.

The way we view it, this is not a trend which is going away anytime soon, and in fact, will only get stronger and stronger across the world. Because the locals are the ones who put the government in place, the politicians will have to listen to these sentiments, or it will be a matter of time before they get removed forcibly from office.

We believe the following are ways in which immigration related issues will be impacted in SG:

  • The barriers to entry – such as requirements when it comes to getting a permanent residency will get increasingly tougher as the years go by, so as to optimize the maximum benefits for the existing citizens and residents of the country.
  • Approval times required for a PR status will probably get longer. If you have not yet already applied, here is a rough time estimate for how long the process can take. It is already quite long, so hurry now and get it done and over with fast if you eventually are going to go for it anyway.
  • We believe that in the middle term, even the requirements required for things such as getting a long term visit pass for parents of SPR is going to get tougher.
  • The benefits that those who do get their status approved and become an official resident will greatly increase and improve. This means that we believe while the hurdles to get your residence will be much tougher in the coming years, the benefits that will come if you succeed will be much greater as well!

Singapore’s Rapid Recovery From COVID Related Lockdowns

SG night view

Even though Singapore has also been affected by COVID in 2020, the country as a whole has since been reopening steadily since phase 2 of late June 2020, and has seen extremely well controlled, detected cases of COVID, and as a result of that, if you walked about the city now, you will notice that it is almost 100% back to business!

In fact, just a few days ago, phase 3 preparations were announced and we are expecting to enter it extremely soon. This is good news because – detected infection rates are very low in Singapore, and death rates are even lower than that! Additionally, people can get on with their lives and businesses, and thus saving as many jobs as possible.

Perhaps, it is just nightclub entertainment and some tourism related industries which are still hit heavily. Outside of that, with such a few good recovery, that is why SG continues to attract lots of immigrations from people all around the world and this phenomenon is still happening this year too!

That is actually one of the reasons why SG has to always reject far more people trying to become a permanent resident here, as there is overwhelming demand for migration here. In fact, despite the pandemic in 2020, our country has been doing well on the whole ever since late June, and is back to normal except for approximately 1 to 2% of local activities (of course, and travelling). Would you not love to live in such a country like ours which is safe, and with reasonable and quick recoveries, unlike certain other countries such as some in Europe where draconian, socialist governments are shutting everyone down and everyone up?

If you got your prior application rejected, here is some advice on how to write appeal letter to ICA.

One of the biggest concerns by people is their elderly parents, whom they often picture as being vulnerable in their existing homes, far away from them. However, you need not worry! Get your own PR status approved FIRST. This is because you can apply for long term visit pass for parents of SPR. So rest assured, and simply apply for yourself first!

Trend In Policies – Tightening Of Work Pass And More?

1231

Back in July 2020, we had written an article predicting that regardless of the outcome of the 2020 General Elections in Singapore, the government will be putting priority and giving more advantages to locals over foreigners.

Ever since, we have been proven right. As officially announced by MOM in August 2020, there are now increased salary requirements for E pass, S pass and financial services sector in SG. This increased amount has kicked into place since 1 September 2020. One can argue that this is done to improve the quality of foreigners in the country, to appease the voters, or a combination of that two all day long. However, one cannot argue with the fact that the trend is so clearly towards keeping more jobs for locals as much as possible.

We believe that the next thing the government may extend such types of changes will be towards the permanent residency in Singapore. This means that there is a possible tightening of regulations when it comes to new application approvals, so as to keep the maximum possible healthcare, social and financial benefits for both existing citizens and permanent residents. Needless to say, this will also extend to the citizenship.

This means a few things for those who are still yet to apply for, yet intend to eventually become a PR here.

First of all, you will need to make sure that your profile is as complete and thorough as possible. Although making a high salary will probably always more or less ensure that you will see success, it is best to not depend on luck and make sure that the rest of your profile is good too. For instance, demonstrating examples (with proof) of social integration in Singapore is important too. Of course, if your income is high enough till the point that you qualify for even the GIP scheme, then you probably have less to worry about.

Second of all, it is important to keep your documents in order. ICA is already relatively particular about applicants who are unable to furnish all important documents. In the future, this will probably get stricter, and their checking will get even more thorough than now. Be thorough and prepare early and far in advance!

Thirdly, submit your form properly. It is shocking to see how many people submit without even preparation, and get rejected simply because they are so careless. Even right now, it is not easy to get your status. Do not make it harder for yourself. Submitting over and over again with zero improvements in your submission may probably even piss off some ICA officers and make life tougher for yourself. Do it once, and do it right.

2020 Singapore GE Will Likely Cause Govt To Put Locals First

Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 GE in Singapore, one can be assured that more pressure and scrutiny will be placed on the local government to provide benefits and more first to citizens and permanent residents over all others in the country. This means that getting your SG PR application to be approved as soon as possible will be more important than ever before so you can enjoy these too.

Some of the main areas which are discussed by nearly all parties recently has been about healthcare, education and jobs, but mainly about education and jobs over the long term.

Some sensitive points raised by locals on the grounds are that far more assistance within education and in particular, foreigners allegedly are getting strong priority for new jobs over citizens and residents, creating unhappiness in locals.

However, due to changing political climate, the government has been highly pressured to reconsider many of its past policies, and possibly will do so even more after tonight’s results, regardless of it.

It is likely to result in vast shifting of resources to providing more opportunities, grants and potential cash help to the locals. This means that if you have been considering becoming a PR here, you should do so quickly. This is so that you can leverage the advantages that you will soon only be able to receive as a local, and no longer as a foreigner.

Also, one of the things which have more or less been confirmed by the government even before the Elections have been held is that the targeted immigration goals will unlikely change at all due to supposed confirmation and clarifications about targeted population. This means that getting your application approved will no longer be easier. It is thus imperative that you always keep your documents in order, and truly contribute to the country so that you can quickly enjoy the local benefits too!

Update in September 2020:

Since our post above a few months ago, we have been proven right in our projections with the trend in policies that the government has been taking so far.

Will Changes To SG Targeted Population Affect Immigration?

people

There are heavy debates recently by nearly all local political parties with respect to the targeted population, as it is one of the key points which is of importance to the current citizens and residents. If you are currently still a foreigner and are going to be applying for Singapore PR within the next few months or years, you may be worried if such discussions may affect your probability of success.

We had briefly touched on this topic before. However, we will discuss it more in depth here.

Many years ago in 2013 via the controversial Population White Paper, SG wanted to increase the head count in people living in it to 6.9 million, by bringing in 30,000 new permanent residents each year. Even more recently, there has been rumours of wanting to potentially increase it to 10 million. There has been allegations that is actually planned out, yet there are also people who denied that idea.

Regardless, in the latest upcoming 2020 Elections, there has been more contesting parties with credible reputations and more and this has been putting a lot of heat on the government. As a result, it is unlikely that such a matter with respect to the targeted population will be swept under the rug any longer.

The current targeted rate for new PR will be 30,000 a year. Let us take both extreme examples so that we are prepared either way it goes. We believe that either way it goes, there will be heavy scrutiny on this topic by all parties.

Example 1: There are indeed plans to increase the local head count to 10 million by 2030

If the local population keeps increasing till that number steadily over time via mainly immigrants, it will likely drive up the prices of real estate in Singapore to even higher prices, even though it is already high. This can lead to potential discontentment among the growing numbers of those who cannot afford a place of their own here – or get a loan and struggle to pay it off.

Therefore, it is likely that regardless of whatever happens in the upcoming General Elections 2020, there will be further scrutiny on this issue, and even if the target is kept at, the criteria may be raised, so as to justify the reason behind this goal to the people.

Example 2: There are no plans to do so, and it will be kept at an absolute maximum of 6.9 million or less by 2030

This means that at least between now and 2030, the process and approvals will not get any easier than it is right now. The difficulty may remain the same, or increase over time simply due to the eventual slow down in acceptance of new PRs.

As you can tell, we strongly believe that as a nation matures, the criteria will only get tougher over time. So keep your documents in order, and have a stellar record to have the highest probability of getting approved when you do apply! Also, make sure to not do these!

Things You Must NOT Do When Applying For Your Residency

legal disclaimer

Even if you are trying to speed up your PR application in Singapore and trying to increase the chances of you getting a successful submission, there are things you absolutely have to steer clear off, no matter how tempted some of you may feel like doing them.

We understand that the process can take some time, and you may get impatient, but the worst thing you can do is to jeopardize your chances of getting a PR forever! While immigration is still likely to be encouraged in the future, the future criteria may already get harder. So you definitely do not want to make things even more difficult for yourself by having a potentially illegal case on your end.

Do not bribe and do not be cheapskate!

Most recently, there was a bribery case where a lady could not afford an immigration agency’s services, and instead paid an unethical employee worker from that agency under the table to bribe an ICA officer to expedite the entire process and at a cheaper rate. In the end, the lady is being sentenced to jail in Singapore, and the people who conspired with her are being charged. Do not do things like this, as the truth will be out sooner or later. It may take months or years, but it will always surface eventually, and you will not like it then.

Submitting false documents knowingly!

Earlier on in 2020, there was a lady who tried using fake educational qualifications to get herself and her daughter to get approved for permanent residency back in 2008 and 2009. However, it was found to be fake nearly 10 years later in 2017, and she was arrested. So keep this story in mind as we go about processing your submission for you. No matter how tempted you feel like cheating, and no matter how safe you think you may be even if you got approved now, do not lie on anything you submit to ICA knowingly. We will help to portray you in the best but factually accurate light. Do not let something silly like submitting fake documents to haunt you for years, and potentially come back to bite you many years later. It is not worth losing your peace of mind.

Will Future Policies Make It Harder To Become A PR Here?

As some might already be aware, Singapore is having its General Elections soon, and during every such events, there will be people who are looking forward to changes, while there are those who hope it remains exactly the same. But whether or not the government changes or not, there can still be policy changes. How can these potentially affect you if you intend to apply PR in Singapore?

First of all, there are proponents of a 10 million population in SG by some politicians, while there are some who are vehemently against that. However, most are in agreement that new immigrants are necessary, but the exact target number may not be. So will any potential policy come up and say that there will be zero new immigrants allowed now? The chances of that is nearly zero, because the local population’s birth rate is too low to sustain itself. However, to be safe, do not treat it as that means an open door policy – because there has been way too many against it. Therefore, the government is likely to welcome more new immigrants into our country, but it will be nearly impossible for it to go back to the rates that it did in the early to mid 2000s.

Second of all, regardless of what happens in the GE, one can be confident that the criteria for new permanent residents will only get tougher over time, as is the case with virtually every other developed country. This is due to social, political and economical reasons. Therefore, if you are looking to be a PR here, make sure that you have all of your documents prepped at all times, so that when you are ready to apply, you need not fumble around or be missing essential documents!

Third of all, skill up and be very valuable. If you have skills in the job sphere which are so valuable and rare, every company will still be scrambling to hire you and pay you well. This will in turn help you get higher chances of being approved for a PR because of your stable and high pay job. (Having a high paying job well over $12,000/month as of now will also allow you to apply for LTVP for your parents.) If you are a phenomenal businessman or investor, it is also extremely likely for the local government, regardless of whoever wins, to maintain its residency via investment scheme. However, like the above mentioned, the criteria for it may also increase over time.