As one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a GDP per capita of over USD 65,000, Singapore has cemented itself as a leading global hub for business, finance, and investment. The country provides unparalleled political and economic stability, world-class infrastructure, and an extremely high quality of life. In surveys, Singapore consistently ranks among the best places to live and do business globally. For high net worth investors and entrepreneurs worldwide, the Singapore Global Investor Program provides an exclusive pathway to residence and citizenship in this thriving Asian city-state.
Benefits of living in Singapore
With a multicultural population of 5.7 million, Singapore offers residents safety, convenience, and excellent standards in education, healthcare, and urban living. Singapore ranks #1 globally in education system quality and healthcare efficiency. Its Changi Airport has been rated the best in the world for 8 consecutive years. Singapore’s strategic location allows convenient access to growing markets in China, India, and Southeast Asia.
As a low-tax economy fully open to global trade and investment, Singapore provides an ideal hub for global business and wealth management. The World Bank has named Singapore the #1 easiest place to do business for over 15 years due to its low regulations, property rights, and minimal corruption. High net worth individuals also benefit from Singapore’s lack of capital gains or inheritance taxes.
Requirements for residence
The Singapore Global Investor Program has three qualifying options:
- Option A: Invest SGD 15 million in a Singapore-based business creating at least 60 jobs, 30 for citizens/PRs.
- Option B: Invest SGD 30 million in an approved fund focused on innovation/enterprise.
- Option C: Start a family office with SGD 250 million in assets and SGD 50 million in local investments. Hire 5 professionals including 3 citizens.
Details of each investment option
Option A – direct business investment
This option requires at least a SGD 15 million investment into an active local business. Real estate holding companies do not qualify. Applicants must commit to hiring at least 60 full-time employees within 2 years, with at least 30 being Singapore citizens or permanent residents. Maintaining this headcount is required for renewal of permanent residence status every 5 years.
Option B – fund investment
With this option, applicants invest a minimum of SGD 30 million into a Singapore-based investment fund focused on developing startups, innovation, or local enterprises. The fund must be managed by an approved asset management company. While applicants do not need to be involved in day-to-day operations, they must show active engagement with managing their share of the fund’s investment activities.
Option C – family office
Applicants can establish a family office in Singapore with at least SGD 250 million in assets under management. Within 6 months, at least SGD 50 million should be invested in approved categories such as private equity, venture capital, local business, and real estate. At least 5 family office professionals must be hired, with 3 being Singapore citizens within the first year.
Interested investors initiate the application process by submitting their investment proposal, personal profile, and supporting documents to the evaluating government agencies. The average application processing time is 4-6 months from submission to final approval. An interview is typically required before permanent residence status is granted.
Once approved in-principle, investors have 9 months to formalize their investment plan and up to a year to activate their permanent residence status via issuance of a re-entry permit. Approval rates for applications have exceeded 80% over the past 5 years.
Benefits of permanent residence
As Singapore permanent residents, investors and their approved dependents are granted visas allowing them to live, work, and attend school in Singapore indefinitely. Permanent residents also enjoy access to Singapore’s high-quality and affordable healthcare.
After maintaining permanent residence status for 2 years, investors become eligible to apply for full Singapore citizenship. The Singapore passport is one of the most desirable in the world, granting visa-free access to over 180 countries. Citizens also gain the right to vote and access citizenship-based scholarships and education grants for children.
Singapore allows dual citizenship, so applicants need not renounce existing citizenships when naturalizing as citizens.
An investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 qualify for permanent residence. Any male dependents must comply with Singapore’s national service requirements. Parents, unmarried children over 21, and other dependents are eligible for renewable long-term visit passes sponsored by the main applicant.