Singapore Golden Visa: Residency by Investment [5 Steps]

Last Updated on 22 April 2024 by Brittany

Obtain permanent residency in one of the most secure and stable countries in the world with the Singapore Golden Visa program

With a substantial investment wealthy individuals with a proven track record in business or entrepreneurship can permanently live in Singapore and be on a path to citizenship. 

Officially known as the Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP), the program was launched in 2004 to attract high net worth individuals with three investment options that can lead to permanent residency in Singapore.ย 

Family members may be included in the Singapore Golden Visa application, allowing them to experience the benefits of living in Singapore too. 

It can take nine to twelve months to obtain the Singapore Golden Visa. 

With minimum stay requirements, a thriving economy, and a path to citizenship, the Singapore Golden Visa is an excellent option to diversify both assets and lifestyle. 

In this article, weโ€™ll explore the benefits of the Singapore Golden Visa, eligibility requirements, investment options, and how to apply today. 

singapore golden visa

What is a Golden Visa?

A golden visa is an investment program inviting wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs, and investors to invest in a country in exchange for residency or even citizenship.ย 

Investment options may include purchasing real estate, donating to a government fund, or getting involved in local business funds and development. 

Golden visas are beneficial opportunities for those who wish to diversify both their financial assets and their lifestyle with second permanent residency and citizenship if applicable. 

singapore golden visa
via Unsplash

Singapore Golden Visa Benefits

There are more benefits to applying for the Singapore Golden Visa than just obtaining permanent residency. 

Path to Citizenship

After two years of maintaining permanent residency with the REP (re-entry permit) in Singapore, you may apply for citizenship. 

However, there are some restrictions to obtaining citizenship in Singapore. The government only grants 25,000 citizenships annually.

Itโ€™s also important to note that Singapore does not allow dual citizenship. So, to apply for citizenship in Singapore, applicants must renounce their original citizenship.ย 

Singaporeโ€™s passport is considered to be one of the strongest in the world. It allows visa-free access to 194 countries and is highly sought after.ย 

Family Reunification

The Singapore Golden Visa allows applicants to include family members. Eligible family members include spouses and unmarried children 21 years of age or younger. 

Family members will not receive permanent residence status. Instead, they will be granted a five-year residence permit of stay. 

An important detail to mention is that male dependents may be required to join the national service if eligible. 

Lucrative Investment Options

The qualifying investment options for the Singapore Golden Visa offer lucrative opportunities for wealthy investors. 

With three investment routes to choose from, investors and applicants can successfully diversify their assets while generating great ROI aside from their permanent residency in Singapore. 

Rather than donating a large sum to a national fund or purchasing residential real estate as with other golden visa programs, the Singapore Golden Visa offers lucrative opportunities for investors. 

Favorable Tax Rates

Singapore is known for having some of the most favorable tax rates in the world. With a tax rate cap of 24% on personal income, high-net-worth individuals can save thousands of dollars a year as Singapore residents.ย 

Singapore is a great atmosphere for business ventures and high-earning opportunities without the burden of paying heavy tax rates. 

High Quality of Life

Singapore offers a safe, politically stable, and thriving economy for residents and visitors. With an extremely high quality of life, this Asian country is well sought-after by many looking to improve their lifestyles.ย 

With world-class healthcare, incredible education systems, and low crime rates, Singapore is an excellent option for expats and business people. 

Thriving Economy

In 2022, Singapore ranked as the fifth wealthiest country in the world. With 26 billionaires residing in Singapore and thousands of multi-millionaires, Singapore treats its wealthy residents extremely well.ย 

Not only are high net-worth individuals attracted to Singapore for the economy and high quality of life, but also for the safety and lucrative business opportunities.ย 

singapore golden visa
via Unsplash

Who is Eligible for the Singapore Golden Visa?

There are four categories of eligibility to apply for the Singapore Golden Visa program. In each of these categories, the applicant must have a proven track record in entrepreneurship and business. 

Established, next-generation, and fast-growing business owners must operate in one of the following industries:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Alternative Energy/Clean Technology
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer Business
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Engineering Services
  • Healthcare
  • Infocomm Products & Services
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Marine & Offshore Engineering
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Medical Technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Natural Resources
  • Safety & Security
  • Space
  • Shipping
  • Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
  • Precision Engineering
  • Professional Services
  • Arts Businesses (Visual and Performing Arts)
  • Sports Businesses
  • Family Office & Financial Services

Established Business Owners

To be eligible as an established business owner, applicants must own at least 30% of a company or a combination of 30% from two companies. 

The turnover the company must be at least $200 million SGD in the last year. The average annual turnover must also be $200 million SGD for the last three years. 

Applicants must also submit business financial statements and audits from the last three years. 

Next-Generation Business Owners

Applicants who come from families that own at least 30% of a business or a combination of two businesses, may be eligible for the Singapore Golden Visa. However, they must sit as a board member of the company. 

The company must also generate at least $500 million SGD in the last 12 months. Over the last three years, the average turnover per year must be at least $500 million SGD. 

Applicants must also submit business financial statements and audits from the last three years. 

Fast-Growing Company Founders

Founders of fast-growing companies with valuations of at least $500 million SGD who hold the most shares may be eligible for the Singapore Golden Visa. 

The company must also not be publicly traded and be in one of the industries specified above. 

Additionally, the company must have investments from reputable Venture Capital or Private Equity firms. 

Family Office Principals

High net-worth individuals eligible for the Family Office Principals must have at least five years of investment, management, or entrepreneurial experience.ย 

They must also have net investible assets of at least $200 million SGD. 

singapore golden visa
via Unsplash

Singapore Golden Visa Investment Options

There are three qualifying investment options to obtain the Singapore Golden Visa and right to residency. 

Option A: New Business Entity or Expansion

Singapore Golden Visa applicants may invest $10 million SGD (or about $7.5 million USD) in a new business entity or in expanding an existing business already operating in Singapore. 

The investor must own at least 30% of shares in the new or existing company and serve on the management team. The company must also be in one of the industries mentioned above. 

When choosing Option A, the applicant must submit a detailed five-year business or investment plan, including information concerning job creation, financial projections, and expenditure estimates. 

Option B: GIP-Select Fund Investment

Applicants and investors may invest $25 million SGD (or about $18.6 million USD) in a GIP (Global Investor Programme) Fund. 

You can find a list of approved GIP funds here.

Option C: Single-Family Office 

Singapore Golden Visa applicants who fall under the family office eligibility category may choose investment Option C and establish a Singapore-based Single-Family Office with Assets-Under-Management (AUM). 

The managed assets must be at least $200 million SGD (or about $149 million USD). 

There is an additional $50 million SGD investment transfer requirement to either of the four options below:

  • Equities, REITS, or business trusts listed on Singapore-approved exchanges
  • Qualifying debt securities listed on MASโ€™ enquiry system
  • Funds distributed by Singapore-licensed/registered managers or financial institutions
  • Private equity investments in non-listed, Singapore-based operating companies

A five-year business plan must also be submitted containing information about projected employment and finances.ย 

singapore golden visa
via Unsplash

How to Apply for the Singapore Golden Visa

The entire application process can take between nine and twelve months to finalize residency in Singapore with the Global Investor Program. 

Applicants may also receive a five-year or three-year residence permit that may be renewed. 

Step 1: Choose Investment

Before you begin the Singapore Golden Visa application process, itโ€™s important to consider which investment option you will follow. 

Ensure you meet all of the qualifications for each and have the correct documentation. Speak to financial advisors, accountants, and other professionals to verify the investment option is right for your financial and business goals. 

Step 2: Submit Application

To begin the Singapore Golden Visa process, you must submit your electronic and hardcopy of your application to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). 

There is a non-refundable application fee of $10,000 SGD. Pay the fee via bank transfer in a single transaction. You must make the payment before submitting your application. 

The forms you will need to complete and submit include:

  • Form A – Personal Profile
  • Form B – Proposed Investment Plan
  • Form C – Payment Details

Along with the application forms, youโ€™ll need to submit the following general documents:

  • Copy of passport (notarized)
  • Copy of birth certificate (notarized)
  • Application for Entry Permit – Form 4
  • Two passport photographs
  • Official household census or family registry (notarized)/(if applicable)
  • Details of family members (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (notarized)/(if applicable)
  • Copy of divorce certificate (notarized)/(if applicable)
  • Copy of custody or adoption papers (notarized)/(if applicable)

For those applicants who are eligible under the Established Business Owner or the Founders of Fast-Growing Company categories, they will submit the following supporting documents:

  • Audited financial reports of applicantโ€™s main business from the last three years 
  • Notarized documents stating the applicantโ€™s share ownership
  • Diagrammatic illustration of shareholding structure of the main business
  • Notarized copy of business registration certificate or business license
  • Organization chart of the applicantโ€™s main business
  • Detailed business plan
  • Copy of Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) registration of the applicantโ€™s Singapore investment (if applicable)

For those applicants who are eligible under the Next-Generation Business Owner category, they will submit the following supporting documents:

  • Audited financial reports of applicantโ€™s main business from the last three years 
  • Notarized documents stating the applicantโ€™s immediate family membersโ€™ share ownership
  • Diagrammatic illustration of shareholding structure of the main business for immediate family members
  • Notarized copy of business registration certificate or business license
  • Organization chart of the applicantโ€™s immediate family membersโ€™ main business
  • Detailed business plan
  • Copy of Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) registration of the applicantโ€™s Singapore investment (if applicable)

For those applicants who are eligible under the Family Office Principals category, they will submit the following supporting documents:

  • Latest certified statement to demonstrate the applicant or direct family has net investible assets of at least $200 million SGD
  • Detailed business plan
  • Diagrammatic illustration of the shareholding structure of the Singapore-based Single-Family Office
  • Copy of Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) registration of the applicantโ€™s Singapore investment (if applicable)
  • Overview of the applicantโ€™s main business (if applicable)

All forms must be submitted in English.ย 

You will submit your application forms and supporting documents here.ย 

Step 3: Attend Interview

It will take about 30 days to review and process the Singapore Golden Visa  application. 

If the applicant meets the assessment criteria,  then they will be invited to attend an interview with the EDB. 

Step 4: Make Investment

After the interview, the applicant may receive Approval in Principal (AIP). They will have six months to make their propose investment. 

The investment must be made in the countryโ€™s currency. 

The applicant must obtain certifications and documentation of their investment to submit to the EDB. 

Step 5: Retrieve Residence Permit

Once the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) issues a Final Approval letter, the applicant has 12 months to finalize their Permanent Residence status in Singapore. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for the Singapore Golden Visa may seem fairly straightforward. However, you may still have some questions concerning the benefits, process, and requirements. 

Does the Singapore Golden Visa lead to citizenship?

Yes, after living in Singapore full-time as a permanent resident for two years, you may apply for citizenship. 

Does Singapore allow dual citizenship?

No, Singapore does not allow dual citizenship. 

If you decide to apply for citizenship, you must renounce your original citizenship.

Can I bring family members to Singapore with the Global Investor Programme?

Yes, you may include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. However, they will not receive a permanent residence permit. Instead, they will receive a renewable five-year residence permit. 

How long does it take to process the Singapore Golden Visa application?

It takes 30 days to process and review the initial Singapore Golden Visa application. 

The entire process will take about nine to twelve months to receive the final residence permit. 

Will I owe taxes in Singapore?

Yes, if you live in Singapore for more than 183 days out of the year and have a business established, you will owe taxes. However, Singapore is known for its friendly tax rates. 

What is the minimum investment for the Singapore Golden Visa?

The minimum investment amount is $10 million SGD. 

Do my documents have to be translated for the Singapore Golden Visa application?

Documents and applications must be submitted in English. 

Should I work with an immigration lawyer to apply for the Singapore Golden Visa?

While it is not required, itโ€™s definitely a good idea to work with an immigration lawyer when applying for the Singapore Golden Visa. 

To ensure all of your documents are correct, translated, and notarized and that your investment is made properly, you can save a lot of time and stress when working with a legal professional. 

Brittany
Content created by
Brittany
When Iโ€™m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.
At Nomads Embassy, we independently test and review digital nomad services and provide detailed insights on digital nomad visa applications and requirements using a detailed, multi-step methodology. When you use our affiliate links to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our editorial process and read our full disclosure.
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