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A Guide to Understanding ICA e-PR System and Submission Process

As a technology city, Singapore has been pushing for greater conversion to digital and electronic platforms to facilitate everyday processes and systems.

While this endeavour makes it convenient for the tech-savvy individual, it, unfortunately, brings confusion and challenges to the less technologically experienced individual.

One such group of individuals are foreigners who are seeking a change in nationality and are applying for a Singapore PR status.

Since Dec 2017, the traditional ICA appointment and interview session has been replaced with an electronic PR application system.

Interested applicants must now go to ICA’s website to electronically submit their documents. In addition, the total fees for successful applicants have increased by as much as $120 under this new system.

These fees include the following:

  • $100 processing fee for online form submission (There were no processing fees charged previously)
  • $20 entry permit for successful applicants

The average processing time for most PR applications can take between four to six months.

The Impact on Applicants Today

Naturally, with this change in the PR application system comes about additional requirements.

On the one hand, the higher barrier to entry serves as a form of filter to remove less serious applicants. One of the issues that came about after 2008 was the high volume of PR applicants granted in that year.

The Singapore government has since reduced the approval rate by half and become even more stringent on who they grant PR status.

This means that for interested applicants, you’ll need to put even more effort into securing a position.

Firstly, you must be familiar with online systems and processes. The last thing you ever want to do is submit an incomplete application, which will delay and push back your PR dreams by at least six months.

Secondly, you must prepare a Cover Letter as gone are the interview sessions where applicants have a chance to explain their case. Now, this same information must be summarised and documented within a piece of standard A4 paper.

Finally, the documents must be prepared in proper English. As no more over-the-counter applications are allowed, applicants can’t rely on an ICA officer-in-charge to help them with their documents.

Minimum Items to Prepare

Listed below are the minimum items interested applicants must have ready before submitting.

  1. Valid SingPass account
  2. Passport-size colour photograph on white background
  3. Computer with Adobe Acrobat Reader installed
  4. Relevant documents
    • Travel document
    • Valid work pass
    • National identity card
    • Birth certificate
    • Highest education certificates
    • Last 6-months pay slips
    • Current employer’s letter
  5. Additional documents, if relevant
    • Official marriage certificate
    • Death or divorce certificate of previous marriages
    • Custody papers of children
    • Spouse’s highest education certificates
    • Spouse’s travel document
    • Spouse’s birth certificate
    • Spouse’s identity card

Non-Mandatory Items

Along with the mandatory forms, applicants can attach other supporting documents. These are optional. However, they are also the items that significantly impact your approval chances.

  1. Cover letter
  2. Recommendation letters (from local Singaporeans)
  3. Proof of social integration
  4. Local insurance policies
  5. Local financial accounts
  6. Other relevant “long-term interest” documents

While every individual application is different due to the applicant’s background, here at Singapore Immigration Services, we’ve successfully helped our clients review and improve their profiles.

The ICA PR application scrutiny, with a high rejection rate, is guaranteed to be tough. Plus, they do not disclose the reason for rejection.

If you want to save yourself the stress and hassle of figuring out what is missing in your profile, do arrange to speak with our friendly consultants.

We have the industry knowledge, experience, and skills to help you analyse and tailor a custom profile that will help boost your chances.

Have You Calculated Your PR Eligibility Score Yet?

Fill in our online “PR Eligibility” Quiz and calculate what your current chances of approval are like using our Proprietary Scoring Metrics based on industry experience and information.