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Visas & Work Permits in Singapore
How to get Citizenship in Singapore
The benefits of becoming a Singapore Citizen include the freedom it gives you to travel around the world, the option to buy residential property from the Housing & Development Board, and getting loans with lower interest rates for housing. Also, Singapore Citizens tend to pay much less than foreigners and Permanent Residents for education, and they benefit from certain healthcare subsidies. However, if you want to take the big step of becoming a Singapore citizen, you will have to renounce your foreign citizenship, as dual citizenship is not allowed in the island city-state.
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Getting citizenship in Singapore takes a certain level of commitment – the application process, which is covered in detail later in this article, could be frustrating as it usually takes six to 12 months. You will also need several documents, including your original birth certificate, so do not forget to pack this if you are moving.
However, you may be able to acquire citizenship in Singapore relatively fast compared to other countries, as there is a chance you can apply for permanent residency after only six months before qualifying to apply for full citizenship after a further two years.
Regardless, there is no need to feel overwhelmed, because this article explains the steps to becoming a Singaporean citizen, the documents needed for Singapore citizenship, Singapore citizenship for minors, and how to become a Singaporean citizen from being a Permanent Resident.
How to become a Singapore Citizen
To become a Singapore Citizen, you must:
- Have been a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) for at least two years.
- Be at least 21 years old.
- You can apply with your spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years old born to you within a legal marriage or adopted by you.
- To apply, log in to MyICA using your SingPass and apply for you and any eligible family members.
- You have been a Permanent Resident for at least two years and you have been married to a Singapore Citizen for at least two years.
- Your spouse must log in to MyICA with their SingPass to sponsor your application.
- You are unmarried and below 21 years old, and were born within a legal marriage to, or were legally adopted by a Singapore Citizen.
- Your Singapore Citizen parent must log in to MyICA with their SingPass to sponsor your application.
- You are a Permanent Resident studying in Singapore and have been living in Singapore for over three years – at least one year as a Permanent Resident – and have passed a national exam, such as PSLE, GCE, ‘N’/‘O’/‘A’ levels, or are in the Integrated Programme or IP.
- If you are 15 years old or older, you must apply for a SingPass and log in via MyICA to apply for Singapore citizenship. If you are younger than 15 years old, you can get any Singapore Citizen to sponsor you with their MyICA account.
- You are a Permanent Resident and an Aged Parent of a Singapore citizen.
- Your Singapore Citizen child must log in to MyICA using their SingPass to sponsor your application.
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How to apply for Singapore citizenship
Once you have confirmed you are eligible to apply for Singapore citizenship, you should follow these steps to become a Singapore citizen make an official application:
- Fill out the Singapore citizenship application form and related documents for you and your spouse, if you have one.
- Attach a recent color passport-sized photograph to your individual application form.
- For a successful application, you will also need to provide certain additional documents. You can find out about the paperwork you need for your specific situation on the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) excellent website. Such documents include passports, birth certificates and identity cards. The Singaporean Government’s official sources of information make relocating to the country and other related applications more simple than other countries.
- Apply for citizenship online or fill out the form and deliver it in person – you can no longer apply via post. If you want to apply online simply use the Electronic Singapore Citizenship Application. On the other hand, if you want to give in the form in person, you need to make an appointment using the ICA’s Electronic Appointment Booking System. You will then go to the Citizen Services Centre on the sixth floor of the ICA building and submit your application.
- You will have to pay 100 SGD by NETS or CashCard for the application.
- You will have an interview with the ICA. This will allow the interview officer to check your evidence documents against your declarations in your application form. You will have to confirm to the interview officer that what you have declared in your application form is correct.
- If you are applying for Singapore citizenship as a spouse of an existing citizen, your sponsor will have to be present at the interview with you.
- Then you should wait to receive a letter confirming if your application for citizenship was accepted. The letter will tell you the date of your appointment at the ICA, where you will finally register for Singapore citizenship. Expect to be advised to renounce your foreign citizenship at a relevant embassy or High Commission in Singapore.
- You will need to renounce your foreign citizenship. Visit the appropriate embassy or High Commission in Singapore with your passport. You will be given paperwork that confirms you have renounced your citizenship and surrendered your passport. If you are under 21 years old and considered “stateless”, i.e. you are not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law, you do not need to do this step.
- To complete the registration process, you must go to the Citizen Services Centre with your necessary documents. Once there, you will complete your registration and apply for an identity card and Singapore passport. Remember to be ready to pay the 70 SGD fee for the citizenship registration.
- Take the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty before the Commissioner of Oaths.
Please note that the Citizen Services Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:30. You cannot register on Saturdays and the center is closed on Sundays and on public holidays.
Am I eligible for Singaporean citizenship?
There are various Singapore citizenship requirements depending on your situation:
If you are applying for citizenship just for you, you must:
- Be 21 or older.
- Have had Permanent Resident status for two or more years.
- Be gainfully employed.
If you are applying as the spouse of a Singapore Citizen, you must:
- Be 21 or older.
- Have been married to a Singapore Citizen for at least two years.
- Have had Permanent Resident status for two or more years.
Please see the ‘How to become a Singapore Citizen’ section of this article for more information on eligibility for other family members.
How many days & years to apply for citizenship in Singapore?
You can apply for citizenship two years after you’ve had Permanent Resident status. To get Permanent Resident status, work pass holders must apply with six months of salary slips from their Singapore employer.
Singapore citizenship fees
How much it costs to become a Singapore Citizen depends on your situation:
- Adults (above 15 years old) must pay 100 SGD to apply, plus 70 SGD for their Singapore Citizenship Certificate and 10 SGD for the Singapore Identity Card.
- Country citizenship for minors: the same costs apply for those under 15 with non-Singaporean parents.
- If you have Singaporean parents but were born overseas, it’s 18 SGD for your citizen certificate, and 10 SGD for your ID card (if you’re over 15)
How to get dual citizenship in Singapore
Dual citizenship is not allowed in Singapore – if you want to become a Singapore Citizen, you must renounce your foreign citizenship.