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Overview: Reasons to migrate to Singapore

Are there residency benefits for global investors in Singapore?


  • Investors who meet the minimum investment of SGD 2.5milion in a Singapore start-up or business may apply for permanent residence status for themselves and their immediate family under the Global Investor Programme.

    Investors who wish to relocate and have sufficient funds to invest in Singapore may acquire permanent residence status through the Global Investor Programme ('GIP'). Investors may also apply for permanent residence status for their spouse and children below 21 years of age. Parents and unmarried children above 21 years of age are not eligible for permanent residence status but may apply for a long-term visit pass.

    To qualify for the GIP, an investor must meet the minimum investment requirement of S$2.5 million in an investment option. The investment options are:

    o Option A – Invest S$2.5 million in a new business entity or in the expansion of an existing business operation.

    o Option B – Invest S$2.5 million in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies.

    o Option C – Invest S$2.5million in a new or existing Singapore-based single family office having Assets-Under-Management ('AUM') of at least S$200 million. The AUM for such purposes may include offshore assets provided at least S$50 million investible AUM has been transferred into and held in Singapore.

    In addition, the investor must fulfil one of the following qualifying criteria:

    o Criteria 1 – Established business owner:
    • with at least 3 years entrepreneurial and business track record
    • must be currently running a company with annual turnover of at least S$200 million in the year immediately preceding the application, and at least S$200 million per annum on average for the 3 years preceding the application; and
    • if the company is privately held, hold at least 30% shareholding in the company.

    o Criteria 2 – Next generation business owner:
    • with 30% shareholding or the largest shareholder in the company used to qualify;
    • the company's annual turnover must be at least S$500 million in the year immediately preceding the application, and at least S$500 million per annum in the 3 years immediately preceding the application; and
    • Must be part of the c-suite or board of directors of the company.

    o Criteria 3 – Founder of a fast growth company:
    • must be a founder and one of the largest shareholders of a company with valuation of at least S$500 million; and
    • the company must be invested into by a reputable venture capital or private equity firm.

    o Criteria 4 – Family office principal:
    • with at least 5 years of entrepreneurial, investment or management track record; and
    • have net investible assets of at least S$200 million.

    The companies for qualifying criteria 1, 2 and 3 must be engaged in one or more of the approved industries for the GIP scheme which includes family office & financial services, infocomm products & services, and professional services.

    The current processing timeframe for GIP applications is 9 to 12 months, subject to complete submission of all required supporting documents at the point of application.

    Written by Withers KhattarWong LLP