Singapore investor visa: Singapore Global Investor Programme PR scheme for investors

Elle Kasser
31.08.21
4 minute read

The Singapore Global Investor Programme - commonly shortened to GIP - is organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB). This programme allows people planning to relocate and invest in Singapore with the opportunity to apply for permanent resident status both for the investor and their immediate family.

If you’re planning on moving to Singapore to invest in a business here, you might want to learn about the GIP and the processes to apply. We’ve got you covered.

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Now, back to what you came here to read.

Eligibility criteria

As you may expect, there are strict eligibility criteria governing who can apply for permanent residency (PR) under this programme. You’ll need a significant record in both business and entrepreneurialism to be considered - and you’ll need to be planning on investing 2.5 million SGD or more in a Singapore based eligible business, GIP funds or family office¹.

The eligibility criteria are broken down according to the role you’re in - here’s what you need to know. We’ll also cover more on the investment requirements in a moment.

Established business owners

You must:

  • Have a track record in business of at least 3 years
  • Be running an eligible business with a turnover in excess of 200 million SGD/year
  • Own at least 30% of the business

Next generation business owners

To qualify as a next generation business owner:

  • Your immediate family must own 30% - or be the largest shareholder - of the eligible business you use to qualify
  • The qualifying business must have an annual turnover of at least 500 million SGD/year
  • You should be on the management team of the qualifying business

Founders of fast growth companies

As the founder of a fast growth company you can apply under GIP, if:

  • You’re the founder and a majority owner of a company valued at 500 million SGD or more
  • Your company is in an accepted industry sector and is backed by reputable investors

Family office principals

Family office principals can only apply under eligibility Option C - which we’ll explain more in a minute - and must:

  • Have at least 5 years of business, investment or management experience
  • Have investable assets of 200 million SGD or more

Approved business sectors for GIP scheme

It’s worth noting that you’ll be asked to show the type of business you’re building or investing in as part of your GIP application. Your business must fall into an approved business sector, and must also be able to grow and create local jobs in Singapore.

Here are the approved business sectors you should know about:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Alternative Energy/ Clean Technology
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer Business (for example flavours and fragrances, food ingredients, nutrition, home and personal care)
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Engineering Services
  • Healthcare
  • Infocomm Products & Services
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Marine & Offshore Engineering
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Medical Technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Natural Resources (for example metals, mining, agri-commodities)
  • Safety & Security
  • Space
  • Shipping
  • Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
  • Precision Engineering
  • Professional Services e.g. consulting, design
  • Arts Businesses
    • Visual arts businesses, e.g. auction houses, art logistics/storage
    • Performing arts businesses
  • Sports Businesses
  • Family Office & Financial Services

Singapore GIP investment requirements

Once your application for PR status under the Global Investment Programme has been approved, you will be granted Approval in Principle (AIP) status and will then have 6 months to invest according to your approved plans. Your options for investment are:

GIP investment Option A:

Invest at least 2.5 million SGD in a new eligible business entity or in the expansion of an existing business operation in Singapore. You should be part of the management of the company, owning at least a 30% stake in the business to qualify. You’ll also need to submit detailed 5 year plans showing your projected turnover, employment goals for local Singaporeans and how your investment or business will grow.

GIP investment Option B:

Invest at least 2.5 million SGD in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies. Your application under this option will be assessed based on how you plan to grow your local investments and create employment in Singapore.

GIP investment Option C:

Invest at least 2.5 million SGD in a new or existing Singapore-based single family office having Assets-Under-Management of at least 200 million SGD. You’ll need to submit a detailed 5 year plan showing where you intend to invest, how you project future growth and how you’ll create employment for locals. Your application will also be assessed based on your specific role within the family office.


How to apply for GIP scheme

Preparing all the paperwork for the Global Investor Programme and having your Singapore investor visa assessed and approved will take a little time. Expect a 9 to 12 month process once you have submitted all your paperwork. As we have seen, the evidence you need to present will also depend on the eligibility category you’re applying under.

Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Complete the GIP application forms and submit them both online and in hard copy to EDB
  2. Attend an interview with EDB representatives to talk through your application
  3. If your application is approved in principle, you’re granted AIP status which is valid for 6 months. This gives you long enough to complete your investment plans.
  4. Make your approved investments and submit evidence to EDB to show you have done so
  5. Once EDB representatives have confirmed your investment status you’ll receive your final approval letter and can confirm your PR status in Singapore

Singapore permanent resident status, dependents and National Service

It’s important to note a few things when you apply for PR status under GIP. Firstly, you’ll be able to apply for your immediate family including your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to become PRs as dependents at the same time. Your parents and older or married children are not able to apply for PR status but may be eligible for other forms of entry into Singapore including long term visit passes.

Permanent Residency confers many of the rights and responsibilities of being a Singapore citizen. This means that males who are granted PR status may be required to complete a period of National Service, depending on their age. This applies to the children and dependent spouses of investors - get the full details online when you make your application.

Singapore is a great place to live, work and invest - and if you’re planning on building a business here, the Global Investor Programme might be the right way to obtain permanent residency when you do. The GIP process is rigorous and does take some time - use this guide to start your research, and read up on the requirements and your responsibilities under the programme to make sure you’re completely in the know.


Sources:

  1. Global Investor Programme - Singapore 31 August 2021

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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