Create good jobs for Singapore by foreigners

Emigrate to Singapore

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Tips for emigrants

Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia and borders Malaysia. Many people are drawn to Singapore to pursue a career there and because they want to enjoy a high standard of living. The job prospects are the main reason for most immigrants to Singapore. All other activities, such as sports or culture, are above all expensive. Singapore is one of the ten most expensive cities in the world. If you want to emigrate to Singapore, you should find out about the expected cost of living in advance. This can be obtained from the German Embassy in Singapore, for example.

Working hours in Singapore are long. All of life in Singapore is actually geared towards the world of work. Singapore is also attractive to many people, as it combines Western and Asian influences. The climate is very warm all year round. Singapore has a very low crime rate. This has in part to do with the fact that even minor offenses are punished relatively heavily.

Singapore has four official state languages: Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. Around half of Singapore's residents are native speakers of Mandarin. In everyday life and at work, however, English is predominant. Anyone who has a good command of the English language, both spoken and written, gets along well in Singapore, both privately and at work.

For whom is Singapore suitable as a country of emigration?

The Singapore labor market is made up of three main sectors:

  • the service sector
  • the manufacturing industry and
  • as an international financial center

In particular, professional groups from these three areas have good chances on the job market in Singapore. We are mainly looking for skilled workers and academics:

  • from the IT industry
  • engineering or
  • from science

Finding a job is difficult in Singapore, as there are virtually no job boards that foreigners can use. As a rule, companies only advertise jobs on their own website. You can find out which companies are represented in Singapore at the German-Singapore Chamber of Commerce.

The state of Singapore wants to distinguish itself as a location for research and development. For this reason, entrepreneurs with a good idea have promising chances of getting a loan approved by Singaporean banks or of applying for one of the government subsidy programs.

Requirements for an unlimited visa

If you want to travel to Singapore as a German, you do not need to apply for a visa. Upon entry, you will receive a residence permit with a validity of 90 days. If you stay longer in Singapore, you have to apply for a “Social Visa Pass”. If you want to work in Singapore, you also need a work permit. You can easily get a work permit (“Employment Pass”) in Singapore if you can show an employment contract. The work permit can be obtained from the “Employment Pass Department” of the “Ministry of Manpower”. You need a work permit before you start working in Singapore. Anyone who works in Singapore and does not have a work permit is considered an illegal worker and can be punished with prison. The work permit should be applied for before leaving for Singapore. It will then be issued upon arrival in Singapore. There are different work permits that depend on the monthly income of the employed person:

  • The P1 Pass is valid for gainful employment with a monthly income of over SGD 8,000 (approx. 5,000 euros).
  • The P2 Pass is available for employed people with a monthly income of over SGD 4,500
  • the Q1 Pass for employees with a monthly income of over SGD 3,000 and
  • the S Pass for employees with a monthly income of at least SGD 2,000.
  • Company founders receive the "EntrePass".
  • For more information, please contact the Singapore Embassy in Berlin.

Moving to Singapore: what to look out for

What you can already regulate in Germany:

When moving to the other end of the world, there are a lot of big and small things to take care of. Some things can already be tackled from Germany. Other things have to be done on site in Singapore.

  • Papers: When moving to Singapore, you should first de-register at the responsible residents' registration office in Germany. This is definitely advisable if you are moving to Singapore for the long term and are setting up your first place of residence there. All you need to enter Singapore is a passport, which must be valid for another six months. There is no need to apply for a visa, and if you are staying in Singapore for a long time, your German driving license will not be recognized. An international driver's license is also not valid in Singapore. After a year in Singapore at the latest, you have to apply for a Singaporean driver's license. The Singapore driver's license can be obtained from the Singapore Police Force.
  • Pension and old-age provision: There is no social security agreement between Germany and Singapore. Under certain circumstances, this can have disadvantages for the insured, as the pension entitlements of the respective other country are not recognized and pension losses can be expected. Further information is available from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. In Singapore there is a state social security savings plan called the Central Provident Fund (CPF) for old-age provision. Each employee pays 20 percent of their gross income into the CPF. The employer also contributes 16 percent of the employee's gross income. The older the employee is, the less he has to pay in. When the employed person has reached the age of 55, he is no longer obliged to pay in.
  • If the household effects are to emigrate with: There are several transport companies in both Germany and Singapore that help emigrants move their household items to Singapore. If you want to take all your household items with you to Singapore, you have to expect long transport times and high costs. The transport from Germany to Singapore and customs clearance take about six weeks. Depending on the size of the container, costs of several thousand euros should be expected. If this is too expensive, you can consider buying new furniture in Singapore or renting a furnished apartment there.

What needs to be regulated in Singapore:

  • Apartment Search: The real estate market is big business in Singapore and is especially worthwhile for people who want to invest in this area. Rents and property prices vary greatly, depending on the luxury you expect from your living space. Most of Singapore's residents live in housing that is subsidized by the state. Expatriats usually live in larger residential complexes, which are also equipped with gym, swimming pool and other amenities. However, these are also quite expensive. There are also residential buildings, which are quite expensive in a good location. The apartment size in Singapore is not given in square meters but in square feet. The outside wall is always measured. The actual size of a residential unit is therefore usually smaller than expected. Housing offers can be found at Singapore Expats or Enter Singapore, among others. Of course, you can also hire an agent to look for an apartment.
  • - Paying taxes in Singapore: Anyone moving permanent residence to Singapore pays Singapore income tax. Income tax in Singapore is very low compared to Germany. In addition, Singapore is considered to be one of the countries with the most transparent tax system in the world.
  • Setting up a bank account: Setting up a bank account in Singapore is very easy and usually takes no more than half an hour. You then have immediate access to the money that has already been paid in. As a financial hub, numerous banks have a seat in Singapore. There should be a suitable bank for everyone.
  • - Health insurance: The health system in Singapore is considered to be one of the best in the world. However, every treatment is very expensive and has to be paid for on site. Every employee in Singapore pays a portion of their income into state health insurance. However, the remunerated services are limited. Therefore, emigrants to Singapore should also take out health insurance abroad in order to keep their own costs for necessary medical treatments as low as possible.

Guide to working abroad in Singapore

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