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Moving to Singapore

A comprehensive guide on relocating to Singapore

Our experts have gathered everything you need to know about the  steps for moving to Singapore. Which of Singapore’s five regions is the most expensive? How do you organize a working visa?  The  InterNations GO! practical guide on the requirements for moving to Singapore answers all your questions, letting you sit back and feel prepared for your relocation.  

Though almost half of the people who  relocate  to this country have been expats before, many people need advice about how to move to Singapore. Expats here are usually moving to advance their career and earn the substantial average wage that comes along with the high cost of living in the Lion City.  Whether this describes you, or you are moving to a new country for the first time, this guide will offer expert advice about  what you need to move to Singapore.

If you are looking for a detailed guide on how to get a visa  (and the bureaucracy involved), we have step-by-step explanations. Need to find accommodation or learn more about the cost of living? Our specific sections will help remind you  why moving to Singapore  needs preparation and teach you how to make your relocation a smooth  process.

There  are certain  things to know when moving to Singapore  that will make your integration into the city a lot simpler.  Our information on culture helps you understand the languages spoken in the city-state, as well as cultural etiquette and the general  benefits of moving to Singapore.

At  InterNations GO! our experts are often asked  how easy it is to move to Singapore? It is a complex question and we only have one answer:  the easiest way to move abroad is to move with our experts.  Learn more about  what we can offer you  on the Relocation Services page.



Making the decision to move is a huge first step in the  process of moving to Singapore. Once you do… what next?  How can you move your life from one country to another?

Our Relocation section  makes everything clear. At the end, you will be able to create a good To-Do list of things to organize, so that you can  get  off to a flying start before you even step on the airplane.  For instance,  we look at  moving your household goods to Singapore, including how to organize  shipping  and  storing  your belongings once they arrive. There is also a tip about how to save yourself money on the furniture you import, which would usually be subject to a Goods and Services Tax.

For people who have never visited Asia before we provide a full list of  vaccinations required for Singapore. This is particularly important for children under the age of 21 who are coming to the country on a long-term visit pass. Regulations have recently changed, meaning you will need to check that your children have all the appropriate shots.

If you want your cat or dog to join you in Singapore, you need to head to the end of this section of the  guide. We provide full information on everything to know about  moving to Singapore with pets. Things to consider before you move include if your animal will cope with the climate in Singapore, or if they will be legally allowed in your accommodation. Singapore authorities only allow up to three  approved  small  breed  dogs  per private residence, for instance.

There  is even  a full guide on what you need to do to import  your pets  to the country. In fact, we cover everything apart from how to find their favorite food. You will have to figure that one out yourself.

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Visas & Work Permits

In this section, we cover everything you need to know about  how to get a Singapore employment visa. One of the biggest stresses for expats moving to Singapore is understanding the type of visa they need to relocate. Figuring out how to then get that visa is a close second.  With information scattered across the internet, having a step-by-step guide that talks you through the Singapore visa types, processes, and Singapore visa costs is vital.

This part of the InterNations GO! Singapore guide explores both employment and S passes, as well as the  EntrePass  scheme.  Timelines for the Singapore visa application process are covered, as well as detailed information on the Singapore visa requirements and documentation a potential employee needs to prepare.  We also look in-depth at whether self-employment visas are available in Singapore (short answer: no).

One key area of interest this guide explores is how to get permanent residency in  Singapore.  This will affect any expats who want to settle long-term in the country, or for  at least  three years. You can weigh the benefits of becoming a permanent resident and see if any dependents are able to do so as well.

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If your company is not providing you with housing, or you are looking for  accommodation in Singapore  by yourself, this is the guide for you.  Reading this section will give you the edge when competing for housing in a small island country with a population of 5.8 million people and  around 2.2 million  expats.

As expats who have relocated many times,  we know what is important when it comes to the basics of finding a place to live. So, while you can learn about the  types  of houses  you want to live in from our guide, we have put the  best places to live in Singapore  as a separate page. Instead, this guide focuses on practicalities like  how to rent a house in Singapore and  average rent prices.

Want to know  how to buy a house in Singapore as a foreigner?  This is the right place to look. Buying a house is complicated at the best of times.  In Singapore, you need to be aware of the restrictions in place  for expats. Our experts have done all the intricate  research,  so you don’t have to.  What’s more, the housing in Singapore section offers average house prices as well as guidance on how to organize utilities in Singapore and how to get a housing loan. Everything you need, in one place.

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The  Singapore healthcare system  is globally renowned for efficiency and quality, ranking 6th best in the world in 2019.  Expats rate the hospitals and services in the country very highly and see it as one of the many bonuses of moving to the Lion City.  We look at the differences between the public and private healthcare systems, including the costs involved with visiting  each type and common waiting times.  Day-to-day issues like  how to find a doctor  are also explored. Plus, there is guidance about giving birth in Singapore and the benefits that working parents are entitled to.

A key take-away is that getting insured is important.  As non-residents, expats need  assistance  with  the  healthcare system and health insurance in Singapore.  Read this guide  for  full and clear explanations  of what expats need to check for in the coverage provided by their work and the types of private health insurance available.

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Banks & Taxes

A surprisingly time-consuming issue for expats is organizing banking in their new country. Figuring out the  best banks in Singapore  that provide  non-resident bank accounts  involves a lot of research. Trust us. We have gone through it.

With this guide,  opening a bank account in Singapore  becomes much  simpler. We provide a list of documents you will need to make sure your application is accepted as well as a list of foreigner-friendly banks.

Do you also want to know how much money will end up in your account? We guide you through  how much the tax is in Singapore.   You should know that to be a tax resident in Singapore, you will usually need to live in the country for over 183 days in a tax year (January to December).

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Moving with a family involves complicated logistics and organizational skills, not least to research the best international schools in Singapore.  With nearly 60  international schools to choose from, and a lot of other practicalities to  focus on, working parents need a way of narrowing down their choices. Our guide to the  education system in Singapore looks at the languages and qualifications offered by different  schools and the difference between the private and public-school systems in the city-state.

More than this, we look at options for adult learners including higher education and language schools. If you need to brush up on your English, Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil (Singapore’s four official languages)  then this section is for you.

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Working in Singapore is a fantastic step in many careers, with the country regularly topping the lists of the best places to work in the world.  Whether you are relocating for employment or as a dependent who freelances, expats need to be fully aware of how to legally work in  the nation. Our comprehensive guide covers everything from  how to get a job in Singapore  to  average salaries.

If you are self-employed, this section will help a lot. For instance, you should know that there is no self-employment visa, though around 9% of the country has some form of self-employment.

Looking to build a business in the country? We tell you what to expect from  Singapore social security  and  business culture.  There’s  also some great interview and general etiquette tips that should not be missed.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Singapore? What cultural  customs  should you be aware of? Is  public transportation in this city-state efficient?  Our guide  explores  everything you need to know about  living in Singapore. We dive into  what it takes to drive in Singapore, including how to exchange your driving license after living for 12 months in the city-state. You will also learn about practicalities, such as emergency numbers and public holidays, and become aware about important social etiquette like respecting the elderly. Read this section to feel more relaxed about what life will be like in your new city, to help lessen the impact of culture shock.

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Updated on: March 04, 2020

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