Benefits Of Migrating To And Applying For A Singapore PR Status – Pros

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Singapore JPEG

As some of you may already have known from my previous blogs that I was originally from Italy and moved over to Singapore several years ago as a permanent resident, and since my last post on social integration in Singapore, I had been receiving more and more enquiries from my readers on immigration processes and PR application, but actually I’m not the expert on that. If you are looking for more information on PR application in Singapore, you can talk to an expert here. I get some of my knowledge from them too.

Benefits of getting a PR in Singapore

However, when it comes to general benefits of a PR in Singapore, that I do know! So I shall share more on that with you since many expatriates on PTS scheme seem to be interested in applying for a permanent residence. Assuming you have gone through the process of application with ICA, and gotten your status to become a Singapore permanent resident, here are the benefits.

Lower medical expenses for citizen and permanent resident in Singapore

While Singapore does not have universal health care unlike certain other countries, it is definitely far cheaper in Singapore to see a doctor, or specialist, yet the quality of the healthcare far exceeds that of virtually every other country. Additionally, as a PR, you get additional monetary subsidies for most public, and many private healthcare institutions in Singapore too. If you already are a permanent resident, you can even apply Singapore citizenship application for even more benefits which are only for Singaporean citizens.

Sponsoring your family to live in Singapore as well

If you truly love Singapore, and want to stay in the country for good, then having a PR is the best way to go about doing this if you also intend to stay with your family. The reason for that is because as a Singapore permanent resident, you can easily apply for Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) for your family, including your aged parents too. This way, you need not worry about them while you are living and working in the country.

Since SG is also known for being a safe and secure country, you can rest assured that your aged parents will be protected well in the city. A low crime rate is one of the reasons why a Singapore PR application is so popular.

Alternative place of residence and a back up plan geographically

Truth be told, I am not sure if I will ever pick up a Singapore citizenship. However, a PR offers me the best of both world. In case any riots happen in my home country Italy, I can still live indefinitely in Singapore without worrying – all I need to do is to apply for re-entry permit when it is required. It is that simple!


Integrating Into The Social Fabric Of Singapore After Immigration

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social integration in Singapore

While proof of actions you do like social integration is definitely something that the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority, ICA of Singapore looks at when approving your Singapore PR application process, I also agree that it is not the only factor that ICA looks at. However, it is becoming an increasingly popular factor, so if you are also a fellow expat and looking at applying and becoming a permanent resident in SG, this is something that you need to pay attention to.

First of all, what is social integration? It is basically the process of an immigrant to a country, Singapore in our case, adopting the mannerisms, conventions and rules of interpersonal interactions which is largely native to Singaporeans, and may or may not be largely different form the country you come from. If you came from a South East Asia city or country, then it probably is more similar. However, if you are like me and from another part of the world such as Italy, then you may find the local mannerisms very different initially. Obviously, I like it and all, that is why I decided to stay on here as a permanent resident. However, I agree that it is vastly different from that of Italy.

Second of all, just because you did the above processes and actions, it does not mean that ICA will recognize it – because they rely on proof! After all, it is not like the person in charge of your PR status approval is your best friend or buddy. He’s probably a random person you will never meet in your life. So the key is to demonstrate that you have done this social integration thing to ICA when you are applying. However, it can be difficult to show that you picked up the mannerisms and mindset of a typical Singaporean. You cannot possibly want to type a Singlish letter to the ICA for approval. This brings us to my next point…

Thirdly, if you want to prove that you have integrated into the social fabric, you need to provide hard proof. If you have done one or more of the following, try to show it off to the relevant persons:

  • Active participation in Singapore’s community centre events
  • Having studied locally in Singapore (obviously this does not apply if you are already an adult)
  • Joined local charity events

Unfortunately, one of the biggest factors that can demonstrate this is something that you cannot shortcut on – length of residence in Singapore. The longer you have stayed and worked in Singapore under valid VISAs, the better your chances.


Are Piano Lessons Truly Popular In Singapore Or Forced By Parents?

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Having had a Jazz band and club back when I was still living in Italy before migrating to Singapore, I was pretty surprised that while Jazz was quite popular in Singapore as a form of music genre, bands and all were not popular among the parents and children here. In fact, piano lessons in Singapore is what is popular!

However upon further digging, as I had learnt from this article by Straits Times on the state of local students learning piano, not all of it is actually driven by interest, passion, and many times, can actually be forced by their parents. Coming from Italy in the past, there was no such culture, so I could not understand. However, after more digging around and reading that article, I understand, and will attempt to share that with my fellow expats living in Singapore like me too, and are confused about this state in SG.

Firstly, the entire country is very driven by academic success, and specifically, paper qualifications. Since piano proficiency can be measured somewhat formally by the formal ABRSM examinations, it has become something of common practice that every child who takes piano lessons here will have to go for these ABRSM music exams. This is because the students are mostly only between the ages of 5 to 15, and clearly still living with, and essentially controlled by their parents due to their age and lack of independence. Therefore, since the country has a kiasu culture, which is a culture of people afraid to lose out to their neighbours or people they know, scoring well in the formal piano exams is an important thing to many Singaporean parents.

Many children actually start off liking to play the piano instrument. However, many Singaporean parents simply send them for formal classes, and the lessons are based around passing the ABRSM exams – which is largely around classical music. Yet these poor Singaporean children are also taking many formal academic exams, and I was told by my native Singapore friends that academic pressure is already exceedingly high in the country. With pressure to do well on both sides coming from society and parental pressures, and the lack of time to do literally anything else, many of these students see going to these piano lessons after some time as a coerced action.

While many of my Italian expat friends I made while running my Jazz club in Italy, who also migrated to SG like me, still have a fond love and we get together playing Jazz music at least once a week, I found out that many ABRSM grade 8 proficient piano students in Singapore no longer play nor want to do anything to do with it after they have graduated.