Living In Singapore | PR vs Citizenship: What Is the Difference?

Singapore is indeed a beautiful country to live in, which is why many foreigners are deciding to stay here for good. According to recent news from HSBC, this small country in Southeast Asia ranked second as one of the best places to live and work.

That is why if you are one of those people, you made the right choice. Locals here are relatively friendly to foreigners. Plus, they speak English as one of their primary languages, which is why you would not have a hard time communicating with them. The same is true for your kids.

Therefore, if you have decided you want to stay here for good, make sure you consider your options. In Singapore, you can become a PR or citizenship by submitting the application and completing the requirements online. You would also have to wait until you receive approval from Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

But are not the two the same thing?

Many people get confused between these two terms, but PR and citizenship are not the same. They are different statuses, and each has its pros and cons. That is why before you proceed with your plan, it is a good idea to know how different the two are from one another.


First of all, the acronym PR stands for Permanent Resident. They receive residency status from ICA to live in Singapore for two to six years. The time frame each PR got depends on what the agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs approved.

In other words, if your PR application got approved by the agency ICA in Singapore, you are no longer a tourist. You are now legally an alien who can stay in the country.

Sounds good, right? But there is a downside of being a PR. Not only you cannot get a Singapore passport, but you do not have the right to vote either. Even though you cannot get any of them, there are other more privileges a PR can enjoy.


  • BLUE CARD. With this, you can live, work, or leave the country without applying for separate visas. When you have this, this blue card can act as your identity document, which you can present if you stay here in Singapore.
  • BRING IMMEDIATE FAMILY. Once they are blue cardholders, they can sponsor their spouse and unmarried children below 21 years old to become a PR.
  • ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID. Only to certain subsidies such as Student Care.
  • GAIN MEDISHIELD LIFE BENEFITS. Only cover basic health insurance plans to save hospital bills.



They are people who received Singapore citizenship through application approval online from ICA or by birth.

The former means they apply to stay and live in Singapore legally for good. These people gain the same status as those people who were born anywhere in Singapore.

Who are those people eligible for Singapore citizenship?

They are eligible to apply for Singapore citizenship if they meet any of the requirements below:

  • A PR for two years, and they are 21 years or above.
  • A PR for two years and are married to a Singapore citizen
  • Legally adopted by a Singapore citizen.
  • A PR for three years and passed one of the national board exams
  • A PR and a parent of an adult Singapore citizen.

If they meet any of the requirements, they need to submit their application to MyICA. Except for the first bullet, the rest can only do so by using the SingPass of a Singapore citizen. This person should be legally related to them.


  • They will become a Singapore passport holder.
  • They have the right to vote in the elections.
  • They can run for public office seats.
  • They can enjoy tax rebates.
  • They can Buy subsidised new flats
  • They can bring immediate family members, just like PR.
  • They have basic health insurance plans.
  • They can apply for more financial aid.
  • They can enjoy lower tuition fees.
  • They can receive parenthood incentives through BabyBonus.

The only downside of receiving Singapore citizenship is that you have to renounce your foreign citizenship before truly becoming a citizen of Singapore.

For example, if you are naturally born in the Philippines, you have to give up your citizenship from that country. You should know that in Singapore, they do not accept dual citizenship.

That is why before you submit the Singapore citizenship application online, think things carefully and ask yourself.

Do you want to give up your foreign citizenship?

If not, you can stay and live here in Singapore but only as a PR.


The difference between these two statuses is simple. Those who receive Singapore citizenship have more benefits to enjoy than those who are only a PR. But besides that, both can live and stay in Singapore for a long time.

Nevertheless, if you want to become a PR, you need to meet the requirements and submit your application to ICA. Keep in mind that the fees you would have to pay are non-refundable. That means you can no longer take it back, even if you receive a PR rejection. The same is true if you submit a Singapore citizenship application online.

That is why before you submit any of your applications and requirements, double-check everything. Start by checking the spelling and reviewing the number of documents needed. Doing so should increase your chances of getting approval from ICA.



If yes, then better gather all of the requirements needed for your application. Make sure not to confuse the necessary documents between the two statuses. Otherwise, your efforts would go to waste, and you have to do everything again.

In case you need help, you can trust the Singapore Professional Immigration Consultancy. With their years of experience, they would not only help you with your application. If you get their overseas relocation services in Singapore, they can help you with everything needed to stay here for good.

Visit them now if you are interested!

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