Singapore is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors, known for its multi-racial population, warm climate, excellent infrastructure, and world-class universities. Among the various ways to move to Singapore, the Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP) stands out as a popular residence by investment scheme. This program has three primary investment options, each requiring an investment of 2.5 million Singaporean dollars. In this article, we will provide an overview of the GIP and discuss each of the three investment options in detail.
The first investment option under the GIP involves investing 2.5 million Singaporean dollars in a new local entity or as an extension of an existing local business. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate at least three years of entrepreneurial or business track record and submit audited financial statements of their company for the last three years. The Singaporean government may also act as a link between foreign investors and local business networks, helping to find suitable partnerships. If you own more than one business, you must submit the financial statements of the company with the highest turnover. Consolidating businesses to meet the minimum annual turnover criteria is generally allowed, but authorities will consider factors such as your role and position in the company and its profitability.
The second investment option is to invest 2.5 million Singaporean dollars in Singaporean funds that focus on investing in companies based in Singapore. This option may be easier for some investors, as it doesn’t require setting up a new business or expanding an existing one. By choosing this route, investors can support the growth of Singaporean companies while gaining residency in the country. As with the first option, due diligence will be conducted on the applicant’s background, financial resources, and investment plans.
The third investment option requires investing 2.5 million Singaporean dollars in Singapore-based family offices. This can be a new or existing family office that has assets under management of 200 million Singaporean dollars, with a minimum of 50 million Singaporean dollars invested in Singaporean assets and 150 million Singaporean dollars in offshore assets. To qualify, applicants must have net investable assets of at least 200 million Singaporean dollars, which can include financial assets such as bank deposits, capital market products, collective investment schemes, and premiums paid on life insurance policies, excluding real estate. Additionally, at least five years of entrepreneurial, investment, or management experience is required. Family offices are physical offices in Singapore where companies invest funds on behalf of another entity.
All three investment options under the GIP require funds to be transferred from the investor’s personal bank account opened in a Singapore-registered bank. Upon making the required investment, applicants must submit hard copy documentary evidence of their investment to the Singapore government.
The application review process typically takes around eight months. While obtaining permanent residency and citizenship through the GIP is possible, it is not guaranteed and can take longer than the expected two-year timeline. Singapore offers an attractive lifestyle, a territorial tax system, excellent medical benefits, and a strong passport. However, it’s important to remember that Singapore does not allow dual citizenship and requires mandatory military service for its citizens.