3 Dec 2004

Don't Mention the National Service

Paying to gain Singaporean residency has hit the headlines recently and I have read a few of the articles in the international press. They all mention the new scheme and the fact that the children of these wealthy lot can also gain residency. However there has been one glaring omission from all the reports. Will the very wealthy offspring have to do NATIONAL SERVICE... Ooops!, Suddenly Singapore no longer looks so great to the wealthy foreign investor. Mind you they would probably gain 'White Horse' status, to ensure that they are treated the same as all the other Service men...

Singapore using residency bait to lure rich foreigners
12-01-2004, 07h18

Roslan Rahman - (AFP/File)
SINGAPORE (AFP) - Rich foreigners can gain immediate permanent residency in Singapore if they park five million Singapore dollars (three million dollars) in local financial institutions, under a new scheme unveiled by the city-state's central bank.

A Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) spokesman said Wednesday these foreigners must also have personal assets worth at least 20 million dollars to qualify but they will still go through routine immigration checks.

Spouses and children aged under 21 will also be able to become permanent residents, the spokesman said.

In announcing the "Best Home" scheme in a speech Tuesday, MAS chairman Goh Chok Tong said it was aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners to the southeast Asian nation as part of plans to expand its financial services activities.

"We hope this will boost total assets under management and attract high net worth individuals and their families to take up residency here," Goh, a former Singapore prime minister, said.

The MAS spokesman, who asked not to be named, said foreigners would be required to invest five million dollars with MAS-registered financial institutions for five consecutive years.

The investments on offer include bank deposits, shares, funds, unit trusts and life insurance products.

He added that these foreigners would receive "in-principle approval" for permanent residency on investing the money, with full status granted after five years.

Less affluent applicants for permanent residency have to follow more stringent criteria, which generally include working in Singapore for least six months, having a valid employment pass and meeting academic standards.

Another scheme allows people to apply for permanent residency if they invest 1.5 million dollars in a local business.

Permanent residency allows foreigners to live and work in Singapore without a visa, and remain in the country even if they do not have a job.


KnightofPentacles said...

For the target demographics, National Service liability (even without the 'White Horse' program) would not be a major concern.

Not all the potential residents-to-be would have children. Not all of them would have _male_ children. Some of them with male children of NS age may believe that conscripted military service would be beneficial to the children. (i.e. builds character, obedience, discipline, etc)

If you could afford to send your child anywhere in the world for post secondary (post high school) education, would Singapore be your first choice?

With a net worth in excess of S$20 million, a mere MINDEF government bond of S$75,000 to secure your child's passage out of Singapore after the child turns 11 is affordable.

Losing that bond of S$75,000 (<0.5% of net worth) would be a small price to pay when the child obtains alternative citizenship and surrenders Singapore citizenship.

soci said...

So assuming you don't have offspring, or assuming you have some and assuming they are not male and assuming 'they' (thats the child and not the parents)want to do National Service, or that I don't intend to have male children, for 5 million big ones, I can become a Singaporean PR. Why am i wasting my time writing this blog when i could be filling out the application form. Does anyone know where i can get one...?