Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song (Aljunied): Around one in three marriages in Singapore is between a Singaporean and a non-Singaporean. Currently, foreigners married to Singaporeans can apply for a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP), or an LTVP+. LTVP+ provides access to additional benefits like subsidised healthcare and permission to work. However, LTVP+ is not the same as Permanent Residency, or PR, in terms of benefits. PR is much more difficult to obtain. Of the many Singaporeans I meet at my Meet-the-People sessions, who are appealing for their foreign spouse’s PR applications, the overwhelming majority of them are from the lower income groups, with spouses from countries like China, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Are economic considerations and educational qualifications given more weight than family ties in determining PR application outcomes? If so, this would disadvantage the lower income.
May I suggest that for PR applicants who have a Singaporean spouse, child, or parent, family ties should be the primary consideration for approval of their PR. Their close kinship with Singaporeans makes them part of the Singapore Core. And we as a society, should try to integrate them into our fold.
Ministry of Home Affairs
1 March 2021