SINGAPORE

  • Nationwide
  • Official languages spoken include English (language of government, business and education), Malay (national language), Mandarin and Tamil.

  • The population of Singapore is 5.4 million. Singaporeans have a rich culture diversity of Chinese (76.2%), Malays (15%), Indians (7.4%) Eurasians and other ethnic groups (1.4%).

  • Electricity: 220-240 volts

  • Housing: Popular residential areas for expatriates have traditionally been Holland Village, Bukit Timah, Grange Road, Orchard Road and the East Coast, however now expats live all over Singapore, for their own convenience.

  • The typical lease term in Singapore is 2 years. At the beginning of a 2-year lease agreement, the first month's rental and security deposit (2 months' rental) is due. Rent is paid in advance.

  • Temporary accommodation / serviced apartments: Serviced apartments are available throughout the city, and may be more economical than a hotel for longer lease terms. These are available on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

  • Schools: There are more than 20 international schools in Singapore, including:
    • Singapore American School
    • Stamford American International School
    • Tanglin Trust School
    • United World College of South East Asia
    • Overseas Family School
    • Canadian International School
    • Australian International School of Singapore
    • German European School of Singapore
    • Lycée Franҫais de Singapour
    • The Japanese School
    • International School of Singapore
    • Chatsworth International School
    • Dover Court Preparatory School
    • St Joseph’s Institution International
    • Global Indian International School
    • GEMS World Academy
    • Dulwich College


  • Transportation: Singapore has an excellent public transportation system, covering most areas of the island; buses and MRT trains are clean, regular, efficient and air-conditioned: taxis are also plentiful. Most people travel by public transportation, since private transport is relatively expensive.

  • Healthcare: Singapore has a world-class health system, and most foreigners are well looked after by private and public facilities throughout the city. Leading hospitals include:
    • Gleneagles Hospital
    • Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    • Raffles Hospital
    • National University Hospital


  • Work permits and visas: The foreign immigration policy requires that foreigners hold employment passes or work permits to work and live in Singapore. These can be obtained from the Ministry of Manpower (www.mom.gov.sg), and require 3 to 4 weeks to process.

  • Banking and currency: Banking systems are of an international standard. To open a standard bank account, a minimum deposit of between SGD500 and SGD5,000 is required, as well as your passport, employment pass and proof of residential address The local currency is Singapore Dollar (SGD).

• Can my spouse work in Singapore?
With the right legal paperwork a spouse will be able to work. With a Dependant's Pass, the employer will apply to the Ministry of Manpower for a Letter of Consent and if an Employment Pass is required, again the new employer will make application. If you wish to open your own business, however, it must be registered and the appropriate employment documentation applied for. CS Mobility can help with all these applications.

• Am I allowed to reside in public housing?
If you wish to rent an apartment, the landlord's ownership must first be confirmed and the landlord must have approval from the Housing Development Board. Without this approval you will not be able to rent public housing.

• How long does it take to set up a bank account?
While a simple account can be set up in less than an hour, cheque books and credit cards may take a few days. In order to set up a bank account, you will need your passport, Employment Pass and minimum opening balance. CS Mobility can introduce you to banks who will come to your home/office and set up a bank account with a zero opening balance.

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