Mr Peter Breitkreutz is an Australian citizen who attained his Singapore Permanent Residency (PR) in 2008. Mr Breitkreutz is currently a Senior Vice President of Citibank in Singapore, and is very proud about the fact that he is a Singapore PR. He owns a resale HDB flat in Sengkang West and is married to a Shanghainese wife, and they have two sons.
Mr Breitkreutz is the self-proclaimed "Singapore's favourite expat" and who writes the "most read and subscribed to expat blog in Singapore." He has won several blogging awards, and has even been recruited by the Singapore Government (MICA) to help promote Singapore to foreigners as a great place to live, work, study and play! The Singapore Government absolutely LOVES talented foreigners like Mr Breitkreutz, so much so that it has a special name for them - "foreign talent"!
If you are a foreigner like Mr Breitkreutz, ideally a citizen of a developed nation like Australia, UK or United States, there are several reasons why you should come to Singapore to become a "Foreign Talent" PR. If you are male, all the better, because you and your sons will get to partake of most of the benefits that Singaporean males and their sons get to enjoy, without having to pay the price that Singaporean males and their sons have to pay!
Mr Breitkreutz explains, in his own words, the benefits of becoming a PR in Singapore:
"The advantage of being a PR, ranges from slightly better tax rates, CPF (pension fund) program, and the ability to buy a resale 'HDB' apartment (which foreigners on EPs cannot do). The only disadvantage is that our son will be liable for NS (National Service) when he is a teenager."
In another article he has further explained the benefits of being a PR:
"We are in Singapore for the long run," he said. "We planted our roots. The obvious attractions for anyone coming from Australia or a Western culture are the order, the education and safety and that everything is convenient.
"Becoming a citizen has entered my mind. The only issue is that Singapore does not allow dual citizenship. I couldn't see myself giving up my Australian passport at this stage."
He added: "By becoming (permanent residents) and making that plunge, we have invested in an apartment, and do almost everything citizens can do."
You see, there are so many benefits to being a 'foreign talent" PR in Singapore! But wait, Mr Breitkreutz description of the benefits are incomplete! As a matter of fact, here are several more benefits and loopholes that you can exploit as a foreign talent PR in Singapore:
1. You do not need to serve any National Service (NS), unlike Singaporean males! Singaporean males have to sacrifice 2-2.5 years of their life in the army, and then they have to go back once a year for a further 10 years until they finish their NS liability! As a privileged foreign talent PR in Singapore, you don't have to do any of these things! You can partake of the country's excellent defence capabilities and all of the economic infrastructure that was painstakingly built up over the past 5 decades, without having to pay the price that Singaporean males have to pay!
2. Your son doesn't really have to serve national service if he doesn't want to, because he holds citizenship of the country that you came from, and Singapore cannot force him to serve NS if he doesn't want to. Unlike the sons of Singaporean citizens, your son can renounce his permanent residency when he comes of age and has the choice to go back to his father's homeland! In the meantime, he would have benefited from Singapore's excellent infrastructure, education subsidies and other benefits because he grew up as a Singapore PR, then he can just leave the country without paying the price that Singaporean males have to pay! Many second generation PRs have already done this and escaped NS, so don't worry, your son definitely can do this too!
3. When you finally grow old and want to retire, you can take out all your CPF (pension) money and return to your home country, simply by renouncing your PR. The only penalty is that you can never come back to Singapore to work, but of course, by the time this happens, you are already going to retire and are not intending to work anymore! In contrast, Singaporeans are forced to have their CPF locked up and can only withdraw it at the rate that the Singapore government allows them to! As a foreign citizen, you do not need to be subjected to any of these onerous conditions!
4. You most probably can sell your HDB flat at a profit and take the money back home to where you came from! You are not like Singaporeans, who will be stuck in their tiny HDB flats until the day they die. Furthermore, the money that you make from selling the HDB flat can buy a much bigger piece of property where you came from. Why would you want to stay in Singapore to retire when you can go home and retire in a much bigger house with a garage, a garden, and a much bigger living space?
As you can see, there are really many hidden benefits in addition to the ones that Mr Breitkreutz has been quoted as saying! Plus, there are hardly any true costs, because all you have to do to be relieved of the Singapore PR obligations is to simply renounce your PR and return home! Furthermore, Singaporeans aren't going to change their Government or get their Government to plug these loopholes any time soon, so you can be sure that these benefits are here to stay!
So, what are you waiting for? Send in your application to Singapore, and become a foreign talent PR today!!
Expat Interviews.com (Oct 2008) "Australian Expat Peter's Life and Times in Singapore"
Straits Times Indonesia (Nov 28, 2011) "More Australians Choosing to Move to Singapore"