98% of re-entry permit renewal by retired PRs approved over past 5 years: Sun Xueling

Approximately 52,400 retired Singapore PRs have applied in the past 5 years.

Jane Zhang | February 03, 2020, 03:54 PM

Only 2 per cent of the 52,400 retired Singapore permanent residents (PRs) who applied to renew their re-entry permits (REPs) in the last five years had their applications rejected.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling shared this in Parliament on Monday, Feb. 3, in response to Nominated Member of Parliament Walter Theseira.

He had asked how many retired Singapore PRs submitted applications for re-entry permits (REPs) by retired Singapore PRs, the rejection rate, and the government's considerations when deciding whether to approve re-entry permit applications.

What is a re-entry permit?

First of all, what are re-entry permits?

All Singapore permanent residents must have a valid re-entry permit in order to travel out of the country.

Re-entry permits are valid for up to five years at a time, and must be renewed.

According to the ICA website, PRs who leave the country or stay overseas without a valid re-entry permit will lose their PR status.

Sun said that PRs' re-entry permits may be renewed if they meet the "prevailing criteria" - that is, being gainfully employed and contributing to Singapore, and having family roots here.

What about retirees who are not employed?

Theseira asked if re-entry permit applicants who are retired need to also demonstrate that they can support themselves financially, given that many might be in "difficult position[s] financially" as retirees.

He pointed out that the re-entry permit application asks for current employment and income information.

Sun said that for retired PRs, it is understandable if they do not have a declaration of employment since they are retired.

Thus, she said, the criteria for the renewal of the re-entry permits of retired PRs depends on other criteria - not being away from Singapore for prolonged periods of time and have family roots here.

According to Sun, the government generally approves the re-entry permit applications of retired PRs "in recognition of their past contributions to Singapore".

98% of retired PRs' re-entry permit renewed

Over the past five years, there were approximately 52,400 retired Singapore PRs who applied to renew their re-entry permits, said Sun.

Of those, about 2 per cent of applications were rejected.

Those rejections were largely due to the individuals being absent from Singapore for long periods of time and also having no family roots here.

Sun said that the rejection rate of retired PRs' re-entry permits in the past five years is similar to the rate from 2010 to 2014.

Top image via Youtube / govsingapore and ICA website.