Expanding business horizons is an achievement many aspiring and successful entrepreneurs desire. As a major financial hub in Southeast Asia, Singapore has forged a reputation as one of the world’s most advanced economies and attractive destinations for entrepreneurs. 

There are numerous factors to Singapore’s sustained economic dominance – a stable and neutral government, zero foreign debt, a progressive legal and regulatory framework, and a business-friendly ecosystem, to name a few.

Foreign investors are now lining up to invest in a new or existing business entity in the country while enjoying the benefits of living there, and the Global Investor Program Singapore has laid down a path for them to do so.

This article will provide an overview of Singapore’s Global Investor Program, its requirements, and the benefits of successfully applying for the program and opening the gateway to the Asia-Pacific market.

Introduction to the Singapore Global Investor Program

global investor programme gip

Singapore is known to be highly strategic and forward-thinking in its decisions to grow the economy and improve business sectors.

The Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP) is part of this strategy and was introduced in 2004 to attract entrepreneurially-minded foreign nationals with the means to invest and boost the economy by starting new businesses or investing in existing Singapore-based companies.

In exchange for their investment, foreign investors gain permanent residence in Singapore for themselves and their immediate family members. Foreign nationals must provide compelling evidence of a successful investment track record and produce a credible business proposal to pass the initial eligibility criteria.

This Singapore investment immigration scheme isn’t a direct route to citizenship, but permanent residents of the Global Investor Program may be eligible to apply to become Singaporean citizens and obtain a Singapore passport after 12 months, depending on their level of commitment and contribution to the country.

Investment Options for the Global Investor Program

There are three investment options available to foreign investors applying for the Global Investor Program:

Option A

Option A relates to starting a new business entity or expanding an existing business operation in Singapore. The minimum investment for this option is SGD 10 million ($6.04 million).

Terms for Option A:

  • A five-year business plan must be submitted, detailing the projected employment, expenditure, and financial projections.
  • The applicant must possess at least 30 percent shareholding in the company and be part of the management team.
  • The company must be involved in at least one of the business sectors listed under Annex B.

Option B

Option B relates to an investment in approved funds for the Global Investor Program, which are also investors in Singapore-based companies. The minimum investment for approved funds is SGD 25 million ($15.09 million).

Terms for Option B:

  • Applicants may be requested to share any other business plans for Singapore besides their investment in a GIP-approved fund.

Option C

Option C relates to an investment in family office principals. Investors must open a Singapore-based Single-Family Office (SFO) with a minimum of SGD 200 million in Assets Under Management (AUM); At least SGD 50 million ($30.18 million) must be deposited into one of these four investment categories:

  • Equities, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), or company trusts listed on Singapore-approved exchanges
  • Singapore qualifying debt securities listed on the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) inquiry system
  • Approved funds distributed by Singapore-licensed banking institutions
  • Private equity investments in non-listed Singapore-based companies

Terms for Option C:

  • A five-year business plan must be submitted, detailing the projected employment, expenditure, and financial projections.
  • Offshore assets can qualify as part of the AUM requirement, provided at least SGD 50 million has been transferred to and held in Singapore upon Approval-in-Principle (AIP) of permanent residence status.

Viable industries under Annex B

Investment options must be engaged in any of the following business sectors:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Alternative energy/clean technology
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer business (e.g., flavors and fragrances, food ingredients, nutrition, home, and personal care)
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Engineering services
  • Healthcare
  • Information and communication products and services
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Marine and offshore engineering
  • Media and entertainment
  • Medical technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Natural resources (e.g., metals, mining, and agricultural commodities)
  • Safety & Security
  • Space
  • Shipping
  • Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
  • Precision engineering
  • Professional services (e.g., consulting and design)
  • Arts businesses
  • Visual arts businesses (e.g., auction houses and art logistics/storage)
  • Performing arts businesses
  • Sports businesses
  • Family office and financial services

Singapore Global Investor Eligibility Criteria

Before submitting an application for permanent residency through the Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP), applicants must ensure they fit the personnel criteria for eligibility. Besides the investment categories, four types of investors and business people are eligible for the GIP. The four options to qualify for the GIP each have their own criteria for qualifying:

Established business owners

To qualify for the GIP, established business owners:

  • Must possess a minimum of three years of provable entrepreneurial and business experience
  • Must presently be running a corporation with an average annual turnover of at least SGD 200 million ($150 million) for three years and in the year immediately preceding the application
  • Must possess at least 30 percent shareholding in the company if the corporation is privately owned
  • Must engage the company in one or more of the industries listed under Annex B
global investor programme gip

New-generation business owners

To qualify for the GIP, new-generation business owners:

  • Must possess at least 30 percent shareholding or be the largest shareholder in the company used to apply between themselves and their immediate family members
  • Their company must have an average annual turnover of SGD 500 million ($375 million) for three years and in the year immediately preceding their application.
  • Must be part of the company’s management team
  • Must engage the company in one or more of the industries listed under Annex B

Founders of fast-growth companies

To qualify for the GIP, founders of fast-growth companies:

  • Must be a founder and one of the primary individual shareholders of a non-publicly listed company with a minimum valuation of SGD 500 million
  • Must receive investment from successful and reputable venture capital and private equity funds.

Family office principals

To qualify for the GIP, beneficiaries of family offices:

  • Must have at least five years of provable entrepreneurial, investment, or managerial experience
  • Must have at least SGD 200 million in net investible assets

Required Documents for the Global Investor Program

To fulfill the Singapore investor visa requirements and be granted permanent residence status by the Singapore government, applicants must be able to provide the following documents alongside the requisite investment when submitting their application.

  • A notarized copy of a valid passport
  • A notarized copy of their birth certificate (if applicable)
  • A notarized copy of proof of kinship (if applicable)
  • Background details of family members (if applicable)
  • Supporting documents of their business track record
  • A notarized copy of a marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Three years of audited financial statements of the company used to apply
  • A notarized copy of the Certificate of Shareholders by the Registrar of Companies
  • A notarized copy of the company’s business license or incorporation documents
  • An organizational chart of the company used to apply
  • An in-depth five-year business plan with projected local jobs, expenditure, and annual financial projections
  • A copy of the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority ACRA registration of the applicant’s Singapore investment
  • An application for a Singapore Entry Permit
  • Passport-size photographs

The business profile and investment option also determine the documents required to ensure a successful application and permanent resident status. A family office principal, for example, will require a certified document stating that the applicant or their immediate family has a least SGD 200 million in net investible assets.

The Global Investor Program application process

  1. The applicant submits completed application forms for the GIP both online and by post to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
  2. The applicant is invited for an in-person interview with the EDB. They’ll be asked about their proposed investment plan, experience, listed business profile, and any other investment conditions in their chosen criteria.
  3. If the applicant isn’t requested to produce further supporting documents of their business profile and investment plan and passes the assessment benchmarks, the ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) will issue an AIP (Approval-in-Principle) residence permit to the applicant, which is valid for six months.
  4. The applicant satisfies the investment conditions under their chosen investment option within six months from the date of the AIP permit.
  5. Upon making the required investment, the applicant produces documental evidence of the minimum investment made (e.g., certified copies of share certificates, bank statements, or other legal documents) and submits the Investment Undertaking in the terms and conditions of the investment made.
  6. Once the EDB certifies investment documents, the ICA will issue the Final Approval Letter.
  7. The applicant must confirm their permanent residence status in Singapore within 12 months from the date of the Final Approval Letter.

Singapore Permanent Residence and a Re-entry Permit

An Entry Permit should not be mistaken for a Re-Entry Permit. An Entry Permit in Singapore is a form of pre-entry authorization allowing entry to Singapore for those with valid visas and travel documents. Whether you have a visa or don’t require one to travel to Singapore, you must obtain a permit to gain entry into the country.


Where a Re-entry Permit differs is that it’s relevant only to those with permanent residence status in Singapore. To establish the non-abandonment of permanent residency in Singapore, permanent residents must obtain a Re-Entry permit before traveling abroad.

The permit is valid for five years from its date of issuance. That being said, Singaporean citizens are not required to obtain Re-Entry Permits when traveling overseas.

The Benefits of Singapore Permanent Residence

Some of the benefits of this world class destination may already be common knowledge among expats and foreign investors.

  • The country has a reputable education system with education subsidies and grants widely available to all students.
  • Its friendly tax regime and lenient tax regulations provide the optimal environment for economic development and growth.
  • Almost 50 percent of the population speaks English as a native language, and it ranks second in the English Proficiency Index (EPI) above countries like Denmark, Austria, and Germany.
  • Its multicultural community and diversity are apparent in everyday life. Although the country is small, its demographics are made up of nationalities from all over Southeast Asia.
  • It’s one of the most peaceful countries in the world, with high political neutrality, low amounts of displaced people, and minimal violent crimes, ranking in the top ten on the Global Peace Index (GPI).

Singapore Permanent Residence to Citizenship

Like most developed countries, individuals with permanent residence status are eligible to apply for Singapore citizenship by naturalization after a certain period of time; This is generally two to six years, depending on the individual’s circumstances.

Fast-track citizenship by investment

Successful applicants of the Singapore investment immigration scheme may be eligible to apply for citizenship and a Singaporean passport within 12 months of establishing their business or a paid-up capital transfer.

Please be advised that the granting of citizenship by investment within this timeframe is solely at the discretion of senior Singaporean authorities. To be considered, investors should surpass all forecasted business milestones and demonstrate exceptional contributions to the nation.

Singapore citizenship law

It’s essential to be aware that Singapore is not among the most lenient or easiest countries to secure citizenship. Dual citizenship is not permitted, and residents are required to renounce their current citizenship when applying for citizenship.

Singapore also has mandatory national service enlistment for male citizens and permanent residence permit holders between the ages of 16 and 50.

Note that mature males (generally age 30 and above) who receive Singaporean citizenship are not subject to mandatory enlistment.

singapore global investor programme

Global Citizen Solutions: How We Can Help

Expats and foreign investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for Singaporean citizenship by investment, which is why it is worthwhile to have an expert on hand to provide personalized Singapore citizenship assistance throughout the application process.

Our specialists can help you with the following:

  • Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
  • Have someone who works solely on your behalf
  • Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together
  • Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market

Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to obtain Singapore citizenship by investment. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Singapore Global Investor Program

How much do I need to invest in Singapore to get permanent residency?

The minimum Singapore investor visa cost is SGD 10 million ($6.04 million) to gain permanent residence by investing in a new or existing business operation in Singapore under the Global Investor Program (GIP). The investment can also be a capital transfer of SGD 50 million ($30.18 million) through a family office principal.

What are GIP-approved funds in Singapore?

GIP-approved funds (or GIP-select funds) are funds with the interest of investing in Singapore-based businesses approved for GIP applicants to invest in and show on a Global Investor Program Singapore application form.