An Ex-Pat’s Guide To Creating A Life In Singapore

An Ex-Pat’s Guide To Creating A Life In Singapore
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Living in Singapore can be challenging. It’s a small city-state with a big, diverse population. Locals are friendly but efficient, and even though English is one of the official languages, learning local dialect nuances takes time. 

But living in a place isn’t just about acclimating to the local culture and environment. It’s about creating a life for yourself in a new city, a place where you can build your social circle, and a place where you feel comfortable and happy. Here’s how you can create a life in Singapore.

Finding A Job Before You Move

Job hunting is never easy, but it’s even more difficult when you have to do it halfway across the world. If you’re considering a move to Singapore, first check out the career prospects and job market in Singapore. There is an abundance of recruitment agencies in Singapore that specialize in finding employment opportunities for expatriates. These agencies offer newcomers the opportunity to interview without having to travel, saving time and money. 

Setting Up A Bank Account

Registering your address and getting a bank account is essential if you want to live in Singapore. The easiest way to open up a bank account is by applying online. When applying, you need to provide your personal particulars and address, as well as the type of account you want. Once your application is successful, you will receive an email confirmation. It usually takes two days for the application process to be completed, so make sure you have all the necessary information ready when filling out the form.

Choosing Where To Live

If you’re wondering where to live in Singapore, consider these four locations. Holland Village is a leafy enclave of upscale homes and trendy restaurants. Sentosa is an upscale and wealthy region of Singapore with an entertainment complex and beachfront hotels. Woodlands is an up-and-coming suburb with convenient transport links to the city center, great for families who need space for children or pets. Tanjong Pagar is one of the oldest areas of Singapore, making it perfect for those looking for a unique neighborhood experience.

Finding The Perfect Home To Buy

One of the most practical responsibilities you’ll take on in Singapore is finding your perfect home. The market is competitive, and prices vary based on a variety of factors, so it’s best that you find an agent who specializes in your target area. Singapore has a high volume of new buildings, many with a focus on design and aesthetics. You can find high-end apartments developed by world-renowned architects as well as trendy condominiums. You’ll have to choose between renting or buying. Renting has its perks, like not having to worry about maintenance costs or repairs to your apartment beyond wear and tear. But if you plan to live there for more than two years, buying is often more economical and offers more stability for the long term.

Calculating The Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax that you need to pay when buying a property in Singapore. Calculating the stamp duty can be complicated, and the stamp duty payment schedule depends on the property value, purchase application type, your citizen status, and how many properties you already own. To learn more, head over to PropertyGuru, where you can use their handy stamp duty calculator for Singapore.

Starting The Citizenship Process

If you want to live and work in Singapore, you can apply for citizenship, which is a lengthy process. If you’re unsure if you are eligible, check out this helpful list below.

  • Over the age of 21 and a permanent resident for two years or more.
  • Married to a Singaporean resident for more than two years and a permanent resident for two or more years.
  • Under the age of 21, unmarried, and legally adopted by a local resident.
  • Have been studying for three years or more in an integrated program or have passed a national exam such as GCE N, O, or A levels or PSLE. Additionally, must also have been a permanent resident for two years or more.
  • Have been a permanent resident for two years or more and the elderly parent of a current Singaporean citizen.

Once you know if you are eligible for citizenship, you can begin the process of applying via the Singapore government’s online portal.


You have made the decision to pack up and move to Singapore, but there are a lot of steps to go through before you can call yourself a Singaporean. Choosing a home is the first step. Singapore offers different areas of the country, including Holland Village, Sentosa, Woodlands, and Tanjong Pagar. You will also need to determine what kind of property you’re looking for: a condominium, apartment, or townhouse. After selecting a home, you can establish your place in Singapore by setting up a bank account. The next step is to research the citizenship process and how much it will cost you. Do your research and find out all the steps you need to take before you move abroad so you can get the most out of your new life in Singapore.

Rohit Raina
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