According to the population report given out by the Government of Singapore, about 21,000 new citizenships, and 27,500 new permanent residencies were granted in the year 2020. As much as it seems like, the final victory is still a step away.
Once your application is approved, what should you do? Is the approval subject to some follow up actions? Is there a timeline required? What will happen if the applicant does not act? What if the applicant is not in Singapore when they letter is delivered? Will it affect their PR approval?
In today’s article, we will attempt to answer these questions.
What is an In-Principal Approval Letter from ICA?
Upon approval Applicants will receive an In-Principal Approval letter (IPA) from The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). It has a validity of one (1) month from the date of issuance of the letter.
How does ICA inform the applicant of their application status?
Usually, applicant will see the outcome first on ICA’s portal (status will show approved – it does not include a copy of IPA letter online). After which, applicants will receive the IPA letter from ICA via post. The post includes IPA letter and other detailed guide/steps on how to complete the formalities.
There are a series of actions required from the applicants upon receiving the letter. ICA will clearly state the actions required by the applicants in the letter Please read our article: I receive the Singapore Citizenship in-principle-approval (IPA) letter, then what?
Actions required upon receiving the IPA Letter
a) Medical check-up – Simply visit any medical centre for the check-up (remember to bring along the IPA letter). Typically, it takes about two (2) weeks to obtain the medical certification, but it is subject to the medical centre visited.
b) Insurance – All successful PR applicants must be insured under MediShield Life (a basic national health insurance scheme that provides universal coverage to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents). All successful PR applicants (above 30 years) are required to be insured under CareShield Life (a long-term care insurance scheme that provides basic protection against long-term care costs)
c) Applicants must book an appointment with ICA officer upon receiving their medical certificate/ report, insurance and other documents to be submitted with their application. Applicants are required to bring along all original mandatory documents to be verified by the ICA officer. ICA will provide a checklist on the documents needed in the IPA letter. It may take up to an hour to verify these documents. Please read our article: Singapore PR Documents required for Submission
Upon completion of verification, applicants will receive an Entry Permit and a Re-Entry Permit and an identity card collection slip (you have to remember to book an appointment for collection at ICA’s website).
Applicant who wishes to apply for Singapore citizenship after getting the permanent residency will be eligible to apply only after two years of permanent residency in Singapore.
What if the applicant receives the hard copy of the IPA, but is physically not in Singapore at that time?
Applicants will have to write a letter to ICA to explain and request for extension of the deadline. Such a situation is common, mainly due to the current pandemic as many people cannot travel back into Singapore. Do note that if the IPA letter expires, ICA may revoke their approval which means the applicant’s PR approval not valid anymore.
Engage an Immigration Agency to assist you.
If you engage an immigration agency, they will assist you even after you receive your PR approval i.e. the IPA. It is crucial to engage a responsible immigration agency. ICA policies or their procedures might change, in such s scenario an effective immigration agency will keep you posted of the latest changes and provide you suitable advice. Read our article on: Immigration Consultants in Singapore – What does it take to be a good one?