Does CECA have an impact on Singapore PR requirements? 

There are times the Singapore government is questioned if it has allowed too many foreigners to live and work in Singapore. Doubts are expressed about the volume of new Singapore PR or Citizenships approved each year by the Singapore government.

Many residents are outraged because they believed it had harmed Singaporeans’ jobs and livelihoods, resulting in a high unemployment rate. This has sparked public anger in Singapore concerning immigration and job stability, with some blaming CECA. This problem has snowballed given the current economic and social distress caused by the current crisis attributed to the COVID pandemic.

CECA has been discussed in recent months during one of the government’s parliament sessions. Mr Ong Ye Kung, one of the Ministers, has dispelled “false charges” about CECA and setting out the value of trade pacts for Singapore. In truth, this isn’t the first time the government has spoken out to dispel CECA myths.

What is CECA all about?

In short, CECA stands for the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.  Some facts about CECA:

  • A bilateral agreement with India
  • Signed on 29 June 2005
  • A part of Singapore’s extensive network of 26 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
  • Was the first comprehensive economic agreement between Singapore and a South Asian country.

Does CECA facilitate Indian nationals to attain Singapore PR or Citizenship?

There is nothing in CECA that can influence or dilute Singapore’s right to regulate immigration, Citizenship, or Permanent Residency.

According to the agreement, it was made very clear that the Singapore Government retains all rights to regulate immigration and foreign manpower and there shall be no impact on the regulatory measures pertaining to Citizenship, Permanent Residence, or Employment.

For foreigners to attain Singapore Permanent Residency, they must independently comply with the Singapore PR requirements. Please read our article on Singapore PR Criteria – Are you eligible?  

Does CECA make it obligatory to Singapore to allow the entry of Indian foreigners’ families and for them to work in Singapore? 

For foreigners who hold the Employment Pass, S Pass, EntrePass, and Personalised Employment Pass, will be eligible to apply for Dependant pass (DP) for their family members.

This pass, allows their spouses and children to join them in Singapore. Children holding DPs can enrol into local government or private international schools in Singapore.  

Has the nationality profile of Singapore’s foreign workforce been influenced by CECA?

Singapore welcomes professionals with specialized expertise from all around the world. The nationality profile of Singapore’s foreign labor is not influenced by CECA.

It is a common misconception that Singapore attracts many IT professionals from India. The truth is, India has earned a well-deserved place in the global Information Technology Market, with many Indian citizens making a name for themselves in the field.  

Furthermore, Singapore has rapidly adopted technology in recent years, resulting in an increased demand for technology developers and professionals. It is to meet our strong demand for digital talent, that Singapore welcomes overseas talent with related skillsets. To fill these positions, Singapore does not have enough locals with the necessary expertise. To supplement local tech skills, Indian tech talent has found its way to Singapore via the Work Pass framework.  

Please read our article: PR in Singapore for Indians – is it true that Indians stand a lower chance in attaining Singapore Permanent Residency?


Without much natural reserve, its small size Singapore depends on its Manpower and its quality to maintain its economy. Without a doubt, we require foreign talent with the required knowledge. Singapore can attract more investments and create more attractive jobs and career options for Singaporeans by combining and complementing local and foreign talent and their knowledge. The government of Singapore must simply strike a balance in this regard. It is high time we stop the skepticism around CECA.

The Singapore Government has implemented several programs and measures to safeguard the interests of Singaporeans. This obviously, demonstrates that the Singapore Government is always going to keep the best long-term interests of Singapore and its people while formulating policies. Any foreign talent that develops a love for Singapore wants to make it their home and meet the Singapore PR criteria are advised to apply for Singapore PR. Please read our article: Singapore welcomes foreign talents. Is it the time to submit your Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) Application?

After all, this beautiful island is a great and safe place to live in and it can be a permanent home for you. Please read our article: Why live permanently in Singapore?

Contact our experienced immigration consultants to assist you.


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