20140930 64,000 foreigners threw away their Singapore PR since 2010, immigration policy must be reviewed

The PAP government needs to urgently address its flawed immigration policy to avoid compounding issues in future.

The Singapore PR appears to have the ‘lowest value’ in the world as an increasing number of foreigners have given up their PR status in recent years. ICA should have the figures.

In our latest population figures, the number of PRs has continued to reduce from 531,200 in 2013 to 527,700 in 2014 although new PRs number some 30,000. In 2010, there were 541,000 PRs (see population)

Although there were about 120,000 (30,000 annually) new PRs from 2010 to 2014, an estimated 90% of new citizens came from the current stock of PRs. The net increase in PRs has to take this into consideration.

2010 to 2014

PRs = 30,000 X 4 = 120,000
New citizens = 19,000 X 4 = 76,000
90% new citizens were PRs = 76,000 X 90% = 68,400
Net PR increase = 120,000 – 68,400 = 51,600

2010 PRs + net increase = 2014 PRs
541,000 + 51,600 = 592,600

In 2014, we should have about 592,600 PRs. (give or take some left with valid reasons or may have died)

But the actual figure is only 527,700 PRs.

The reduced number indicates 64,900 foreigners have renounced their PR status during the last 4 years, an average of about 16,000 annually.

If our policy of taking in an average of 30,000 PRs is to make up for the loss of 16,000 (more than 50%) foreigners who renounce their PR status annually, then our immigration policy is seriously flawed. When foreigners from third world countries renounce their first world PR as if a piece of tissue paper, something must be very wrong.

The National Population and Talent Division under the Prime Minister’s Office should review our flawed immigration policy.


The NPTD has been silent on my queries and it has refused to disclose any data to dispute my estimates despite my feedback to the PMO. link I believe the figures are an embarrassment confirming our failed immigration policy.

In March this year, past data had confirmed an average of about 10,000 foreigners had renounced their PR status since 2000. (data also not disputed by government) The number has been increasing at a higher rate in recent years.

PRs are given a number of privileges similar to citizens. But about 3% of PRs leave Singapore for good annually compared to only 0.04% of Singaporeans renounce their citizenship. There are stark differences between PRs and citizens but we are grouped under one category as “residents”. The government gives out PRs too freely because it wants to accord certain privileges to foreign workers such as the purchase of public housing, priority in education, etc. Without such privileges, Singapore’s high cost of living may be too prohibitive.

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4 Responses to 20140930 64,000 foreigners threw away their Singapore PR since 2010, immigration policy must be reviewed

  1. Xmen says:

    It may be true that only 0.04%, or 1,200, of Singaporeans renounce their citizenship annually, but about 1,000 Singaporeans a month were applying for a “Certificate of No Criminal Conviction” (required for PR applications in another country) in 2010.

    There are over 200,000 Singaporeans living overseas today. Many will probably not return.

    • phillip ang says:

      🙂 Point is to tell PAP not to suka suka lump figures together, citizens and PRs are not the same. We are here for good cause many cannot afford to uproot although most would like to. 😦

  2. yuen says:

    not all the reductions are caused by PRs leaving; some get old and die; if there are 600K of them, up to 10K could die each year

    there is also the issue of re-entry permit; if your permit expires, then next time you travel you cannot return to SG as PR; getting a new permit has certain requirements

    • phillip ang says:

      Thanks for your input. Please refer to NPTD website (page 13) @ http://www.nptd.gov.sg/content/NPTD/home/_jcr_content/par_content/download_5/file.res/population-in-brief-2014.pdf
      You can see the age profile of PRs and Singaporeans almost identical. From the chart, you can see it is not possible for “Up to ten thousand PRs” to die every year. Just too few elderly PRs.

      Second point is the total death, latest figure from Singstat, is only 18,938. Citizen pop is 3.3 million whereas PR is 0.53 million. Ratio about 6:1. Since age profile is almost identical, this translates into 16,232 citizen and 2,706 PR deaths.
      It’s therefore impossible the huge PR reduction is due to death. : )

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