Moving to Singapore from the US

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Introduction

Admired for it’s clean roads, Marina Bay Sands, Changi airport, Gardens by the Bay, and Merlion statue, moving to Singapore is undoubtedly many ex-pats’ dream. However, despite being admired for these splendors, Singapore, also known as the Lion City, is famous for several things, including its delectable food and drinks, advanced free-market economy, high-quality education, beautiful climate, diversity, and healthcare.

  • Food & Drinks
    In Singapore, you can get a plate of chili crab and other mixtures of Western, Indian, Chinese, and Malay food and drinks.

  • Economy
    Despite how young Singapore may be, it has an impressive free-market economy, which means more job opportunities.

  • Education
    According to US News, education in Singapore ranked the 19th best in the world in 2020.

  • Climate
    In Singapore, every day is summer!

  • Diversity
    Singapore is the abode of different languages, religions, and cultures.

  • Healthcare
    According to the World Population Review’s  2020 rating, Singapore has the 6th best healthcare system globally.

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Expats Destination (American Expats in Singapore)

It’s no doubt that Singapore is a beautiful city, but the choice of the best city to live in, as an American, becomes a conundrum. To help you make the right choice, here are the five best expat destinations in Singapore.

1. Holland Village

This city is the favorite destination of most US expats because of its proximity to all the city centers. If you want access to the big cities in Singapore, this city is suitable for you.

2. Sentosa

Most expats going for a more sophisticated area choose to live in Sentosa because of the beautiful beaches, houses built on water, and other personal things that attract them.

3. Tiong Bahru

When modernity becomes too familiar that it seems mundane, Tiong Bahru is the best destination. Its old shoe-shaped streets will leave you utterly mesmerized.

4. Tanjong Pagar

This city is romantic with all shades of modernity intertwined in historical remains; you will be lost in its beauty.

5. Woodlands

The reason expats like this city is its proximity to the Singapore American School. It is also a place to relax and enjoy every moment of your stay.

Cost of Living in Singapore vs. US

When considering moving to Singapore from USA, you should understand that the Lion City is quite an expensive country to live in. 

Also, when compared to the cost of living in the US, Expatistan shows that Singapore is 14% more expensive than the US. 

Those living expenses shoot up, with the average monthly cost of living for a single person in Singapore being $4248. However, it is still important to know what the average living expenses per person or family are. So, here is a more detailed comparison for you.

Average monthly living expenses
Cost in Singapore USD
Cost in US USD
Single person
$4248
$2587
Family of four
$7467
$4580

It is pertinent to note that the cost of living in Singapore could be lower or higher depending on your lifestyle and apartment choice. If you rent cheaper houses, stick to a budget, and have a lifestyle change, you will be A-okay in Singapore.

Singapore Citizenship

If your intention of moving to Singapore from US is to become a citizen, you must know that obtaining permanent residence, which usually takes up to two years, is the first step to actualizing your plans.

To become a permanent resident, you must be the spouse of a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, a student of a Singaporean institution, holder of an S-pass or employment permit, unmarried adopted or biological 21-year-old child of a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, and an elderly parent of a Singaporean citizen. You can visit the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s website for more information.

So, if you have lived in Singapore as a permanent resident for two years, you can now apply for citizenship. To do this, you’ll need a colored photograph taken within the last three months, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if married), educational certificate, divorce certificate (if applicable), foreign ID card, among others.

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Shipping Costs from US to Singapore

After making up your mind about relocating to Singapore, you will need to start planning how to ship your belongings to the Lion City.

That’s why you need to understand that the price of shipping your parcels or belongings to Singapore depends on the size or weight of the item, the means of shipping (air or sea), the city you are shipping from, and the shipping company you are utilizing.

But when all things are equal, the average cost of shipping a package from the US to Singapore via air is $12.45.

While making plans of shipping your package or belongings to Singapore, it is essential to remember that narcotics, radioactive materials, poison, explosives, firearms, amongst others, cannot be shipped to Singapore. So, get the right shipping company that suits your needs and get your stuff safely!

Visa For Moving to Singapore

Obtaining a visa to Singapore is the first thing that assures you of a safe and successful move to the Lion City. However, the type of visa you apply for indirectly says what your purpose of moving to Singapore is.

There are several visas in Singapore, which include the Singapore work visa, entrepass, S-pass, Employment pass, Singapore student pass, and Personified Employment Pass (PEP). Ensure you apply for the right one that suits your needs to stay on the right track.

If you’re more concerned about how long it’ll take to apply for a Singaporean visa, you should know that applying for a Singaporean visa may likely take up to three days (the entry date is excluded).

However, it is noteworthy to remember that not getting all the required documents before your application may stall your time, and ultimately, disrupt your plans of moving to Singapore.

Job Market

The job market in Singapore is steady and booming because of its free-market economy. So, what does this mean for you?

It means more job opportunities in the Lion City! Getting jobs in Singapore is easy because everyone speaks English, and the jobs come with good salaries. But if you are worried about what a reasonable salary is, you should know that good pay in Singapore is usually between 4000 USD and 6000 USD monthly, depending on the job and your level of education and skill.

If you wish to be paid higher, you’d need to have a high-demanded skill or be doing a popular job. But what jobs are popular in Singapore? Here are seven popular jobs for you in the Lion City.

  • Investment banking director.
  • Head of sales.
  • Data scientist.
  • Customer service executives.
  • Cybersecurity specialist.
  • General Counsel.

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Healthcare System

One beautiful thing about moving to Singapore is that you will be receiving better treatment than you were in the US.

Can you even compare the healthcare system that ranked 6th best in the world to the one that’s 37th in the world?

It’s incomparable because the healthcare system in Singapore is considered one of the most efficient in the world; hence it is good in terms of standards. But what kind of healthcare system does Singapore have?

Singapore has a universal healthcare system because most things are subsidized and affordable to citizens. Also, private and public healthcare all conform to the rules of the government, which makes things even better and cheaper.

However, expats have to face more expensive healthcare by mandatorily sticking to expat health insurance. All the same, the tax-funded public healthcare isn’t free as well, so there isn’t any problem.

Singapore Tax System

Taxes in the Lion City, when compared to most countries, are relatively low. Singapore, like most countries, places a tax on income earned in the country as well as income earned outside the country through work done on behalf of the Singaporean government.

So this means that anyone who works or makes a living in Singapore or on her behalf must pay taxes unless they are legally let off by the Income Tax Act.

For nonresidents, taxes are usually 15% of your employment income, and they must be paid to avoid penalty.

If taxes are left unpaid, it attracts a 5% late payment penalty, and this penalty could be more severe if the tax is left unpaid for sixty days. In that case, a 1% monthly penalty will be added for each month the tax is left unpaid. So, to avoid this, pay your taxes on time. 

Singapore Climate

The climate in Singapore is tropical due to its closeness to the equator. There is bountiful rainfall, warmness, high and unvaried temperature, and humidity throughout the year.

The weather or seasons in Singapore are not easily distinguished by monthly variation, but humidity is constant.

However, as you are accustomed to, it doesn’t snow in Singapore; at least there hasn’t been any report of snow. So you will have to leave “dashing through the snow” out when singing jingle bells at Christmas. But as an American moving to Singapore, there’s a big possibility that you’d like to visit or move to this Southeast Asian country when the weather is favorable.

So, the best months to visit Singapore are between December and June because of all the sunlight, Chinese New Year, and beach activities.

But if you wish to avoid the sea is of people visiting Singapore, the best month to come is between July and November.

House Prices in Singapore

According to Statista, Singapore has the third most expensive housing market in 2021. This high cost of property and houses is caused by the rush of investors and foreigners into the Lion City.

This rush, inadvertently, causes an increased demand for properties and houses; it is this high demand that instigated the increased cost of houses in Singapore. Nonetheless, the average cost of a house in Singapore is  $1,567,729.

However, despite the increased cost of houses, foreigners can buy properties as long as they are private. Also, they will need the government’s consent to purchase bungalows and other landed properties; that is why foreigners in Singapore can only buy Executive Condominiums with a minimum age of ten years.

So, you can still afford a get your apartment regardless of how costly it may be; all that is needed is to purchase property in the less expensive areas. 

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Singapore’s Culture

Despite being a diverse country filled with people from different cultures, religions, and languages, Singapore is a stern believer in the principles of the “Singapore Dream.” The notion of meritocracy (the Singapore Dream), as the culture of the Lion City, is what raised Singapore, a young Southeast Asian country, to become one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

Meritocracy, simply being the culture or belief that people should get rewarded based on their efforts rather than their race or social and economic status, has helped Singapore economically and politically. 

It has also comforted foreigners moving to Singapore because they know how much they would be ‘judged’ by their efforts rather than their race or country.

However, regardless of how good this culture may be, it has been widely criticized because not all efforts can be judged, determined, and rewarded fairly. Thus, there is always a judge to weigh or measure rewards, which may be immeasurable.

Education System in Singapore

Studying in the country that ranked 19th best in the world for education could offer you a reasonably good education because most schools in Singapore not only focus on teaching the subject or course but also passing down problem-solving skills that would help you conquer the troubles of the world.

When this problem-solving skill is put into use, Singapore becomes 2020 Forbes’ 9th smartest city in the world.

The educational system is not entirely free because a few affordable payments are sometimes required. However, this little privilege is only given to nationals as international students have to pay for everything.

In the Lion City, public education is offered by the ministry of education, and it guarantees compulsory education from kindergarten through secondary school.

With public and private education, students and parents are left with two beautiful choices. This way, students in Singapore, for study purposes, can make good use of the options available to them.

Conclusion

Moving to Singapore has a lot of economic and educational benefits for you. This article was meant to enlighten you about the cost of living, shipping costs, healthcare system, and educational system to get you ready for what is to come. Don’t forget about the admirable pleasures and beauties of this lovely country; get the right documents, obtain your visa, and move swiftly. Singapore has the keys to the locked doors of opportunities in your life!

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