Singapore Expats

Leaving Singapore temporarily

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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Joined: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 1:47 pm

Leaving Singapore temporarily

Post by thomo » Mon, 01 Jun 2009 3:02 pm


I am a PR and was recently made redundant. I've been actively looking for a new position for the past 5months but finding that "standing still" in Singapore is very expensive. (and not getting much sympathy from our landlord either).

As a PR, can we temporarily leave Singapore and return in a year when the market picks up again. We still have about 3 years on our PR. Can we continue to pay our tax monthly (Giro) as we have been doing or do we need to settle the whole tax bill. Is there any govt dept that we need to notify?

I was wondering if there is anyone on the forum who has/is going through the same experience that would share what they've learnt (or share any useful URLs they've found)

Many thanks

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Post by littlegreenman » Mon, 01 Jun 2009 3:46 pm

Hi there,

sorry to hear you got made redundant. A mate of mine was in the same situation a couple of months ago and has now moved back to Perth to stay there until things pick up. It is definitely possible to leave the country for a while and if you have three years left on your re-entry permit you shouldn't have any trouble getting back in, within the next two years (I wouldn't wait until the last day). Keep in mind that you can be a PR without re-entry permit. You can stay on your blue IC in Singapore all your life. The re-entry permit just means you don't lose your status when leaving the country (at least this is how it used to be a couple of years ago).

One thing you will need though is a Singapore address where you can register under so CPF etc can send your mail there (time to ask a favour from friends). Unfortunately I am not sure about the tax bit, but I doubt you would have to pay lump sum because the government won't know you're leaving for a longer period. As far as they are concerned you're just getting on an aircraft like you would if you had a two week holiday, no?

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Post by jpatokal » Tue, 02 Jun 2009 10:14 am

As long as you're planning on coming back to Singapore and don't intend to withdraw your CPF, you're in the clear -- just keep the tax GIRO running and make sure the bank account has enough to cover it. But you'll want to come back to Sing and find a job at the latest around 6-12 months before your REP expires if you want to hang on to that PR...
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

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