Global Investor Programme: Change And Revision
Global Investor Programme: Updated Amendments
Singapore’s business-friendly policies, attractive taxation system, favourable immigration policies, and political stability have long earned it a reputation as a global hub for businesses worldwide. For this reason, the Singapore Global Investor Programme (GIP) was created for some wealthy and keen foreign investors, business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs interested in establishing a business in Singapore and wanting to make this city-state their home.
More recently, many countries around the world have been competing for the attention of top-tier investors and business owners. The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) has made some changes to the GIP to increase support for the country’s startup ecosystem, create more good jobs for Singaporeans, and draw the right people to impact Singapore significantly.
Suggested Read: Why Foreigners Prefer To Set Up Companies In Singapore
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What is Global Investor Programme (GIP)?
The GIP, introduced in 2004, is a fast-track permanent residence programme in Singapore that allows a foreign investor to earn permanent residency. This scheme is exclusive to overseas investors and business owners who meet the minimum requirements for its eligibility. With the GIP scheme, eligible and high-calibre foreign investors may apply for Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) status for themselves and their families under one of three options described in this article.
Recommended Read: Do You Know There Is A New Type Of Singapore Work Visa Launched In 2023?
What are the benefits of the Singapore Global Investor Programme?
The Global Investor Programme (GIP) provides a range of benefits to investors who are interested in exploring business opportunities in Singapore. These benefits include permanent residency, access to business opportunities, education and healthcare benefits, ease of doing business, and tax benefits. Some of the benefits of the Global Investor Programme (GIP) are:
- Permanent residency in Singapore: The GIP offers the opportunity for qualified investors and their immediate family members to obtain permanent residency status in Singapore. This gives the investors and their families the advantages of working and living in a country that is safe, secure, and with lots of opportunities.
- Access to business opportunities: Through the GIP, investors have the opportunity to explore and invest in business opportunities in Singapore. Singapore is a hub for finance, technology, and innovation, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors.
- Education and healthcare benefits: Singapore is known for its world-class education and healthcare systems. Permanent residents in Singapore are eligible to enrol their children in public schools and enjoy subsidized healthcare services.
- Ease of doing business: Singapore is consistently ranked as one of the world’s business-friendliest cities. The country has a transparent legal system, low corruption rates, and a pro-business environment that makes it easy for investors to set up and operate their businesses.
- Tax benefits: Singapore offers a competitive tax system that includes incentives for businesses. Investors who meet the eligibility criteria of the GIP can also enjoy tax benefits.
Overall, the GIP provides a range of benefits to investors who are interested in exploring business opportunities in Singapore. These benefits include permanent residency, access to business opportunities, education and healthcare benefits, ease of doing business, and tax benefits.
Eligible business sectors for Global Investor Programme (GIP)
Under the GIP, you can make business investments in the following industries. Do note that the approved sectors in this list are subject to change by the relevant authorities from time to time.
- Aerospace Engineering
- Alternative Energy/ Clean Energy
- Consumer Businesses
- Engineering Services
- Infocomm Products & Services
- Logistics & Supply Chain Management
- Marine & Offshore Engineering
- Medical Technology
- Natural Resources
- Safety & Security
- Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
- Precision Engineering
- Professional Services
- Arts Businesses
- Sports Businesses
Revised Global Investment Programme (GIP)
The changes to the GIP came in just at the right time as the competition for investments around the world is heating up. Before 15 March 2023, foreign (investing) individuals must put S$2.5 million in a startup or existing company. Or a new/existing Single-Family Office (SFO) based in Singapore with at least S$200 million in assets of the GIP fund. But, starting on 15 March this year, applicants will need to put at least $10 million into a brand-new or current company or S$25 million into a GIP fund that has been approved. As part of the requirement for renewing their re-entry permits, they will also need to continue investing in Singapore or hire more locals.
To be eligible for Option A, investors must show that they have invested at least S$10 million (including paid-up capital) in a Singapore-based company (whether new or existing businesses). In addition, they have to hire at least 30 staff, of whom at least half must be Singaporeans, and 10 must be new hires to qualify for the Re-entry Permit Renewal after the initial five-year period.
To be eligible for Option B, investors must invest S$25 million in a GIP-select Fund, which will be subjected to the approval of EDB based on a strict evaluation of track record, investment mandate, and sectoral focus.
To be eligible for Option C, applicants must establish a Single-Family Office (SFO) in Singapore with Assets-Under-Management (AUM) of at least S$200 million, of which at least S$50 million must be invested in one of the following four types of investments:
- Companies listed on exchanges authorised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), such as the SGX Mainboard and Catalist;
- Qualifying debt securities, such as bonds, notes, commercial papers, and certificates of deposit, listed on the MAS Qualifying Debt Securities Enquiry System;
- Funds distributed by Singapore-licensed managers listed on the MAS Financial Institutions Directory;
- Private equity investment into non-listed, Singapore-based companies.
Global Investor Programme At A Glance
|Investment Option||Type Of Conditions||Old Conditions||Existing New Conditions|
|Option 1||Investment Conditions||Upon Approval-In-Principle (AIP), invest S$2.5 million in a new or existing business entity in Singapore.||Upon approval of AIP, show an investment in a new or existing business entity in Singapore of at least S$10 million (including paid-up capital).|
|Re-entry Permit (REP) Renewal Conditions||Employ at least 10 people, at least five of whom must be Singaporean Citizens (SCs), and incur an annual total business expenditure of $2 million on Total Business Expenditure (TBE) by the fifth year after obtaining permanent residency (PR) status.||Employ not less than 30 employees by the fifth year after obtaining permanent residency (PR) status, of which at least half of the hire must be SCs and a minimum of 10 SCs for the incremental hires.|
|Option 2||Investment Conditions||Upon AIP, invest S$2.5 million in the GIP fund and put at least 50% of it in Singapore-based businesses.||Put S$25 million investment in a GIP-select fund that invests in Singapore-based businesses.|
|Re-entry Permit (REP) Renewal Conditions||Employ no lesser than 10 employees at an incremental rate, with at least 5 of whom must be SCs, and incur S$2 million on TBE by the fifth year after obtaining PR status.||Maintain the amount of investment in the GIP-select fund.|
|Option 3||Investment Conditions||Upon AIP, invest S$2.5 million in a new or existing Single Family Office (SFO) in Singapore, with Assets-Under-Management (AUM) of at least S$200 million, of which at least S$50 million must be held in Singapore.||Establish a Singapore-based SFO with at least S$200 million in AUM, at least S$50 million of which has been moved into Singapore upon AIP. Within a year after the date of the Final Approval letter, this S$50 million must be invested in one of the following four investment categories:|
|1. Businesses or companies that are listed on exchanges licensed by the MAS;|
|2. Qualifying Debt Securities Enquiry System by MAS;|
|3. Funds distributed by managers registered or licenced in Singapore;|
|4. Private equity investment in non-listed Singapore-based companies.|
|Re-entry Permit (REP) Renewal Conditions||Employ no less than ten employees, at least 5 of whom must be SCs, and incur TBE of S$2 million by the fifth year after obtaining PR status.||Maintain a minimum of S$50 million in AUM within the period of the 5-year PR status across any of the four investment categories, and employ at least 5 additional Family Office employees by the fifth year after obtaining the PR status, of which at least 3 must be SCs.|
Now that the bar has been raised in the Global Investor Programme, it will be more challenging for some foreign investors who want to move to Singapore. At APacTrust, we recognize this hurdle, and depending on the objectives and structure, we can look at other simpler options for moving your investment and business into Singapore.
Over the years, we have been helping people across the world to set up companies here and applying visas for work and investment. Feel free to call us for a free consultation if this article interests you.