Parliamentary reply by DPM Teo Chee Hean on trend in number of permanent residences and Singapore citizenships granted
TWELFTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2012
Ms Tan Su Shan:
To ask the Prime Minister with the tightening in the grant of permanent residence and Singapore citizenship since 2008, what is the quantitative trend going forward and whether the same levels of decline can be expected as have been witnessed in the last three years.
Mr Teo Chee Hean (for the Prime Minister):
Since the tightening of our immigration framework in late 2009, the number of new permanent residents (PRs) has decreased from an average of 58,000 per year from 2004 to 2008, to 28,500 per year from 2010 onwards. The number of new Singapore citizens (SCs) has remained relatively stable at an average of 18,500 per year in the last five years. Fewer SCs were granted last year because of the introduction of the Singapore Citizenship Journey, which has lengthened the time taken for applicants to be granted citizenship by about two months.
The number of PRs and SCs granted in any given year depends on a combination of factors, including the number of applications received as well as the calibre and profile of applicants, such as their economic contributions, age, family profile and length of stay in Singapore. These are factors which are considered under the Government’s immigration framework, to holistically assess applicants’ ability to contribute, integrate well into society and their commitment to sinking roots.
We will continue to calibrate the immigration framework to address our population challenges and constraints. As part of the ongoing review and public engagement on population issues, we are reviewing the number of immigrants Singapore takes in.