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Response to “Covid-19 travel restrictions affecting PR extension” (The Straits Times, 3 October 2020)

The Straits Times
12 October 2020


                 We refer to the letter, “Covid-19 travel restrictions affecting PR extension” by Mr Richard Faure-Field on 3 October 2020.

2.               A valid Re-Entry Permit (REP) allows a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) to retain his/her permanent residence status when travelling out of Singapore. A SPR who leaves Singapore or remains overseas without a valid REP will lose his/her permanent residence  status.

3.               ICA takes into consideration the circumstances of each SPR in making a decision on the renewal of the REP. These circumstances include whether the SPR is gainfully employed and still contributing to Singapore, and has family roots here. For SPRs who have retired, we will generally renew their REP, in recognition of their past contributions to Singapore.

4.               If a SPR has a prolonged period of absence from Singapore, his/her REP may be renewed for a shorter duration, or even not at all. In Mr Faure-Field’s case, his last visit to Singapore was in 2014. His absence is therefore not because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Nonetheless, ICA had taken into consideration the fact that his wife still holds valid permanent residence status, and granted him a 1-year REP.


Patrick Ong
Head, Public Communications & Protocol
Corporate Communications & Service Division
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

<Original letter>

The Straits Times
3 October 2020

Forum: Covid-19 travel restrictions affecting PR extension

I have been a Singapore permanent resident (PR) for 30 years. After working and contributing to the Singapore economy for many years, I now live overseas.

I have always been able to get a five-year re-entry permit, but now have been offered only one year.

The reason I was given is that I have not been back to Singapore for a few years.

I replied to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority that I had booked a trip to Singapore for August and last month but, due to Covid-19, all outgoing travel was banned.

This rule still stands, and is not something I can control.


Richard Faure-Field