Singapore has always prided itself on preserving harmony within its multicultural society. With people from various backgrounds living and working in Singapore, everyone plays a crucial role in maintaining this sense of togetherness – including expats!
Even though social integration is not explicitly stated as a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) requirement, applicants who have demonstrated that they can blend seamlessly into the community often stand a better chance of getting their PR status approved.
So herein lies the crucial question: how can expats achieve this goal? If you are a foreigner keen on becoming a Singapore PR, read on to learn how you can better integrate into Singapore’s society.
1. Make friends with Singaporeans
It is natural to feel homesick after travelling hundreds and thousands of miles from your homeland. During these moments, you may wish to seek comfort by surrounding yourselves with elements of your country in terms of food, culture, and even people. However, forging supportive and genuine friendships with Singaporeans can enrich your life significant and provide you with a sense of belonging in Singapore.
You can start by mingling with your colleagues or neighbours. A simple ‘hello and good morning’ can be a great conversation starter, allowing you to segue into other topics like interests and hobbies. Who knows? You might even share the same preferences as your colleagues or neighbours.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can try out the Human Library SG initiative. As its name implies, you ‘borrow’ a person and listen to their stories first-hand. This is an excellent way to break down social barriers and expose yourself to different people, languages, and lifestyles. These experiences can have tangible and intangible benefits to your life in Singapore, including your PR application.
2. Indulge in the local’s favourite past-time
Singaporeans are renowned foodies – the long lines gathering around popular food establishments are a testament to this fact. There is no denying that eating is a significant part of Singapore culture. In fact, we take great pride in our local dishes, which reflect our diverse society.
We recommend keeping an open mind when exploring these local cuisines with your newfound friends. You may even find a local delicacy that catches your fancy. Additionally, you are not just indulging in food but also immersing yourself in the nation’s history and culture. But this need not be a one-way street; you can also share some of your home delicacies with your friends! After all, nothing beats bonding over good food!
3. Volunteer your time
Volunteerism is often described as a tonic for the soul. Sure! Helping the poor and needy undoubtedly makes you feel good about yourself. However, there are other perks to doing volunteering work, including forming friendships with other volunteers who share similar interests.
Moreover, volunteering is an excellent opportunity for you to understand the cultural differences in Singapore and learn to work with different groups of people. This can help you navigate cultural differences at work or in your day-to-day life.
Some organisations even provide a testimonial of service upon request, which can benefit your PR application. But this does not mean you should only volunteer when you have something to gain. You should be sincere in your endeavours. Adorning your PR application with multiple testimonials may even have an adverse effect if the approving officer believes you are only doing this to boost your chances of approval.
Singapore is a melting pot of races and cultures. So if you wish to become a PR, you must demonstrate that you can integrate well into society. Moreover, it is vital to understand that integration is a continuous process, not a one-time endeavour. However, rest assured that everyone has a crucial role in the community, and any effort on your part is greatly appreciated. All you need to do is take the first step.
As you step out of your comfort zone and try to integrate into the local fabric of society, you should also not neglect to prepare for your PR application. We recommend that you work with an experienced PR application agency, especially if you are unsure how to apply for PR in Singapore.
At Singapore Immigration Partners, we have worked with numerous expats on their PR applications. Therefore, our team is familiar with the process and can guide you on the common mistakes to avoid when applying for Singapore PR. Do not hesitate to contact us today to learn how we can help you!