Expat’s Guide to Living In Singapore

Expat’s Guide to Living In Singapore

Singapore may be a small city-state; however, it is bursting at the seams with experiences, adventure and places to explore.

The City of Lions is known worldwide for its stunning architecture, year-round summer and its title of greenest city in Asia.

It’s no wonder that so many expats decide to take the leap and move here every year. So, to help you transition a little easier, here is an expat’s guide to living in Singapore:

Language Barrier?

Good news! English is the main working language. This being said, it’s always good to learn the local lingo.

The second biggest language group in Singapore is Mandarin, so if you know or want to learn Mandarin, it could be very beneficial to you whilst living in Singapore.

To top it all off, with 42% of the population being foreigners, racism here is not often heard of at all.


Singapore has a lot of foreign nationals residing here for work. This has resulted in an amazing diversity of food, sprouting up throughout Singapore.

Whilst it may be difficult to source every single ingredient from your family’s 200-year-old beef casserole recipe, it’s relatively easy to find home comforts like a Sunday Roast.

BUT, it is an absolute must to try out the local food. With so many to try, it will pay off to ask the waiter or your new Singaporean friends what to go for first.

Keep Singapore Clean

Singapore is renown for its clean streets. The inhabitants of Singapore are very conscientious towards their effect on the environment, with the Keep Singapore Clean campaign starting over 50 years ago.

For anyone who is caught littering, there is a minimum of a S$300 fine. So, when moving to Singapore, change your habits and stop littering. If you don’t litter already, then good on you.

Track Your Expenses

Live and work in Singapore for ten years, and you could be a millionaire.

Over a half of wealthy Singaporeans accumulated the majority of their wealth within the first ten years of living there.

Over 8.8% of the world’s millionaires reside here, and the tax system definitely plays a part in this figure.

With a progressive tax system, you are charged different rates depending on what you earn. If ou earn S$20,000, you are not taxed.

Earn over S$320,000 (£187,000) a year? You will be taxed…. At 22%! This tax system means that you will be seeing far more of your salary than you’ve ever seen before.

Travel in Luxury

The roads in Singapore are perfect for driving due to their excellent condition, sadly not all can afford the price to experience this luxury.

Purchasing a car in Singapore is an expensive choice. Due to extra fees when purchasing cars, the price is ridiculous when compared with its European counteroffer.

This being said, the public transportation is amazing and well-priced. It is bound to get you anywhere on time and doesn’t suffer the regular cancellations that the trainlines in the UK see.


As previously mentioned, Singapore’s population consists of a large number of foreigners from all around the world.

This odd mixture of culture and diversity has led to the creation of a people, who are very accepting of diversity.

When you move here, make sure to engage with anyone and everyone. Talking to inhabitants of Singapore will allow you to learn a lot about your local area and the best spots in the city for food, nightlife, shopping and the like.

Obtaining Permits

Moving to Singapore does require some official documentation. It’s a given.

The good news? It’s incredibly easy to obtain a work/residence permit. Once you’ve secured your job, all you need to do is click a few things on the government website and you’ll know the outcome within a day.

If you’re looking to move permanently, then a permanent residence status is required. If you have lived and worked in Singapore for a year, then you can apply for this.

This can all be done online, and without the need for physical paperwork. The only downside is that it can take up to 6 months for status to be processed.

Holiday Planning

Being in a new part of the world means your now have new neighbours.

Instead of France, you have Krabi. Instead of Spain, you have the stunning destination of Bali. Not to mention, you now have a haven of escapes just to the north of the Malaysia, such as Vietnam and Cambodia.

With a new corner of the world comes new exploration. Spend your time wisely and don’t miss a thing. After all, the world is too big to leave anything unexplored.

Moving to the City of Lions?

Hopefully this expat’s guide to living In Singapore has been helpful, before moving to Singapore. Now it’s time to figure out how to get there.

Over the years, White & Company has positioned itself as the international removals firm of choice for all Removals to Asia.

Our experience is second to none. As members of BAR, FIDI and OMNI, White & Company have been relocating people to destinations all over Asia and to other countries worldwide for 145 years.

Our experienced teams located across the UK will pack and prepare your valuable, fragile and bulky furniture ready for export.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move to the Singapore underway, don’t hesitate to give us call today. Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or chat to our Bot and we’ll get in touch with you straight away.

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