Foreigners thinking of applying for Singapore citizenship will soon be able to assess their chances online.
Singapore's immigration and checkpoints authority (ICA) will Thursday launch a free self-assessment online tool. It will allow foreigners working or living here to check their eligibility based on personal information such as type of work pass held, occupation, nationality, educational qualifications and annual income, according to Todayonline newspaper.
The ICA is hopeful that the new online initiative will improve the approval rate. Last year, the agency approved 58,200 and 13,900 applications for permanent residency and citizenship status respectively.
"The online form takes about five minutes to fill and results are given instantaneously," said Clara Tan, ICA's head of naturalisation.
Under the present system, an applicant for permanent resident status has to wait at least three months for a result. A candidate has to submit the forms in person and sit for an interview, during which he or she will be told of their chances of success. To go ahead, he or she then pays a $90 processing fee, with a six-month wait for the result.