What You Do Not Know About Moving From London To Singapore
Sometimes, great things come in small packages. That is what’s in store for anyone that’s moving to Singapore. The city-state has a total area of only 728 sq. km. But within its borders is a vibrant business and financial centre that frequently tops lists of the world’s most desirable places to live.
If you have plans to move from London to Singapore, let us guide you on what you need to know for this exciting relocation.
1. Secure An Employment Pass If You Plan On Staying Long Term
If you are coming from London, you may enter Singapore for a set number of days without a visa. As long as you comply with entry requirements such as filing an SG Arrival Card. However, if you plan to stay in Singapore long term, you will need to apply for a work pass.
Multiple variations of the work pass are available depending on the nature of your work. Work passes can fall into the category of professionals, skilled, semi-skilled, and event students. A complete list of the available employment passes is on the Ministry of Manpower website.
Depending on your experience, you will apply for either an Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, or Training Employment Pass. Each of these passes has its skill requirements, as mentioned above, and a minimum earning requirement.
The type of pass will also inform how long you will be allowed to stay in Singapore. The EP will allow you to stay anywhere between two to five years and must be applied for by your employer.
You need to understand that a visa is not an employment pass. A Visa only permits entry. The employment pass is necessary to be able to work.
On top of the employment pass, you will also be able to apply for a Dependent pass for your spouse or children.
2. Prices Can Get High In Singapore; Open Up A Bank Account And Budget Your Finances
Having a bank account is important to properly keep track of your finances and ensure your money is safe.
The easiest way to open up a bank account is by going online. Much of the country is very digitised, so you won’t have any issues filling out forms, uploading documents, and opening up an account online.
Some larger banks even have the option of opening an overseas bank account. This will be especially helpful if you still have funds from your original London bank account. You may now transfer funds to and fro, thus eliminating any difficulties with your finances.
If you plan on opening a new bank account in Singapore, be sure you have all the necessary documents. This may include your passport, work permit, proof of address, and sometimes a letter of reference.
Of course, each bank has its own set of requirements, and some may be more lenient than the next. Try to look up a few banks and see if you are able to meet their requirements before proceeding.
Once you are set, everything should go on smoothly. If you need cash, ATMs are readily available. Most belong to the M1 network that uses MasterCard International Inc.’s Maestro system.
Credit and Debit cards are also widely accepted, with popular brands like Visa and American Express being fairly common.
3. You Might Experience A Change In Climate, So Prepare For A Wardrobe Overhaul
Singapore sits very close to the equator of the Earth and has a tropical climate. Characterised by several rainy days throughout the year, lots of humidity, and high but consistent temperatures.
Throughout the year, temperatures in Singapore only see a maximum low of 19°C and a maximum high of 36°C. Singapore also sees an average humidity of 84% and about 170 days of rain throughout the year.
This might be a stark difference from the temperatures you are used to in London. Temperatures there can go as low as 4°C between December and February, while the average for the warmer months from May to September only goes up to 23°C.
Also, whether you are a fan of the cold blanket of snow that winter brings, you’ll have to say goodbye to that (and the thick winter coats) once you relocate to Singapore.
4. Communication Won’t Be An Issue, But Learning Singlish Will Help You With The Locals
The official languages of Singapore are English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. It is estimated that almost half of the country speaks English. In fact, according to the EF English Proficiency Index, Singapore comes in 2nd with a very high proficiency index.
This means that it will not be a problem for you to communicate with anyone, and you won’t have to suffer from any communication barrier.
However, you might notice something peculiar once you arrive. To a foreigner’s ear, it may sound like they are speaking broken English, but you are actually hearing the weird, yet wonderful, English-based creole, Singlish.
Thanks to the years of language mixing, the independence of Singapore, and the rise of English as the main tool for communication, Singlish was formed on the streets. Filled with borrowed words, a unique syntax and cadence, as well as a slew of modifiers at the end of sentences that shape the meaning and intent of the speaker.
Try to look up a few Singlish lessons, and you’ll be able to better communicate with the locals and earn a little bit of street cred.
Image Credit: BusinessBecause
5. Whether For You Or Your Kids, Education In Singapore Is Top Notch
If you have any plans of pursuing higher education or learning something new for a career change, maybe you’re planning for a family. Whatever the reason may be, getting a quality education is surely on your mind. No need to worry, the quality of education in Singapore is one of the best in the world.
In a study published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in its Programme for International Student Survey (PISA), Singapore has repeatedly placed in the top five for educational outcomes.
Singapore is also home to several international schools that follow the British curriculum, such as Dover Court International School, St Francis Methodist School, Dulwich College, Tanglin Trust School,
Hollandse School, and more. These international schools are also open to all nationalities.
6. Driving On The Left-Side And Public Transportation
Thanks to its history with the United Kingdom, Singapore drives on the left side of the road. This will be a relief since you won’t need to readjust your brain when driving.
However, you should note that in Singapore, the government has started a program that limits the use of private vehicles. If you wish to own a car, you will need a Certificate of Entitlement.
The certificate allows you to operate a vehicle for 10 years. This incentivises people to use public transport and thus lessens traffic and road congestion. But that’s not something to fret about. The public transportation in Singapore, the mass rapid transit, buses, or taxis, are excellent, clean, efficient, and very affordable.
For more information on driving in Singapore, there’s a comprehensive guide provided by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for it, read more about it here.
7. Singapore’s Healthcare Is Excellent, But It’s You Might Need to Shell Out A Few Dollars
Like other things on this list, Singapore’s healthcare is also top-notch. However, it is only freely available to citizens and permanent residents. Thanks to government subsidies, MediShield Life caters to millions of people throughout the country, providing excellent care.
For someone who only has a working permit, the availability of healthcare will depend on a few things.
If you possess an S-pass, the Singapore government has mandated that your employer will be the one to pay for your healthcare. An S-pass, after all, has a lower income requirement. This is something that the government set so as to assist those with lower income with company-provided healthcare.
However, for those with an E-pass, the minimum required income is at least 5,000 SGD. It is not mandated that the company you work for provides you with healthcare. This will be something that you have to pay out of pocket and avail of a private healthcare provider.
8. Be Sure To Get A Quote On Moving Costs
Based on the most recent prices, freight costs from London to Singapore will range anywhere from 1,7 00 SGD to 2,500 SGD, depending on the size of the freight. The prices of moving will most likely increase when you factor in other fees and permits that you will need to comply with before the relocation.
On average, the complete cost of moving can go as high as 5,800 SGD. That is why planning ahead, looking for the right company, and asking for a quote on the whole moving process is important so you can stay on budget.
Image Credit: Honeycombers
9. Expat Communities Make Things Less Lonely
It is estimated that more than 30% of the population of Singapore is from foreign countries. What is more, local Singaporeans are already a mix of different cultures. This is why Singapore is considered a melting pot of diversity.
For someone new to a country, it will be easy for you to feel left out or lonely. But you shouldn’t feel that way. There are several groups available that are there to help you overcome culture shock.
Expat communities are available everywhere if you look. Most easily, you can find them online. They usually have events, or gatherings, where people can meet and get together. Getting to know people in the same boat as you and making new connections is an excellent way to not feel so lonely and begin to look at Singapore as your new home.
10. Professional Movers Can Make The Relocation Experience So Much Better
We know that moving has psychological effects on a person; it can get lonely, people get anxious, and you may get stressed. That’s why you really need a partner that can take a load off, especially with the heavy lifting.
Engaging with professionals like Sanelo will improve the whole experience whether you want a local or international move.
You won’t need to worry about carrying your luggage around and can just focus on relaxing and enjoying your travel. With Sanelo’s shipment protection services, your belongings are also protected, and you will literally have nothing to worry about.
Conclusion On Moving To Singapore From London
Singapore might be small, but it packs quite a punch. From world-class education and healthcare to diverse and welcoming communities, there is something for everyone in the Lion City.
The economy of Singapore is one of the strongest in the world, and you will have lots of growth opportunities. You’ll also be treated to beautiful yet very modern amenities such as shopping malls throughout the city and a food scene that is one of the best in the world!
Still not convinced? If you want to read up about other places you may relocate to, check out our guides on moving to Pearl City, Aurora, Hilo, or Juneau.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Singapore From London
Is Singapore Expensive To Live In?
Yes. Singapore can be expensive. It is estimated that a single person’s monthly cost is about 1,500 SGD, while a family of four will need at least 5,350 SGD before rental costs.
Do You Need A Job To Move To Singapore?
Yes. A person may enter Singapore without a job for a pre-set number of days and temporary accommodation, depending on the passport you are holding. However, a job or employment pass is necessary to actually move to Singapore and stay long-term.
Is Singapore Popular For Expats?
Yes. Singapore is a very diverse country and is a very popular destination in the world for many expats. In fact, it is estimated that almost a third of the country’s population are foreign nationals.
Can Sanelo Help With Relocating To Singapore?
Yes. If you call or email Sanelo on the details provided on the website, a representative will be glad to assist you through the process.