Thanks to the continuous development of the global community, countries and their people have grown closer and closer together. Travelling between countries is more common, cultures mix, communities become more diverse, and opportunities are open for everyone.
This is something that holds very true for Singapore. A city-state that is only about 733 square kilometres but is one of the top go-to destinations for tourists and expats in the world looking for new opportunities.
If you are from Thailand and looking to move to Singapore, this guide is for you. Whether you are searching for new career possibilities, a new break in your business, or a retiree in search of a place of comfort, Singapore has all of these and more.
Moving to Singapore from Thailand is an adventure waiting to happen, but there are a few things you should take note of. In this guide, we’ll talk about what you need to get into Singapore. The differences in culture, climate, and costs. And what you should expect from your new life. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!
1. Apply For The Right Employment Pass
First off, a person who holds a Thai passport may enter Singapore without a visa. But that will only last you 30 days. If you wish to relocate, getting a working visa or employment pass is the way to go.
There are a few types of work visas available, but for this guide, we’ll focus on the most common.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, the S Pass is for mid-level workers who earn at least 3,000 SGD a month. This will be great for people who are just starting off their careers, such as fresh graduates or those with less experience.
If you’ve been building your career in Thailand and have accumulated years of experience, then the Employment Pass will be the one for you. The target of the Employment pass is professionals, managers and executives.
Given the experience and skill level, a foreign worker in this class should earn at least 5,000 SGD a month. Usually, your employer or a representative thereof will be the ones to process this for you. Initially, you will be allowed to stay in Singapore for 2 years, and if renewed, you can stay for another 3 years.
If you have a mind for business and wish to take that business into Singapore, then the Entre Pass is your pass of choice. You may apply for this pass directly and, if granted, can stay in Singapore for a year, while subsequent renewals will allow you to stay for 2 more years.
Relocating isn’t easy, but before you can actually relocate, you will need to be able to enter the country. Having the correct documentation will be crucial to your extended stay and prosperity in Singapore.
2. Learn To Budget And Better Adjust To Singapore’s Cost Of Living
Regarding the cost of living, Singapore is often at the top of the list. In a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research and analysis division of the Economist Group, Singapore ranks as the most expensive city to live in eight times in the past few years.
Coming from Thailand, there might be a little adjustment when it comes to the cost of living you are used to. In 2022, 1 SGD equals 25.71 THB (Thai Bhat).
New expats usually have an issue with this, always converting the costs in their new place with the currency back at home. But that shouldn’t be the case as the pay rate, and quality of living aren’t direct parallels.
For instance, it will need a single individual 1,500 SGD (38,542 THB) to in Singapore for a month’s living expenses. In comparison, the monthly cost of living in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is 818.52 SGD (21,135 THB) a month. Both these numbers are before rental costs.
However, you will need to let go of the urge to automatically convert your Singapore Dollars to your currency back at home and compare how expensive it is. While it is true that the converted value is high in Thai Baht, the pay in Singapore will also be adjusted to match the cost of living.
Cost is relative. That’s something that you will need to accept so you can better budget your finances.
3. Look Into The Price Of Housing And Choose The Place That’s Right For You
Food, groceries, household goods, and other utilities will be easy to manage. The most significant factor that will affect your budget will be your rent. Depending on which neighbourhood you will live in, the space you will rent, and in which building, this will drastically change the price.
As we’ve already talked about the cost of living, you’ll need an additional 2,000 to 5,000 SGD (51,389 to 12,8474 THB) to cover a one-bedroom apartment. If you are going to live with your family, a three-bedroom apartment will cost you at least 3,000 SGD all the way up to 12,000 SGD.
Thanks to its limited space, real estate in Singapore can get pretty high. If you are looking for some affordable places to live in, you should consider looking into the following:
- Bukit Panjang
- Choa Chu Kang
4. Singapore And Thailand’s Climate Is Pretty Similar, So You Won’t Have A Hard Time Adjusting
Both Singapore and Thailand have tropical climates. Characterised by predictable mild temperatures year-round, high humidity, and a lot of rainfall during the wet monsoon seasons.
Throughout the year, Thailand will receive about 47 to 63 inches of rain. You’ll need to be sure you always pack an umbrella as it receives about 167 days of rain each year, averaging 83 inches.
Singapore’s proximity to the equator results in a very consistent climate. Temperatures remain very predictable, with record lows never going below 19°C and record highs never going above 36°C.
5. Going To A Language Class Will Be Beneficial In The Long Run
In Thailand, the official language is Thai. For Singapore, it is English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. Since the two countries do not have an overlap in any of their official languages, you’ll need to default to the most widely used language; English. Proficiency in the language will be somewhat necessary for your success in Singapore.
According to the English Proficiency Index of 2020, Singapore ranks second in English proficiency, while Thailand ranks 97th. That’s a bit of a disparity. That’s why it will be prudent to take extra English lessons, perhaps even a tutor, to help you improve so you can better communicate.
You will also have to consider that once in Singapore, thanks to it being a go-to destination for so many foreign nationals, you will probably deal with people from other countries as well. Being able to communicate effectively will benefit you greatly.
6. Finding Your Way Around Public Transport Is A Must
Thailand is a huge country compared to Singapore. But, thanks to its relatively smaller size, the Singapore government has made its public transportation quite efficient and affordable.
About 40% of Singaporeans take the Mass Rapid Transit. One of the country’s primary means of public transport, the other being bus services. For someone new, it will be in your best interest to know how to find your way in the city, what to ride, and how to get to certain places.
Most trips will only cost you about 2.48 SGD (64.11 THB). For further convenience, you can purchase an EZ-link card which you can use to make payments. An added bonus is that some shops and stores also accept the card for payments.
This is important because private vehicles are heavily regulated in Singapore. If you wish to own a car, you must have a Certificate of Entitlement, which allows you to own a vehicle for 10 years. If you factor in the costs, the limited time of ownership, and the affordable public transport, you’ll probably weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
7. Make Use Of Singapore’s Superb Health Care
Though no one ever wants to get sick, the healthcare in Singapore is world-class. However, be sure that you are adequately covered.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents are covered by free healthcare provided by the government, called MediShield Life and is funded by taxes. However, this service is not given to those with a working visa.
For workers with an S-pass, the government has mandated that employers will provide their workers with private healthcare services. This is partly due to the lower pay rating that S-pass positions require. It can be thought of as a way for the employer to alleviate the employee’s burden to pay for private healthcare.
For those that have an E-pass, there is no such government mandate, and it is up to the employer if they will provide their employee with healthcare services or will the employee have to pay for it out of pocket. But considering the higher pay requirement for most E-pass holders, paying for healthcare out of pocket will be within their means.
8. Diversity Makes Singapore A Haven For Expats
Despite its small size, more than 5 million people live in Singapore today. This means that for every square kilometre, there are 7,617 people. Compared to Thailand’s 140 people/square kilometre, Singapore’s population density is the third highest in the world.
On top of that, almost a third of the country’s population are foreign nationals. This shows just how diverse the population is in Singapore. And with the people come their culture and their customs.
Places with a high diversity have shown to be more accepting of outsiders, open to progress, and easier for people to make connections and new communities.
For expats, this is especially helpful. You might find yourself lonely and succumbing to culture shock in the first few months of your stay. But you’ll be glad to know that several expat communities have events, gatherings, and activities you can join in on.
If that sounds too formal, you can visit local shops or restaurants that feature goods and serve food from another country and strike up a conversation. Try to open up and get your feet wet. You’ll see that there are a lot of people who are in the same boat as you. You can easily make new connections within your community, starting with a simple hello.
9. Prepare A Mover’s Checklist To Stay On Top Of Things
When relocating, it’s going to be so easy to get caught up in the business of things that things might fall through the cracks. You’ll need the requirements for your working visa and for your employment. You’ll need to keep in contact with your new landlord or real estate agent. You’ll need to decide what to bring to Singapore and what to leave behind, donate, or sell.
The list goes on. That’s why you must organise and make it more systematic.
In a mover’s checklist, you will categorise all the elements of the move, what needs to be accomplished, what’s the intended timeline, and the status. You can begin by using categories such as:
- Documents (Work visa, employment contracts, etc.)
- Packing (Boxes, tape, labels, etc.)
- Belongings (Sell, Donate, Throwaway)
- Contacts (Immigration, real estate agent, emergency contact)
You can add as many as you need. The important thing is that you update it diligently. If you stick to it, you’ll see that you will stay on top of the move and will not overlook anything.
10. Professional Movers Make All The Difference
To take it even one step further, you may engage with professional movers who can help you relocate. Sanelo has years of experience helping people relocate either locally or internationally. On such a momentous occasion, this is exactly what you need.
They provide excellent service that will take the load off of your shoulders, so you can enjoy your move stress-free. You won’t have to worry about carrying around your luggage as well as worrying about its safety during transit, thanks to Sanelo’s shipment protection services.
Just sit back, relax, enjoy your flight and leave the worrying to the professionals.
Conclusion On Moving To Singapore From Thailand
Deciding to move from one country to another is always a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But, if you plan on moving from Thailand to Singapore, you couldn’t have picked a better place.
Singapore is a dream destination for a lot of people. Not only does it have many opportunities for work, but it is also a melting pot for many people and their cultures. The city-state has excellent public services. Healthcare and transportation are excellent. The economy is one of the leaders in the region. And the neighbourhoods are very safe and have a very high quality of living.
Just be sure to secure all the necessary documents and permits, and you are well on your way to a new life with amazing opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Singapore From Thailand
How To Be A Permanent Resident In Singapore?
While there are other ways to be a Permanent Resident, for most workers, the Professional, Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers scheme (PTS Scheme) is the way to go. Do note that it has a yearly quota and has several criteria, such as age, profession, length of stay, and more.
Is It Hard To Live In Singapore As An Expat?
No. Singapore is noted to be one of the easiest countries for expats to assimilate to.
Can You Move To Singapore Without A Job?
Coming from Thailand, you may enter Singapore without a visa and stay for 30 days. However, if you want to stay longer, you must apply for a working visa.
How Soon Should I Engage With Sanelo For My Relocation?
Engaging with Sanelo at least 3 months before your intended date of relocation is best to give you and our staff to prepare. Just give us a call or email, and a representative will gladly assist you throughout the process.