Moving From Hong Kong To Singapore: Your Complete Guide

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Calling all ambitious expats and globetrotters! Are you dreaming of a vibrant new chapter in the Lion City? Transitioning to the cosmopolitan haven of Singapore can be an exciting yet daunting prospect.

At Sanelo, we are here to illuminate your path with our comprehensive guide. This is your one-stop shop for navigating the ins and outs of relocating from Hong Kong to Singapore.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional seeking career advancement or a young family yearning for an enriching environment. Maybe you are a retiree looking to embrace a leisurely lifestyle, this guide offers all the important information.

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1. Getting a Singapore Visa

Finding the appropriate visa before entering Singapore is simple, yet many options can overwhelm you. Let us break it down for you.

S Pass

An S Pass is perfect if you have less work experience, including those who are a fresh graduate or if you’ve just started working. S Pass holders are eligible for a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 2,300. This amount is usually for workers with less experience or those who recently graduated. You can still move to Singapore if you don’t have any experience in Hong Kong, as long as you have the proper certification.

Employment Pass

Another type is the employment pass which is perfect if your Hong Kong company transferred you to a different branch in Singapore. This pass is granted to those working in a managerial, executive or specialised role. The usual salary for owners of an employment pass starts at SGD 3,600 at the least.

Applying for this pass usually starts with your employer sending consent to apply for this pass on your behalf. They then have to submit all the required documents and the processing fee. Once approved, your employer will receive an approval letter which they will send to you.

You could then enter Singapore with this pass, and while in Singapore, your employer will submit another application to get your pass issued. Once approved, you can start working under an Employment Pass. If your employer offers you a position in Singapore, make sure you apply or have been granted this pass before you start.

Entre Pass

This pass is the best if you plan on bringing your business from Hong Kong to Singapore or opening your own business in Singapore. What they usually look for is if your business can offer employment opportunities for Singaporeans. It’s easier to pass this criterion since whatever business practices you apply in Hong Kong are easily applicable in Singapore. Another is that your company should be registered with Account and Corporate Regulatory (ACRA).

2. Similar Cultures With Subtle Differences

Expats can feel anxious because of the culture shock which includes language barriers for example. However, here are the similarities between Singapore and Hong Kong to ease your transition.


Singapore comprises a combination of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western cuisines. This also means that Singapore has more varieties of food, and you can enjoy a range from western steaks to kimchi sets. You still feel at home while experiencing new cuisine.


Singapore’s origins are Austronesian people from Taiwan, and it has its own unique blend of multiple ethnic influences such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, and others.

It’s easier to adapt to a place with similar cultures. Also, setting up a business is easier as it’s easy to communicate with the locals and relate to them due to having similar cultures and a multitude of the populace speaking Chinese and Mandarin Chinese.

Safety And Cleanliness

Singapore has a crime rate of 596 cases per 100,000 people. Hong Kong, on the other hand, has a rate of 936 cases per 100,000 people.

Singapore and Hong Kong have strict cleanliness regulations. Also, both countries focus a great deal on the environment and mixing nature with architecture.

3. Singapore’s economy

Singapore and Hong Kong have been in contention as the best place to do business. Singapore’s competitive economy is on par with Hong Kong’s economic landscape. Singapore’s individual income tax rate begins at 3.5% and goes up to 20% for income above SGD 320,000. In Hong Kong, on the other hand, taxation starts at 2% and goes up to 17% for income above SGD 21,126 (120,000 HKD).

If you look at the income brackets, you will pay less individual income tax in Singapore than in Hong Kong. This means that if you have the same gross income in Singapore and Hong Kong, your net will be higher in Singapore.

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4. Your Salary Has More Weight

Singapore is as much of a financial hub as Hong Kong.

The average cost of living in Singapore is 13% cheaper than in Hong Kong, rent is 18% cheaper, and food expenses are 6% cheaper. Raising a family is 16% cheaper in Singapore, and you will be able to save 25% on rent. Pair this with the income tax brackets, and your salary has more weight in Singapore than in Hong Kong.

5. Singapore Is Geared For Sustainable Growth

Singapore and Hong Kong have respectable relations with different countries on the employment and business side of things. These relations are reflected through Double Tax Treaties. These double tax treaties are agreements between two countries to reduce the tax a worker or company should pay.

Singapore has 90 comprehensive DTTs from countries like Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, and more. Singapore is geared for growth as these countries would be the spark in encouraging investment towards creating new companies. This further creates a chain where a new company arises, and other countries trust Singapore more, creating more opportunities and stabilising job opportunities for more tenured companies.

For new opportunities in business, Singapore has tax incentives you can take advantage of. There is a 75% tax exemption on the first 100,000 SGD and an additional 50% exemption on the following SGD 100,000 taxable income. The Singapore government developed this tax exemption unavailable in Hong Kong. This means that you are worry-free of tax on your first few thousand dollars.

All these are things that other investors also look creates a healthy competitive economy for both old and new companies. Singapore might be your start towards financial prosperity.

6. Singapore’s Weather

Maximum temperatures for both HK and Singapore are similar from June to October. Singapore is warmer for the first few months at the start and end of the year.

7. Hiring A Moving Company Will Reduce Expenses

Hiring one of the best relocation companies like Sanelo will help save you money with our fair rates. Damages to your items are covered by their shipment protection services which you can have for local and international moves. Here at Sanelo, we will have everything covered for you, so you will focus on what’s important. Moving your items with a highly experienced company like us, is more cost-efficient than selling and repurchasing new furniture and appliances.

Here are other articles on other countries in Asia like Kuala Lumpur or Beijing.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Moving From Hong Kong To Singapore

What are Singapore’s languages?

Most Singaporeans are bilingual in English and one of their three other official languages. An example would be a Singaporean speaking in English who can also speak Mandarin, Malay, or other Chinese varieties such as Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese.

Is Hong Kong The Same As Singapore?

Hong Kong and Singapore have similar cultures and languages and are located in Southeast Asia. They are separate entities and countries and are one of the Four Asian Tigers that had an economic boom in the past decades.

How To Get A Quote

We are considered a top rated moving company, part of the Santa Fe relocation company. We can provide you with a quote by filling out an estimation form, via our website. It is best to have a list of the items you have beforehand, so the quote is more accurate.

We have over 130 years in being an international moving company in Asia. Start of your relocation move from Hong Kong to Singapore with us, today!


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