Guide to Expats Live in Singapore – Navigating the Expat Community, Singapore Forum, Guide to Moving, and the Art of Moving: Your Ultimate Resource Community in Singapore Expats 2023!

by | Nov 16, 2023

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Overview of Singapore Expats

Singapore Expats Intro 2

Why Singapore is a Great Place for Expats

Singapore Expats has gained a reputation as a fantastic destination for expats from all over the world.

The city-state offers a high quality of life, a thriving economy, and a safe environment, making it an attractive option for those looking to live abroad.

Expats in Singapore enjoy a vibrant expat community, excellent job opportunities, and a multicultural society that embraces diversity.

One of the reasons why many expats choose Singapore is because it is considered one of the safest countries in the world.

The low crime rate and strict laws contribute to a safe environment for individuals and families.

Additionally, the city’s efficient infrastructure, cleanliness, and well-maintained public spaces make it an appealing place to live.

Singapore is known for offering attractive expat packages, which often include benefits such as housing allowances, healthcare coverage, and education allowances for children.

The city also provides a wide range of career opportunities, particularly in sectors such as finance, technology, healthcare, and education.

Cost of Living in Singapore

It is important to note that Singapore has a relatively high cost of living compared to other cities in the world.

Rental costs, especially in popular areas such as Dempsey, can be quite high.

However, expats who move to Singapore often find that the benefits packages offered by their employers help to offset the expenses.

Although Singapore can be an expensive city, it also offers a wide range of amenities and a high standard of living.

Expats can enjoy a diverse culinary scene, luxury shopping districts, and a variety of recreational activities.

The city’s excellent public transportation system and efficient healthcare services contribute to a comfortable and convenient lifestyle.

For expats with families, Singapore provides a suitable environment with a strong focus on education.

The city offers a range of international schools, including those that offer the International Baccalaureate program.

This allows expat children to continue their education without disruption and gives them access to a multicultural learning environment.

Singapore Expat Community

Singapore has a vibrant expat community that offers opportunities to meet new friends and network.

Expats often find it easy to integrate into the society as English is one of the main languages spoken in Singapore.

Additionally, many expats choose private hospitals for healthcare needs and international schools for their children’s education.

Living in Singapore also provides expats with the opportunity to learn and experience different cultures.

The city’s diverse population consists of people from various backgrounds, and expats can engage with different languages and cultures.

Singaporeans are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature, making it easier for expats to establish connections and feel at home.

Singapore offers an attractive destination for expats with its high standard of living, job opportunities, and safety.

While the cost of living can be relatively high, the benefits and amenities provided by the city make it worthwhile.

The thriving expat community and multicultural environment contribute to a rich and fulfilling expat experience in Singapore.

Key Takeaways

  1. Singapore’s Allure for Expats:
    • Renowned for high quality of life, a thriving economy, and safety.
    • Attracts expats with a vibrant community and diverse job opportunities.
  2. Cost of Living Considerations:
    • Relatively high cost of living, offset by employer benefits.
    • Excellent amenities, diverse culinary scene, and public services contribute to a comfortable lifestyle.
  3. Accommodation Options:
    • Choices include apartments/condos, HDB flats, and service apartments.
    • Factors like rental costs, furnished vs. unfurnished options, and location influence expat housing choices.
  4. Renting vs. Buying Property:
    • Decision depends on employment status, budget, and long-term plans.
    • Housing allowances in employment packages, rental options in central and suburban areas.
  5. Popular Expat Neighborhoods:
    • Diverse neighborhoods like Tanjong Pagar and Orchard Road.
    • Choice influenced by preferences, budget, and proximity to amenities.
  6. Work Permits and Job Opportunities:
    • Work permits include EP and S Pass based on qualifications.
    • Networking, employment agencies, and online portals for job opportunities.
  7. Tax Considerations:
    • Awareness of tax residency, progressive tax rates, and taxable benefits.
    • Crucial for high-earning expatriates negotiating salary or benefits.
  8. Cultural and Lifestyle Experience:
    • Rich cultural experience with a warm and diverse population.
    • Active and welcoming expat community, vibrant lifestyle with efficient public transportation.
  9. Healthcare and Education:
    • World-class healthcare system, with public and private options.
    • International health insurance recommended. Educational options include international schools.
  10. Relocation Tips:
  • Preparation is key, understand the relocation process.
  • Secure the right work permits, choose suitable accommodation, and network with other expats for a smooth transition.

Accommodation in Singapore for Expats

Accommodation in Singapore for

Types of Accommodation available in Singapore

Singapore offers a variety of accommodation options for expats, ranging from private houses to high-rise condominiums.

Here are some types of accommodation commonly available:

  1. Apartments/Condos: These are popular choices among expats due to their modern facilities and convenient locations. Condos often provide amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and 24-hour security.
  2. Unfurnished vs. Furnished: Expats can choose between unfurnished and furnished apartments. Unfurnished apartments give you the freedom to decorate and furnish according to your preferences, while furnished apartments provide convenience for those who don’t want the hassle of buying furniture.
  3. Rental Costs: Rental costs vary depending on location, size, and type of accommodation. Popular expat areas like Orchard Road and Dempsey tend to have higher rental prices, while areas further away from the city center may offer more affordable options.
  4. Housing Development Board (HDB) Flats: These flats are government-subsidized housing available to both Singaporeans and permanent residents. Expats can rent HDB flats in certain areas, providing a more affordable option.
  5. Service Apartments: These are fully furnished apartments that come with services such as housekeeping and utilities included. They are suitable for short-term stays or expats who prefer a more hotel-like experience.

Renting vs. Buying Property in Singapore

Expats have the option to rent or buy property in Singapore.

Consider the following factors when deciding which option is best for you:

  1. Expatriate Workers and Expat Packages: Many expats in Singapore receive benefits packages from their employers, which often include housing allowances. Renting may be a more practical choice for those on short-term work assignments.
  2. Employment Pass: Expats need to hold a valid employment pass to rent or buy property in Singapore. Permanent residents have more flexibility in property ownership.
  3. Rental Costs: Renting provides flexibility and avoids the commitment of a long-term investment. However, rental costs have been increasing in recent years and may continue to rise, affecting monthly budgets.
  4. Accommodation Options: Buying property in Singapore gives you the opportunity to customize and invest in your own home. It also provides stability and the potential for property appreciation. However, it requires a larger upfront investment.
  5. Affordable Options: Expats who prefer not to buy property can still find affordable rental options, especially in areas further away from the city center.

Popular Expat Neighborhoods in Singapore

Singapore offers several neighborhoods that are popular among expats.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Tanjong Pagar: This vibrant neighborhood attracts expats due to its proximity to the central business district and a wide range of amenities. It offers a mix of modern condominiums, heritage shophouses, and trendy restaurants.
  2. Orchard Road: Known as Singapore’s premier shopping street, this area is popular among expats who enjoy the convenience of having world-class shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment options at their doorstep.
  3. Expat Community: The expat community in Singapore is active and welcoming. Many expats find it easy to make new friends and network with like-minded individuals who are also living and working abroad.
  4. Rental Costs: While some neighborhoods may have higher rental costs, there are also affordable options available. Expats can find suitable accommodation depending on their budget and preferences.

Singapore offers a range of accommodation options for expats, from apartments and condos to HDB flats.

The decision to rent or buy depends on various factors such as employment status, budget, and long-term plans.

Popular expat neighborhoods provide a rich social environment and easy access to amenities.

Whether you choose to rent or buy, Singapore’s housing market caters to the diverse needs of expats.

Working in Singapore for Expats | Network in Singapore

Working in Singapore for

Types of Work Permits available in Singapore

For expats looking to work in Singapore, there are several types of work permits available based on their qualifications and experience.

The most common work permits are the Employment Pass (EP) and the S Pass.

The Employment Pass is for foreign professionals, managers, executives, and technicians.

EP holders usually earn a higher income and have a higher level of education or professional qualifications.

They are eligible for various benefits and can apply for permanent residence after working in Singapore for some time.

The S Pass is for mid-level skilled workers.

S Pass holders must have a job offer in a managerial, executive, or specialist position.

They need to meet specific salary and educational requirements.

The S Pass is suitable for those who do not qualify for an EP but have relevant work experience and skills.

Finding a Job in Singapore

Expats looking to find a job in Singapore can take advantage of various resources and opportunities. Here are some tips:

  1. Network: Joining professional networks and attending industry events can help expats meet new friends and expand their professional contacts. Networking in Singapore is highly valued, and many job opportunities come through personal connections.
  2. Employment Pass: To secure a job in Singapore, expats often need to obtain an Employment Pass. This pass allows them to legally work in the country. It is advisable to start the application process before arriving in Singapore.
  3. Employment Agencies: Employment agencies can assist expats in finding suitable job opportunities in Singapore. These agencies have connections with businesses and can match expatriate skills with job openings.
  4. Online Job Search: Many job portals and websites cater specifically to expats looking for job opportunities in Singapore. These platforms allow job seekers to browse through various industries and apply directly to employers.

Tax Considerations for Expats in Singapore

Expatriates working in Singapore need to be aware of the tax considerations that apply to them. Here are some key points:

  1. Tax Residency: Expats who reside in Singapore for at least 183 days in a calendar year are considered tax residents and are subject to personal income tax. Non-residents are taxed at a flat rate on Singapore-sourced income.
  2. Progressive Tax Rates: Singapore operates on a progressive tax system, with higher income earners being taxed at higher rates. Expats with high-earning potential should take this into account when negotiating their salary or benefits package.
  3. Benefits Packages: Many expats in Singapore receive benefits packages from their employers, which often include housing allowances, transportation allowances, and overseas travel benefits. These benefits may be subject to taxation.
  4. Relocation Expenses: Some relocation expenses, such as moving and housing costs, may be tax-deductible for expats. It is advisable to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific tax implications.

Expats in Singapore enjoy a vibrant and diverse working environment with opportunities for career growth. With the right work permit, networking opportunities, and knowledge of tax considerations, expats can make the most of their experience in this dynamic city-state.

Living in Singapore as an Expat

Living in Singapore as an

Singapore has emerged as one of the top destinations for Singapore expats seeking new opportunities and a high standard of living. With its efficient infrastructure, vibrant multicultural environment, and numerous job prospects, it’s no wonder that many professionals choose to call Singapore their home. Here, we will explore the breakdown of expenses for expats in Singapore, compare living costs between Singapore and other cities, and highlight affordable rental options.

Breakdown of Expenses for Expats in Singapore

Living in Singapore comes with its own set of expenses. Let’s break them down:

  1. Housing: Rental prices in Singapore can vary depending on location and size. Expats can expect to spend a significant portion of their income on housing. It’s advisable to explore different neighborhoods and consider factors such as proximity to amenities, commute time, and lifestyle preferences.
  2. Utilities: Utility bills, including electricity, water, and internet, are generally reasonable in Singapore. However, it’s essential to budget for these expenses to ensure financial stability.
  3. Transportation: Singapore offers an excellent public transportation system that is both efficient and affordable. Expats can choose from an extensive network of buses and trains to navigate the city conveniently. Additionally, there are options for car rentals and ride-sharing services for those who prefer private transport.
  4. Food: Singapore is famous for its diverse culinary scene, offering options for every budget. Expats can choose from hawker centers, local eateries, and international restaurants. While dining out can be expensive, cooking at home or opting for local food can help manage food costs effectively.
  5. Healthcare: Singapore boasts a world-class healthcare system, but medical expenses can be high. Expats should ensure they have adequate health insurance coverage to offset any potential medical costs.

Comparison of Living Costs between Singapore and Other Cities

When considering living costs, it’s essential to compare Singapore to other cities. While Singapore’s overall cost of living may be higher than some cities, it offers significant advantages in terms of safety, cleanliness, quality of life, and career opportunities. Expats may find that their higher salaries in Singapore offset the higher living costs.

In terms of specific expenses, rental prices in Singapore are relatively high compared to many other major cities. However, healthcare costs in Singapore are generally lower than those in countries like the United States. It’s crucial to weigh these factors when considering a move to Singapore.

Affordable Options: Highlighting Budget-Friendly Rental Options for Expats in Singapore

For expats looking for more affordable housing options in Singapore, there are various budget-friendly choices available. Consider these options:

  1. HDB Flats: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) offers affordable public housing options for Singapore residents. Expats may be eligible to rent HDB flats if they meet certain criteria.
  2. Shared Accommodation: Sharing an apartment or house with other expats can significantly reduce rental costs. Many online platforms facilitate finding roommates and shared accommodation in Singapore.
  3. Outskirts and Suburbs: Living in the outskirts or suburbs of Singapore can often be more affordable than central areas. While the commute may be slightly longer, it can be a cost-effective option for expats.

By exploring these options, expats can find more affordable rental choices without compromising their comfort or convenience.

Living in Singapore as an expat offers a unique and enriching experience. With careful financial planning, expats can comfortably navigate the cost of living, enjoy the city’s amenities, and make the most of their time in this dynamic city-state.

Healthcare and Education for Expats in Singapore

Healthcare in Singapore

When it comes to healthcare, Singapore boasts a world-class healthcare system that is highly regarded internationally. Both public and private hospitals provide excellent medical care, but expats often choose private hospitals for their personalized and efficient service. With a range of specialized clinics, state-of-the-art technology, and highly experienced healthcare professionals, expats can expect top-notch care in Singapore.

To ensure access to health care and peace of mind, it is recommended for expats to obtain international health insurance coverage. This will help cover medical expenses and give them access to a wider network of medical providers.

Schools in Singapore for Expat Children

Singapore offers a diverse range of schools for expat children, catering to various educational needs. International schools in Singapore are a popular choice for expat families, as they offer a multicultural environment and high-quality education. These schools often follow internationally recognized curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

While international schools tend to have higher fees compared to public schools, they provide a seamless transition for expat children and offer excellent facilities and educational resources. They also provide opportunities for children to meet new friends from around the world and immerse themselves in a global learning environment. For expats seeking alternative options, there are also public and private schools available in Singapore, offering a range of curriculum choices.

Culture and Lifestyle in Singapore for Expats

Living in Singapore as an expat offers a unique cultural experience. Singaporeans are known for their warmth, friendliness, and respect for different ethnic groups. Expats often find it easy to integrate into the local community, with many support services and expat clubs available to help them settle in.

The expat community in Singapore is diverse, with a significant number of American and British expats. This creates a vibrant and inclusive expat culture, where expats can find familiar social settings and build a network of expat friends.

In terms of lifestyle, Singapore offers a wide array of leisure activities, from exploring the city’s iconic landmarks to enjoying the lush green spaces and world-class dining scene. The efficient transportation system, including buses and trains, makes it easy for expats to navigate the city and explore all that it has to offer.

Overall, expats living in Singapore can enjoy a high standard of healthcare and education, while immersing themselves in a rich cultural environment and enjoying a vibrant and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

Relocating to Singapore as an Expat | Market in singapore

Relocating to Singapore as an

Preparing for Your Move to Singapore

Moving to Singapore as an expat can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

However, it is important to be prepared and informed before making the move. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Understanding the Relocation Process: Familiarize yourself with the process of moving to Singapore, including the necessary paperwork, visa requirements, and eligibility criteria. It is crucial to meet the academic and professional requirements set by the government.
  2. Job Opportunities and Salary: Singapore offers various job opportunities for expats, particularly in sectors such as finance, technology, and healthcare. Research the job market and the average salary range for your industry to ensure a good earning potential.
  3. Benefits and Packages: Many companies provide attractive benefits packages for expat employees, including housing allowances, healthcare coverage, and transportation allowances. Consider negotiating these benefits as part of your employment contract.
  4. Becoming a Permanent Resident: If you plan to stay in Singapore for the long term, you may consider applying for permanent residency. Understand the eligibility requirements and the benefits of becoming a permanent resident, such as access to public housing and healthcare subsidies.

Arriving in Singapore and Settling In

Once you have arrived in Singapore, it’s important to focus on settling in and familiarizing yourself with the city.

Here are some tips for a smooth transition:

  1. Employment Pass and Permits: Ensure that you have the necessary employment pass or work permit to legally work in Singapore. Familiarize yourself with the requirements and regulations to avoid any issues.
  2. Accommodation: Decide on the type of accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Popular expat areas include Adam Park, Orchard Road, and the Central Business District. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation options, and security.
  3. Security and Safety: Singapore is known for its high level of safety and security. Enjoy peace of mind as the city has strict laws and 24-hour security measures in place.
  4. Exploring the Local Culture: Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by trying local cuisine, attending cultural events, and exploring the diverse neighborhoods. Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures, and embracing this diversity will enrich your experience.

Networking with Other Expats in Singapore

Networking and building a support system is essential for expats settling into a new country.

Here are some ways to connect with other expats in Singapore:

  1. Join Expat Communities: Singapore has a thriving expat community, and there are various expat forums, clubs, and social groups that you can join to meet new friends and share experiences.
  2. Participate in Expat Events: Attend expat events and social gatherings to network with like-minded individuals. These events provide a great opportunity to make new friends, seek advice, and learn from other expatriates’ experiences.
  3. Utilize Online Platforms: Engage with online expat communities, such as Expat Explorer and expat forums, to seek advice, share insights, and connect with fellow expats.
  4. Connect Through Work: If you are working in Singapore, take the initiative to network with your colleagues and build relationships with other expat workers. Expats often form strong bonds by supporting each other through the challenges of living abroad.

Relocating to Singapore as an expat offers exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth.

By being prepared, settling in comfortably, and networking with other expats, you can make the most of your experience in this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.


In conclusion, Singapore stands out as a fantastic expat destination for individuals looking to make a move in 2021 and beyond.

The city-state offers a unique blend of culture, opportunities, and quality of life that make it highly attractive to expats from all over the world.

One of the main reasons why expats choose Singapore is its excellent public transportation system.

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is a convenient and efficient way to get around the city, allowing residents to easily navigate from one place to another.

This makes commuting and exploring the city a breeze.

In addition to its transportation infrastructure, Singapore also boasts a strong economy and a thriving job market.

With its favorable business environment, many multinational corporations have established a presence in the city-state, providing ample employment opportunities for expats.

Obtaining an Employment Pass allows individuals to work legally in Singapore and contribute to its dynamic workforce.

When it comes to the cost of living, Singapore is known for being relatively high.

However, expats earning a good income can afford to live comfortably and enjoy a high standard of living.

It is worth noting that Singapore has been ranked among the best in the world for quality of life and safety, making it a desirable place to settle.

For those with families, Singapore offers plenty of international schools that provide quality education for expat children.

While school fees can be expensive, the education system in Singapore is highly regarded, ensuring that children receive a top-notch education.

Singapore is also known for its vibrant and diverse expat community.

With its multicultural environment and numerous social and professional networking opportunities, expats can easily find a sense of belonging and make new connections.

In terms of healthcare, Singapore is well-known for its world-class medical facilities and healthcare system.

Expats can have peace of mind knowing that they have access to quality healthcare services when needed.

Lastly, Singapore offers a safe and clean environment for residents.

The city-state takes pride in its strict laws and regulations, ensuring that the streets are clean and crime rates are low.

Overall, Singapore provides everything you need to know and more for expat living.

With its attractive lifestyle, career prospects, and excellent quality of life, it is no wonder that Singapore continues to be a top choice for expats worldwide.

In conclusion, expats considering a move to Singapore can rest assured that the city-state offers a wealth of opportunities and a welcoming environment that will make their relocation a success.

With its strong economy, efficient transportation system, high-quality education, and diverse expat community, Singapore has proven itself as a fantastic destination for expats looking to embark on a new chapter in their lives.

Whether it’s for career advancement, a higher standard of living, or a fresh start, Singapore delivers on all fronts.

So, if you’re ready for an exciting adventure and a rewarding expat experience, Singapore should be at the top of your list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to obtain a visa for Singapore in 2023?

The specific requirements to obtain a visa for Singapore in 2023 can vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. It’s best to check with the Singapore Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information. 

What is the culture in Singapore for expats?

Singapore has a diverse and multicultural society, making it an appealing destination for expats. The culture in Singapore is a unique blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western influences, creating a vibrant and inclusive environment. 

Why do expats like living in Singapore?

Expats are often attracted to Singapore for its excellent quality of life, modern infrastructure, high safety standards, and abundant career opportunities. Additionally, Singapore offers a clean and green environment, a rich food scene, and a well-connected transport system. 

Are there international schools in Singapore for expatriate families?

Yes, Singapore is home to a variety of international schools that cater to expatriate families. These schools follow different curricula and offer a comprehensive education for expat children. 

What is expat life in Singapore?

Expat life in Singapore can be exciting and enriching. With its cosmopolitan atmosphere, expats get to experience a blend of different cultures, enjoy a wide range of recreational activities, and benefit from the city-state’s efficient infrastructure and healthcare system. 

Is there a Singapore forum where expats can connect with each other?

Yes, there are various Singapore forums and online communities where expats can connect with each other, seek advice, and share their experiences living in Singapore. 

How do I apply for an employment pass in Singapore?

To apply for an employment pass in Singapore, you generally need to have relevant qualifications, a job offer from a Singaporean employer, and a salary that meets the requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower. It’s advisable to engage an employment agent or seek professional advice to ensure a smooth application process. 

What is the cost of living for expat in Singapore?

Singapore is known for being one of the more expensive cities in the world. The cost of living, including housing, dining out, and transportation, can be high. However, expat salaries and benefits often reflect the higher cost of living, allowing many expats to afford a comfortable lifestyle in Singapore. 

Are there any international health insurance plans available for expat living in Singapore?

Yes, there are international health insurance plans available for expats in Singapore. These plans provide comprehensive coverage for medical expenses and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of expatriates living in Singapore. 

What should I consider before moving to Singapore as an expat?

Before moving to Singapore as an expat, it is important to consider factors such as the cost of living, housing options, healthcare, employment opportunities, and the local culture. Conducting thorough research and seeking advice from other expats or professionals can help you make informed decisions. 

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