Whether you have an upcoming work assignment in Singapore or are considering moving there to start your new life, there are plenty of things to consider before you begin spending an extended period of time on this amazing city state. Singapore is an excellent destination with great weather, awesome things to do, amazing food and drinks, plenty of shopping, and lots of work and business opportunities for those who want to move there. Some of the main things to think about before making the move include:
The hot weather in Singapore might be something that takes you a little time to get used to if you are from a colder climate. Since it’s located at just one degree north of the equator, Singapore’s climate is very tropical with temperatures that consistently exceed thirty degrees Celsius. There’s also a lot of humidity, which can make the hot weather feel even warmer. Be sure to keep this in mind before you arrive – you’ll need lots of sunscreen and light, cool clothing. The good news is that the country is well-equipped to deal with this weather and air conditioning will be on in every building.
Although Singapore was named as the most expensive city in the world for four consecutive years by The Economist, it’s actually not as pricey as you might think, and it’s certainly possible to live cheaply here with the right strategies. If you can go without many of the luxuries that you’ll find here like imported foods and high-end experiences, your money will stretch further than you expect. Local food outlets are very reasonably priced, and the public transport is cheap and reliable to use. In addition, tax here is much lower compared to other parts of the world if you are working, allowing you to enjoy a sizeable amount of income each month if you’re spending it wisely.
Bear in mind that Singapore has embraced cashless payments more so than almost anywhere else in the world, and wherever you go, there will be the option to pay without needing cash. As a result, you will not usually have to worry about exchanging your money to have cash with you when you arrive in Singapore, although it’s wise to inform your bank if you are going to be spending using a foreign bank card in the country before you get a bank account set up in Singapore.
Finding somewhere to live is another key factor to keep in mind when moving to Singapore. You can do this by using Property Guru, which is the number one property search site for Singapore and Malaysia. Through Property Guru, you can find the perfect condominium or other accommodation type whether you are looking to rent property in Singapore or want to buy. Since property prices in Singapore can be quite high compared to other areas, it might take some time to find somewhere in line with your needs and budget, so start as early as possible. There are several great serviced apartments available that you can stay in in Singapore while you are looking for somewhere more permanent to live.
Getting Around and Transport
Getting a car is not usually something that you will need to plan for when relocating to Singapore, as the majority of people here do not drive. Since it’s a relatively small island, public transport is the best way to get around and the system has been heavily invested in over the years. Public transport is much cheaper compared to getting a car since getting a car is not only more expensive compared to elsewhere in the world but there are other sizeable expenses to consider, including the Certificate of Entitlement, which sometimes costs as much as the vehicle. Thankfully, public transport is often quicker to use, and it is one of the most reliable public transport systems worldwide, with delays of twenty minutes making the news because they’re just that rare.
If you want to permanently relocate to Singapore or want to live there long-term and find work, the best option is to try and secure a job before you arrive, as finding employment after arriving there is much more difficult due to the strict employment laws. Since there are stringent regulations in place regarding foreigners working in Singapore, many people find that their best option is to get a job with a company that is international with offices in Singapore and then ask to relocate. Once you have an offer of employment in place to work in Singapore, you can apply to the Ministry of Manpower for an employment pass.
Modern, clean, and well-developed, Singapore is becoming an increasingly popular location for ex-pats. Keep these key factors in mind if this is something you’re planning for your future.