Photo of Josephine Teo from Straits Times Wong Kwai Chow

According to a Minister of State Josephine Teo in Parliament yesterday (Feb 6), foreign students who applied for permanent residency have about an 80% approval rate, and but only about 18% converted to citizenship:

“About eight in 10 foreign students who sought permanent residency here in the past decade were successful in their applications. By the end of last year, some 18 per cent – or 1,072 – of these permanent residents went on to become Singapore citizens. A total of 7,251 foreign students applied to be PRs on their own merits between 2008 and 2017. Some 82 per cent, or 5,932, were successful. 85 of them renounced their PR status.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs also revealed that not all students are university-level educated:

“The figures disclosed by Mrs Teo in Parliament covered foreign students broadly up to tertiary levels.”

Minister Josephine Teo refused to disclose the percentage of nationalities and only gave an ambiguous response:

“The group would reflect the overall profile of the foreign student population in Singapore, where a “good majority” came from Asia.”