Business

PR scheme updated to attract more foreign investors

Next-generation business owners and founders of fast-growing companies are set to benefit from changes to a government scheme that attracts and grants permanent residence (PR) status to investors and entrepreneurs.

Changes to the Global Investor Programme (GIP) were made public in the new year and will take effect on March 1.

Under the updated scheme, next-generation business owners and founders of fast-growing companies from certain industries, as well as family office principals, will qualify to apply for PR status through the programme.

Family offices are investment firms that manage money for the ultra-rich.

Currently, only established business owners and entrepreneurs are eligible to apply under the GIP.

Mr Matthew Lee, director of Contact Singapore, a division of the Economic Development Board which oversees the GIP, said the updates to the scheme were made to better reflect rapid shifts in the global economy over the past few years, which have resulted in new business opportunities and new breeds of entrepreneurs and business owners.

The GIP is also extending qualification for the scheme to those who invest $2.5 million in a new or existing Singapore-based single family office with at least $200 million of assets under management.

It currently allows foreigners to apply for PR status if they invest at least $2.5 million to start or expand a business here, or in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies.

The qualifying criteria place emphasis on high-performing firms even though the scheme is opening up more avenues for applications.

Fast-growing start-up founders must be one of the largest individual shareholders of a company worth at least $500 million.

Family office principals must have net investible assets such as bank deposits and collective investment schemes of at least $200 million.

BUSINESS & FINANCE