• June 25, 2024

NS Facts for Singapore PR Holders

According to the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents are liable for National Service (NS). This includes second-generation PRs who have sponsored their children to be citizens. However, they can defer their NS for various reasons, including studies and sports. Long-term deferments are usually given to those with special conditions. Below are facts regarding NS Singapore PR.

Why Do I Need To Do NS?

If you’re a male Singaporean citizen or Permanent Resident, then you’ll need to fulfil your National Service (NS) obligations. This is a two-year conscription in the country’s armed forces, and it’s usually one of the first acts of loyalty that a young man undertakes for his country. The government does try to screen out men who may have a hard time serving in the military by conducting comprehensive medical tests before they enlist. However, there are still men who evade NS.

Being a Singapore PR gives you many benefits including access to the country’s world-class healthcare system and subsidised public housing. It also allows you to change jobs more easily and to get a wider range of employment opportunities. You can even use your Singapore citizenship to travel overseas more freely. It is important to note, though, that a person who renounces their PR status without fulfilling NS will have their family’s re-entry permits denied.

Who Is Mandated To Serve NS?

All male Singapore citizens and PRs, including second-generation foreigners who obtain PR and citizenship are liable to serve NS. They will be enlisted at the age of 18 years and will undergo a two-year conscription in Singapore’s armed forces unless exempted. 

As for NS defaulters, they will face consequences such as fines and up to three years in prison. Their family members may also be denied re-entry permits. They might also lose their PR status, depending on the severity of their case. Moreover, they may face immigration-related difficulties when travelling abroad as they might be detained by local authorities. Their family could be asked to pay for their re-entry expenses. The Ministry of Defence has a list of conditions for NS-liable PRs to follow to avoid repercussions.

Who Can Defer NS?

Male Singaporeans who wish to pursue overseas studies may apply for deferment of their NS. However, they must first seek approval from CMPB for the course that they wish to take. Applicants should also meet the minimum age requirement of 18 years old as well as satisfy other eligibility criteria. Deferment is also granted for the pursuit of local tertiary studies such as NITEC courses, provided that they are able to commence their study in the early part of their 20s.

Moreover, those who are already on a public service scholarship will be unable to defer NS due to their obligation under the terms of their scholarship agreement. Lastly, NS deferment for those with potential to achieve outstanding performances in sports and the arts is very rare. Examples include Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen, who were granted a long-term deferment of their full-time NS to focus on competing at the Olympic Games.

What happens If I Evade NS?

Parents of newborn boys will now receive a letter that reminds them about their child’s NS obligations, alongside the birth certificate. This letter, which is currently only issued for boys born in Singapore, will also touch on NS policies like deferment and exemption. If a male Singapore citizen moves overseas and does not return to register for NS, he will be liable to serve until he turns 40. For this reason, MINDEF takes a firm stand against those who evade NS and will ensure that they are jailed or fined according to the law.


NS is a compulsory service for eligible male Singapore citizens and permanent residents. It is a rite of passage, and an essential part of safeguarding the country’s continued sovereignty. PR applicants need to take NS into consideration when applying for PR because these will affect their sons conscription in future. For enquiries on Singapore PR applications, call Immigration@SG at +65 6493 1830.

James William

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