Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on the Evaluation Process for Approving Citizenship Applications by PR Spouses of Singaporeans, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 02 October 2018



Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how does ICA ensure fairness, transparency and consistency during the evaluation process in approving citizenship applications by PR spouses of Singaporeans; and (b) what are the reasons for not stating the grounds for rejection of citizenship applications especially if spouses of Singaporean are involved.




1.     Applications for Singapore Citizenship (SC) are assessed on a range of criteria. The applications are put through a few layers of checks. The same approach is adopted for appeals and subsequent applications.


2.     On the Member’s second question, ICA evaluates applications from foreign spouses married to Singaporeans on a range of factors, including the ability of the Singaporean sponsor to support the foreign spouse, the length of marriage, and whether they have any children from the marriage. These general factors are shared openly with the public.


3.     However, we do not share the specific criteria or grounds for rejecting applications.


     a)     Information about detailed assessment criteria can be abused to inflate an undeserving applicant’s chances of success. Some people could then try and game the system.


     b)     Those whose applications have been rejected may also use the reasons for rejection to try and arouse sentiments in other countries, with potential diplomatic implications. This is not in Singapore’s interests.


4.     That said, I assure the Members that if they raise specific deserving cases to our attention, we will re-assess them carefully.


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