Published: 24 February 2023
Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs for each year since 2000 (a) what is the number of non-citizen brides and grooms respectively by country of origin who (i) married Singapore citizens that year and (ii) subsequently took up Singapore citizenship; and (b) what is the median number of years after marriage before a non-citizen spouse is granted Singapore citizenship, with a breakdown by country of origin.
Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law:
1. The number of foreign spouses who took up Singapore citizenship from 2000 to 2022 averages at around 2,700 per year.
2. The overall number of naturalised Singapore citizens (SCs) is published annually. Thus, Singaporeans can see for themselves how many persons become SCs every year. The matter is also debated publicly.
3. The number and regions of origin of foreign brides and grooms of SCs is also public and can be found on the Department of Statistics website.
4. We do not make public further breakdowns by specific countries. This is primarily because it could cause bilateral sensitivities with countries. That is not in our national interests.
5. As regards foreign spouses, we require such foreign spouses to have been a Permanent Resident (PR), before he or she can apply for SC. When a couple decides to apply for PR or SC for the foreign spouse depends on their personal and family circumstances. For example, some couples might live overseas for many years before relocating to Singapore. In assessing their application for PR or SC, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will consider several factors including the length of marriage, length of residency in Singapore, and other indicators of rootedness and ability to contribute to Singapore. Therefore, the length of time between marriage and when the foreign spouse obtains SC can vary greatly.