If you’re relocating to Singapore, whether it be for business or personal reasons, there are a number of things you may want to make yourself aware of before making the big move. With this guide, we hope to make your move to Singapore as easy as possible.
Moving to a new country can be one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do in your life.
However, ask anyone who’s moved abroad, and they’ll tell you it’s also a pretty stressful and challenging time.
That’s because there are so many things to factor in, jobs, money, shipping personal belongings and much more.
In today’s guide, we’ll give you all the information you’ll need to hit the ground running after you arrive in Singapore.
We’ll also explain how to safely get your baggage to your front door without forking out lots of money. So, whether you’re moving to Singapore from Wales, Belgium, Argentina, Cuba, or from somewhere in between, here’s everything you need to know.
Singapore, commonly known as the “Lion City” and officially referred to as the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state located in Southeast Asia.
Singapore is made up of one main island and 63 satellite islands.
With a population of around 5.5 million people, Singapore is – according to Statista – one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Famous for its stunning natural beauty, multicultural population, glitz and glamour lifestyle and the cleanliness of its streets, Singapore is modern, welcoming and a firm favourite with ex-pats.
Language: English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil are the four official and equal languages of Singapore.
Population: 5.5 million
Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD) $
Timezone: GMT+8 (UTC+08:00).
Date Format: dd/mm/yyyy
Dialing Code: +65
With beautiful weather, dramatic landscapes, and the place connecting the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, Singapore was once a British colony but became an independent state in 1965.
Incredibly, over 66% of Singapore is less than fifteen metres above sea level.
Singapore enjoys a robust economy with world-leading financial and industrial sectors.
As a result, there are plenty of career opportunities.
Despite being pocket-sized in relative terms to other countries – 728.6 km² – you’ll find Singapore has a little something for everyone to enjoy.
No matter what gets your juices flowing, you’ll find it in here.
Fancy a flower extravaganza? You’ll not want to miss the Gardens by the Bay, a fantastical flower dome featuring beautiful flowers of all sorts.
Film fan? Say hello to Universal Studios Singapore, the country’s only movie-theme park.
Have you got that sinking feeling? Book your spot at SEA Aquarium, home to over 100,000 marine animals of over 1,000 species.
Enjoy a tipple? Make sure you visit Canjob Taproom, where you can order a takeaway cocktail, craft beers, spirits and much more.
Love the great outdoors? Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to many lakes, flowers, plants, trees and animals.
Alongside London, New York, Hong Kong, Zurich and Beijing, Singapore is one of the world’s leading financial centres.
As a result, it has a robust and reliable economy, which means many career opportunities are available.
As a politically and economically stable country, ex-pats love the nice weather, beaches and never-ending greenery.
Those who make Singapore their home also enjoy access to a thriving country with plenty of entertainment and high-quality food and drink available.
Culturally diverse and a true melting pot of language and culture, Singapore has an irresistible charm that makes it an excellent choice for moving abroad.
Understanding everything about moving to Singapore can be thrilling and stressful in equal measures.
Indeed, if you do your research, you can make a move as hassle-free as possible.
Here are some of the main things you should know about Singapore before moving.
It won’t get your adrenaline pumping but sorting out your immigration as early as possible should be your number one priority in the months before moving to Singapore.
That’s because, to enter Singapore and to live and work permanently in the city-state, you must have the correct visa.
However, the visa you need will depend on your home country.
It’ll also depend on what immigration agreements both countries have agreed upon.
So, the type of visa you need depends on the purpose and length of your stay in Singapore.
The main types of visas are:
Visit the Singapore Government’s official Visa website for comprehensive Singapore visa information.
The cost of living in Singapore is exceptionally expensive.
It’s widely acknowledged as one of the most expensive places to live in globally.
Recently, it was announced as the most expensive country in Asia to live in.
However, like all countries with solid and stable governments and robust economies, the higher living costs are relative to the higher salaries on offer.
While you’ll spend more on monthly bills, renting a home, and food, you’ll also receive a larger average salary.
And, of course, there are ways to minimise those heft monthly expenses; for example, eating home-cooked dishes or dining out at local establishments can be much cheaper.
Unsurprisingly, Singapore has many job opportunities as a global financial centre and a country with a booming economy.
The unemployment rate in Singapore is hovering around just 3%.
High-paying jobs are available across various sectors, including healthcare, finance, business, and technology.
Singapore has a global reputation for the quality of its education system, with the government spending a massive 20% of its annual national budget on the education system.
Singapore is widely acknowledged as having the best education system in the world.
Those who learn in Singapore enjoy a top-class education system that produces a highly educated workforce.
Singapore enjoys one of the best healthcare systems globally.
Indeed, the Bloomberg Health-Efficiency Index – which tracks medical spending and life expectancy – ranked the city-state as number one globally for the most efficient healthcare.
Singapore offers universal health coverage through MediShield Life, covering most larger healthcare bills.
Citizens also pay into a compulsory medical savings account – MediSave – which can help them pay for less costly inpatient and outpatient services.
Whether you’re staying in Singapore for a year or plan on moving there permanently, you’ll have a wide range of choices in rented and owned accommodation.
Your choice of renting or buying depends on how long you’re planning to stay.
Singapore is one of the most expensive places to live globally, so, unsurprisingly, housing can be costly.
And just recently, Bloomberg reported that rents have jumped to a six-year high.
Singapore is a cultural hotbed of music, arts, diversity, entertainment, literature and sport.
Heavily influenced by its Asian neighbours and its British colonialist past, Singapore lives up to its moniker as a country where ‘East meets West’.
From Hawker Centres that act as a community hub for food and fun to a green-filled garden city that prioritises cleanliness, Singapore has a little something from every tradition that makes it quirky and charming.
Like Singaporean culture, East and West relationships have also heavily influenced food.
As a result, you’ll enjoy Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Peranakan, as well as Western-influenced food.
In addition, Thai, Korean, and Japanese food options are plentiful in the city-state.
And if you’re in any doubt about how Singapore views its food, look no further than Singaporean literature, which declares eating a “national pastime” and food as a “national obsession”.
Moving you and your possessions to a new city can be challenging.
Thankfully, there are several options to choose from to make the process as stress-free and cheap as possible.
Understanding your options now will save you time and money later as some options might be perfectly suited to your needs while others may not.
International removal services can transport your possessions to Singapore by sea, air, and land.
But it’s worth remembering that costs can quickly mount.
However, it can be an ideal option if you’ve got large, bulky items like sofas and beds, or even your car, to move from one country to another.
In other words, if affordability is a priority, container shipping is usually the most affordable international removals option.
A real disadvantage of container shipping is waiting time; you could be waiting for up to two months for all your possessions to arrive.
Typically, though, sea freight – while slower – is cheaper than air freight.
Before booking either option, check if the company delivers your belongings right to your door.
That’s because some companies require you to set up transportation from ports, which of course can result in your spending more time and money.
Whether it’s Hong Kong, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Prague, or another city, My Baggage offers a convenient and affordable international moving service.
And we can help you relocate to over 200 countries worldwide, across over 1,000 routes.
You’ll enjoy stress-free door-to-door shipping, total online tracking and excellent customer support.
We know you can feel a little cautious about handing them over to a shipping company when it comes to your possessions.
That’s why at My Baggage, we’re proud of being a company you can trust with your most treasured possessions.
When you move abroad, you want all your possessions to arrive in your new location when you do, not two months later.
Our super-fast, convenient, reliable, and low-cost door-to-door shipping service reunites you faster with your precious items.
Bonus tip: Consider selling your larger, bulkier items and buy replacements in your new country.
When you’re moving country, money can be tight.
That’s why at My Baggage, we offer irresistibly low rates on our international shipping services.
We’re so confident in our pricing that we also offer a price match tool if you happen to find a better price.
My Baggage is one of the most affordable options for international shipping.
Our straightforward, convenient service offers excellent value for money.
We offer a massive 30kg weight allowance per item for as little as, for example, £186 per item from the UK Mainland to Singapore.
Furthermore, you have the option to send as many items as you like with us.
My Baggage is ideal for suitcases and boxes of all your most essential possessions you’d like to have with you in Singapore.
With My Baggage, you can also send oversized items – such as sports equipment and musical instruments.
From the moment you wave goodbye to your suitcases and boxes, you’ll be able to follow their journey to Singapore.
If you opt-in for text and email notifications, we’ll provide you with regular updates on where your items are right now and when they’ll arrive to meet you in Singapore.
In addition, we also provide full online tracking for every shipment, which you can access anytime in your My Baggage account.
Our Customer Support is famous; check out our independent 5-star reviews.
Nobody likes waiting around for their possessions.
As a result, we prioritise getting your items to your new Singaporean home as quickly and safely as possible.
Don’t worry about arranging transportation from ports; My Baggage collects from your doorstep and delivers to your doorstep in Singapore.
My Baggage offers a new approach to transporting larger items such as bicycles, musical instruments, and sporting equipment to Singapore.
Shipping your large items to Singapore with My Baggage is the cheapest, handiest way to get your possessions from A – B without breaking the bank.
In addition, My Baggage can often be much more cost-effective than hiring an entire international removals company for just a few items.
Airline baggage can be expensive; that won’t come as a surprise to you.
Indeed, we’ve all been caught out before with excessive airline baggage charges.
Add in the grim journey of dragging suitcases through airports and train stations on your way to Singapore.
But what if you could enjoy a hassle-free, hands-free, and stress-free journey to Southeast Asia?
Say hello to My Baggage.
We’ll move everything over, so all you have to focus on at the airport is what food outlet you choose to grab a bite to eat from.
Not excited about that long wait at the carousel for your suitcase?
That’ll be a thing of the past if you choose to ship luggage to Singapore with My Baggage.
Are you coming to Singapore to further your education?
If so, you’re in luck!
The My Baggage team is made up of former students and recent graduates, so we understand that money is tight for you.
My Baggage is here to make your big move to The Lion City as easy as possible.
Our prices are student-budget friendly, and you can send as many items as you like with us; we offer a massive 30kg/66lbs weight allowance per box or suitcase.
With door-to-door collection and delivery to every campus in Singapore, our fast transit times and Express services will reunite you quickly with all your belongings.
Find out what other students who use My Baggage think; they’re our greatest advocates.
When shipping to Singapore, Singaporean Customs must clear all goods.
Suppose you’re sending goods to Singapore from a country that doesn’t already have an immigration agreement with Singapore.
In that case, you are then legally required to complete and send a customs invoice with your shipment.
If your shipment does not have a customs invoice attached, it will not make it past your local country border, and you may have to pay return charges to get it back.
My Baggage will automatically provide you with the appropriate customs documents to print, sign and attach to your shipment when you send luggage to Singapore.
Generally, My Baggage shipments clear customs promptly, free from duties and taxes, as most countries offer a generous duty-free allowance for personal effects.
However, customs processes and allowances are different worldwide.
Because My Baggage has no direct association with any customs authority, we do advise doing your research into Singaporean customs regulations and quarantine before booking your shipment.
Please make yourself aware of potential customs duties in Singapore and follow any advice provided by customs.
When completing your customs documents, it is crucial to do so correctly and clearly.
To demonstrate that your shipment consists of personal effects, you will be required to describe each item included in the package accurately.
For example, you would declare: “4 x t-shirts, 2 x pairs of jeans, 3 x dresses” etc., instead of “10 x clothing”.
If you need to cancel or change your booking for any reason we will offer you full credit on your My Baggage account or a full refund if you select our Super Flexi fare.
For information regarding the current Covid-19 outbreak, please click here.
My Baggage specialises in shipping personal effects all over the world.
However, for security and customs reasons, certain items are considered prohibited.
Therefore, as a general rule, you can be sure that the following items are prohibited:
We also recommend you research what may be prohibited from entry into Singapore before booking your shipment, as import allowances differ worldwide.
Certain items may be specifically restricted from entry into Singapore by customs and/or quarantine.
Click here for a comprehensive list of what you can and cannot bring into Singapore.
In addition, some items can be carried with My Baggage, but that may not be covered under our compensation cover.
Proceeding will be at your own risk.
If you decide to send any non-compensation items with My Baggage, please ensure they are packaged appropriately, with internal packaging for fragile items.
Find out more about My Baggage’s prohibited and non-compensation items.
When shipping your belongings to Singapore with My Baggage, we recommend using suitcases or strong cardboard boxes.
Alternatively, you can use a mixture of both.
We advise against using fragile or expensive suitcases, as our compensation cover does not cover them.
We also recommend that you tape over any handles, etc., to protect them.
With boxes, it’s always best to invest in a new, sturdy, double-walled (or even triple-walled) cardboard box as they are most durable and suitable for transit.
Shipping your belongings to Singapore with My Baggage is easy.
Our simple-to-use online booking system is available 24/7 and takes just a few short moments to complete.
Start by obtaining a quote straight from our website.
Once you’ve booked, we’ll send you some shipping labels to print and attach to your items.
After that, you can sit back and relax as we take care of everything else for you.
It really is that easy.
My Baggage offers convenient and affordable shipping services for absolutely everyone, whether you’re a business user, a holidaymaker, an ex-pat or, of course, relocating.
No matter your reason, absolutely anyone can take advantage of our competitive prices and excellent services.
Many savvy business users regularly avail of our low cost and convenient shipping services to relocate their employees worldwide.