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Expat Guide: Moving to Singapore with Family

The lights and wonder of Singapore entice people from across the world. What draws them in is the career opportunities, warmer climate, and metropolitan feel. Because many people speak English widely, Singapore makes an appealing choice among Asian cities for those considering a move from the UK. Around 50,000 Brits are already calling the city their home. With a strong expat community and an incredible family-friendly feel, many more are considering moving here.

With a move as far as Singapore, it can feel daunting. But this city offers an incredible family life. With excellent schools and activities, you’ll find plenty to keep the little ones entertained while living here.

So whether you’ve started your removal process or are in the first stages of planning, we’ve compiled the essential tips for moving to Singapore with family so you have everything you need to know.

Singapore skyline at night with an array of urban buildings

1. Get the Right Visa 

The first priority when moving to Singapore is securing a visa. Typically, expats get an Employment Pass before they enter the country. This pass allows you to live and work in Singapore. 

To be eligible for the pass, your fixed monthly salary needs to be at least SGD 5,000. However, when moving to Singapore with a family, you’ll need to meet the criteria for the Dependent Pass. To qualify, your earnings should be at least SGD 6,000 per month. The Dependent pass allows children under 21 and a legally married spouse to join you in the country.

2. Spend Time Finding the Right Accommodation 

Home is where the heart is, and for families in the midst of relocating, your home holds even more significance. It is a place to cool off and escape the humid conditions, where you will celebrate birthdays and the backdrop for countless memories. This can put a lot of pressure on finding the right space, price, and neighbourhood.

Singapore is a small country but a big city. Each neighbourhood has its own unique feel and community. The city offers something for everyone and a neighbourhood to match. Here are some of the most family-friendly neighbourhoods in Singapore:

  1. Potong Pasir (central)
  2. Katong (East)
  3. Toing Bahru (West)
  4. Tanglin (central) 
  5. Sentose (South) 

Most expats choose to rent over buying a property in Singapore as it ranks among the most expensive cities to live in and housing costs are high. For help finding and securing a home in Singapore, you can opt for a housing service to suit your needs. This means that everything will be taken care of, from utilities to removals.

Gardens By The Bay At Night, Singapore

3. Research Schools 

The schooling options in Singapore are among the best in the world. With ample opportunities, there is an education option for every budget. Choosing what is best will be personal to your child and their needs, and it is worth exploring all options available:

Local Schools

Singapore has an excellent public school system. As an expat, it offers an affordable choice for education. Fees are typically lower than $100 per month, which is significantly lower than international and private schools. With lessons taught in English, Singapore offers a thorough education that suits the needs of foreign and local children. 

International Schools 

There are many international schools in Singapore teaching the UK curriculum. Many expats choose them as it makes for a smooth transition. Children can pick up school where they left off back in the UK without interruption. The fees for these schools vary depending on facilities and structure.

Private Schools

Singapore is home to some incredible private schools, with state-of-the-art facilities and extracurricular activities galore. Although fees are the highest of all education options, class sizes are smaller, allowing teachers to focus on each student’s individual development.

4. Get to Know Local Transport

Getting around Singapore is generally stress-free. With good roads and a public transport system that runs like a well-oiled machine, navigating the city is easy. Although many expats choose to drive, it is not necessarily needed, even with children. Parking can become expensive, and spaces are limited. 

Public transport tends to be the most popular option for getting around. With 300 bus services and over 130 stations across the city, you’ll be sure to find a route to get you where you need to go. 

Walking is also an option in Singapore, and the city has aimed to make it as safe as possible. With many bridges and underpasses, the city has been developed to encourage walking. However, the climate in Singapore can make it exhausting, especially during humid months and the monsoons.

5. Explore Your Surroundings

Singapore is very child-friendly, and from Singapore Zoo to Universal Studios, there is plenty to do to keep them entertained. Across the city, there are free recreational places to explore and relax. Singapore is well adapted to its warm climate and has many water parks to burn off some energy and keep cool.

Food court in Universal Studios Singapore

Want to make your family relocation simple? Gerson Relocation can help. Our comprehensive service can take the hard work out of moving across the world. From finding you a home and assisting with visa applications to moving your pets, we personalise every package to suit your needs.


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