What is National Service for Second-Generation Singapore PRs?

What is National Service for Second-Generation Singapore PRs?

singapore NS army contingent

When applying for Singapore permeant resident (PR) status, it is important to remember that your son may be required to serve national service (NS). While you will be able to find plenty of information on Singapore PR application, the requirement for NS is less covered. To help bridge the gap in knowledge, we have written this article to cover:

  1. First generation Singapore PRs are not required to enrol in NS
  2. Second generation Singapore PRs are required to enrol in NS
  3. What is NS in Singapore?
  4. Common questions surrounding Singapore PRs enrolling in NS
3 helicopters flying the singapore flag

Who is Mandated to Attend NS?

Let us start from the top by addressing who would be required to attend NS in Singapore.

First Generation Singapore PRs are not Required to Enrol in NS

Let us start with expatriates who are keen to apply for Singapore PR. If you are acquiring your PR status through the Professionals Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) scheme then you will not be required to partake in NS. In other words, as a first generation Singapore PR, you will not be required to enrol in NS.

Second Generation Singapore PRs are Required to Enrol in NS

Second-generation PRs refer to children or teens who acquired their Singapore permanent resident status through the sponsorship of a parent. Under this scheme, the child must not be married and has to be under the age of 21 when applying for PR status.

National service is mandated by law for all male second generation PR holders. Upon turning 18 years old, they will be scheduled for enlistment as National Servicemen Full-Time (NSFs).

What is NS in Singapore?

singapore army drill at floating platform

National service is a conscription program in Singapore that is a key pillar to the nation’s success. Being a country with a population of only 5.8 million, Singapore requires conscription in order to have sufficient defences. NS is a cornerstone of Singapore’s defence and security since its independence. Culturally, it is seen as a rite of passage for boys to become men in Singapore’s society.

As a full time National Serviceman (NSF), you or your son will actively serve for two years. During this period, you or your son will have to put any studies or career aspirations on hold while they perform their obligations.


Prior to enrolment, you or your son will be required to undergo a medical examination to determine both physical and mental fitness. The examination includes physique, upper limbs, lower limbs, hearing and eyesight on both ears and eyes, mental function, and emotional stability. Depending on their fitness, they will receive different starting points to their NS program.

The Physical Employment Standard (PES) is a grading given for an individual’s fitness. Depending on the PES grade given, you or your son would be eligible for different vocations.

Enrolling in NS

When enrolling, you or your son may be assigned to one of three uniform services:

  • Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)
  • Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
  • Singapore Police Force (SPF)
singapore police force overlooking airplanes

Within each these services, you will be further assigned to different forces and vocations. For example, within the SAF, you may be serving under the Army, Navy or Air Force.

Typically, all recruits will undergo a period of basic training before being sent to a scheme and vocation that are deemed most suitable for the individual.

Post NS

navy war ship in harbour

Once you or your son has completed NS, there are obligations to be completed as Operationally Ready National Serviceman. Each year, you or your son may be called up to participate in In Camp Training (ICT), upgrading courses, mobilization among other activities. Typically, this lasts between a week to two weeks.

The 2-year NS period can be viewed as the primary training phase while the yearly training after that is a refresher.

Common Questions About NS

Many potential NSFs or parents wonder if it is possible to skip NS. The short answer to this is a flat no. The Singapore Enlistment Act makes participation in NS mandatory. As such, you would be falling foul of the law if you choose to evade NS.

Failing to Enrol in NS

A failure to comply with the enlistment Act will result in a fine up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 3 years or both. Furthermore, you or your son will be forced to renounce PR status, thus affecting your future in Singapore.

It is also worth noting that relatives of the individual who are applying for re-entry permits to Singapore may be affected.

Deferring NS

While you will not be able to skip NS, it is possible to defer it in certain circumstances. For example, if you require extra time to complete your studies, you may raise your case to the Singapore Ministry of Defence. After which, it is at their discretion whether you will receive permission to defer NS.

Travelling Abroad

NSmen will need to notify the MINDEF Notification Centre in advance if they have to travel overseas between 1 day and 6 months and obtain an Exit Permit if they will be gone for more than 6 months. This can be done on the NS portal and should be given sufficient time for approval.

Engaging First Immigrations as your PR Application Agency

First Immigrations is the leading apply PR Singapore consultant in Singapore. Having been in the industry for many years, we truly understand the frustration of foreigners applying for PR status. From past cases, we have found that 90% of all applicants who were rejected had errors in their application.

When you apply Singapore PR with us, we give you a realistic evaluation of your current chance of success before telling you the required steps needed to improve your odds. We take special care to ensure that your application is not only error free, but also correctly angled to demonstrate the desired traits under the PR application program.

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