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 We are EUROPEAN RELOCATION ASSOCIATION Worldwide Member                                                                                                                                Looking for Office Space?

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Expat Children Admission into Local Schools

A life-learning experience–changing schools and adapting to an international or local curriculum–can have a big impact on a child’s development. So let us help you find the right ones for them.
If their children are happy, your employees/transferees are happier. And there’s nothing more likely to influence their happiness than a great experience at school.
Capstone local consultants offer advice on schooling for every age, including day care and pre-schools.

Expatriates in Singapore on employment / professional visit passes could apply for their children for admission to the government or government-aided schools through the Ministry of Education (MOE). If there are vacancies, they need to obtain student passes from the Immigration Department. School fees in such schools are much lower than in private schools. The students in local schools are usually Singaporean origin whereas students in International Schools consist of students from all over the world. Information and procedure of enrolling into a local school are listed below.

Admission of Foreign Students to Government, Government-aided, Independent Schools, Junior Colleges and Centralised Institute

Applications for school admission of foreign students must be made using the prescribed form obtainable from the foreign student information website or the schools (ie Government/Government-aided/Independent schools/Junior colleges/Centralised institute).

For information on school admission of foreign students, you may visit foreign student information website at

For further clarifications, please contact:

- MOE Customer Service Centre at DID (65) 6872 2220, Fax No (65) 6776 4617
- MOE email address at

Part 1: Application Procedure

Step 1 - Apply at school of choice

The parent/guardian submits the completed application form for school admission together with all the necessary original documents directly to a school of choice. For children whose parent(s) are holding S Pass or Work Permit (R Pass), they are required to pass a qualifying test before seeking school admission (see Step A).

Step 2 - School conducts placement test and issues Letter of Acceptance

School will conduct placement test for the applicant if there is a vacancy.

If applicant passes the placement test and the school accepts him/her, the school will issue a Letter of Acceptance (LOA). The LOA will indicate in-principle acceptance of the applicant to the school. The applicant can proceed to ICA to apply for a student’s pass with this letter (see Step 3)

Acceptance to the school is subject to the applicant obtaining and returning with a student’s pass from Immigration and Checkpoints Authority(ICA) within 2 weeks from date of issue of the LOA.

Applicants who are holding a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or an Immigration Exemption Order(IEO) are not required to apply for a student’s pass from ICA. He/She can be admitted by the school immediately upon passing the placement test (go to Step 5).

Step 3 - Apply student’s pass at ICA

The LOA is valid for 2 weeks from date of issue. Upon receiving the LOA, the applicant should proceed to ICA immediately to apply for a student’s pass. Applicant must produce the original LOA endorsed by the School to ICA.

Step 4 - Return to school within 2 weeks with student’s pass

The applicant must return to school with a valid student’s pass within 2 weeks from the date of the LOA. The applicant will forfeit his/her admission to the school if he/she does not return within 2 weeks.

Step 5 - Donation to the Education Fund

After the applicant has been successfully admitted to the school, the Ministry of Education will send a letter to him/her requesting for the biennial donation to the Education Fund, i.e $1,000 for every 2 years.

Step A - For Children of S Pass and Work Permit (R Pass) Holders Only

Applicants with at least one parent working in Singapore on S Pass or Work Permit (R Pass) must pass a qualifying test (Assessment of General Ability conducted by Civil Service College Consultants) before they can be considered for admission. For more information on this requirement, please refer to Ministry of Manpower’s website at   

Applicants who have not taken the qualifying test can apply online at General Ability Test Singapore website.

The applicant will receive by post a letter on the Outcome of the Qualifying Test. If the letter shows that he/she is eligible to seek admission to a Singapore school, he/she can then approach a school of choice with the letter to apply for school admission (refer to Step 2)

Part 2: Other Information

1. Application Period

Applications for school admission are accepted by schools subject to availability of vacancies. Application can be made anytime during the year. For admission to Primary One in the following year, the applicant may register with the school of choice during or after Phase 3 of the annual Primary One Registration Exercise (

2. Donation to the Education Fund

A foreign student is requested to make biennial donations (that is, once every two years) to the Education Fund of the Ministry of Education if his/her application to study in Singapore is approved.

Foreign students are requested to make the biennial donations of S$1,000 within the period stated in the Letter of Donation.

Thereafter, foreign students are requested to make the donation in advance every two years. The biennial donations are requested from foreign students of all nationalities who seek admission to schools, junior colleges and centralised institute for the academic year beginning in January each year. The biennial donations replace the previous donation rates ($3,000 for Malaysians and $5,000 for other nationalities) which were requested once at the primary education level and once at the secondary education level.

Foreign students whose parents are Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents, or holders of work passes (including P1, P2, Q1, S, R and other work passes), who are admitted from 1 Jan 2001 onwards, are also requested to make the biennial donations to the Education Fund.

The donations to the Education Fund are eligible for tax-exemption and the official receipts will be made in favour of either the donor or the foreign student. The donation is non-refundable except when the foreign student is awarded a Singapore Government Scholarship in the year of admission or when he/she has not attended any lessons in school.

3. Particulars of Guardian

The foreign student is required to provide the particulars of his/her guardian to the school for contact purposes. The guardian should be a Singapore Citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident above 21 years old OR the parent of the foreign student if the parent is working/staying in Singapore.

A foreign student should report any change in guardianship to his/her school principal.

4. Choice of school

Parent/guardian can approach the school of choice directly. Admission is dependent on the availability of vacancies in the school provided there are no Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents on the school’s waiting list.

5. Placement Test conducted by the school

The foreign student will be tested subjects such as English, Mathematics and Mother Tongue Language (where applicable). The tests are conducted by the school which the foreign student is seeking admission to.

6. Level of Admission

Besides the performance in the school placement test, foreign students will be considered for admission to a level subject to documentary proof that he/she has completed the previous level, and the age criteria. Foreign students who have been admitted at the primary level must complete the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) before proceeding to the secondary level.

7. Boarding Facilities

Please refer to the list of boarding schools and hostels. The private hostels are listed in the yellow pages of the Singapore Telephone Directory.

8. Exemption from offering Chinese, Malay or Tamil as a Mother Tongue Language

Exemption from the mother tongue requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis after the student has been admitted to school. Application for exemption should be made through the school principal, who will refer the application to the Languages & Literature Branch, Ministry of Education, for consideration.

9. Monthly School Fees

For Government and Government-Aided Schools, the monthly rates of school fees payable are S$80 for primary, S$130 for secondary and S$240 for pre-university levels. For children of Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents and dependants of Employment Pass and Skilled Work Permit Holders, the monthly school fees payable for the first 2 years are S$3 for primary, S$5 for secondary, and S$6 for pre-university levels. For the third year onwards, the school fees payable will be determined based on their citizenship status.

In addition to school fees, all students are to pay miscellaneous fees. The maximum monthly miscellaneous fees payable are S$11 for primary, S$16 for secondary, and S$22 for pre-university levels. Students studying in Autonomous Schools are also required to pay additional miscellaneous fees. Please check directly with the schools on the actual amount of miscellaneous fees payable.

The rates of school and miscellaneous fees payable are reviewed by the Ministry of Education and individual schools from time to time.

For Independent Schools, the school fees payable varies from school to school. Please check directly with the schools concerned for the fees payable.

10. Admission to Kindergartens, Private Schools, Universities & Polytechnics

A foreign student seeking admission to a kindergarten, private school or an institution of higher education (ie university or polytechnic), should approach the kindergarten, private school or institution directly.

11. General

In accordance with the Immigration Regulations, a foreigner is exempted from applying for a Student’s Pass if he/she is a Dependant’s Pass or Immigration Exemption Order Holder studying in a Government/Governement-aided/Independent School. For more details on Student’s Pass applications, please refer to ICA ’s website .

A copy of the "Directory of Schools and Educational Institutions, Singapore" is obtainable from the Customer Service Centre at the Ground Floor, Podium Block, Ministry of Education, at S$3.50 per copy excluding postage. This publication provides the addresses and telephone numbers of all the schools in Singapore. Alternatively, the information may be found in the Schools Information website at

Age Criteria for Admission of Foreign Students


Permissible Age Range as at 1st Jan or Year of Admission

Primary 1 6 to 10+
Primary 2 7 to 11+
Primary 3 8 to 12+
Primary 4 9 to 13+
Primary 5 10 to 14+
Primary 6 No direct admission is allowed to this critical level as the students will not have sufficient preparation time for the Primary School Leaving Examination held towards the end of the year.
Secondary 1 12 to 16+
Secondary 2 13 to 17+
Secondary 3 14 to 18+
Secondary 4 No direct admission is allowed to this critical level as the students will not have sufficient preparation time for the GCE "N" or GCE "O" Level Examinations held towards the end of the year.
Secondary 5 No direct admission is allowed to this critical level as the students will not have sufficient preparation time for the GCE "O" Level Examinations held towards the end of the year.
Pre-U 1 16 to 20+
Pre-U 2 No direct admission is allowed to this critical level as the students will not have sufficient preparation time for the GCE "A" Examinations held towards the end of the year.
Pre-U 3 No direct admission is allowed to this critical level as the students will not have sufficient preparation time for the GCE "A" Examinations held towards the end of the year.



 The city-state of Singapore has over 4,300 completed high-rises, the majority of which are located in the Downtown Core. In the  city, there are 59 skyscrapers that rise higher than 140 metres (459 ft). Three buildings share the title of tallest building in  Singapore: United Overseas Bank Plaza One, Republic Plaza and Overseas Union Bank Centre. The three towers, which share  the title of 128th-tallest building in the world, are each 280 m (919 ft) tall. There is a height restriction of 280 metres (919 ft) for  structures in the central business district (only Raffles Place, Marina Bay Sands, Kallang River, Kallang and Mountbatten) of  Singapore because of the proximity of Paya Lebar Airbase.

"Office buildings in Singapore"
This list may not reflect recent changes:
16 Collyer Quay
6 Battery Road
8 Shenton Way
Bank of China Building (Singapore)
Capital Tower (Singapore)
Centennial Tower (Singapore)
Chevron House
The Concourse
CPF Building
Fuji Xerox Towers
The Gateway (Singapore)
Hong Leong Building
Marina One
Maybank Tower (Singapore)
Millenia Tower
Ngee Ann City
OCBC Centre
One George Street
One Marina Boulevard
One Raffles Place
One Raffles Quay
OUE Downtown
Parkview Square
Pickering Operations Complex
PSA Building
Raffles City Tower
Republic Plaza (Singapore)
Robinson 77
Samsung Hub (Building)
SGX Centre
Singapore Land Tower
Suntec City
UIC Building
UOB Plaza