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Living in Singapore

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HOUSING IN SINGAPORE

There is a vast selection of the housing in Singapore according to your location, budget, convenience, facilities. So in order to find the accommodation in Singapore is fairly straightforward and convenient, especially if you are utilizing the services of a experienced real estate agent as the reasonable commission is charged by property agents in Singapore. As ½ month’s rent for a one-year contract and a full month’s rent for a two-year contract is charged by the agents and if the rent is over SGD 2500 then the agent’s commission will be paid by the landlord.

Two types of accommodation are there in Singapore;

  1. Renting Private apartment
  2. Landed property (House)
  3. Housing development board (HDB) flats.

Private Apartments

Renting a private property in Singapore is the most popular choice for majority of the foreigners in Singapore. Rents are depends on the choice of housing like size of the unit; facilities, amenities, interiors; fully furnished or partially furnished; and location.
Private property can be divided into

  1. Private condominium: They are much bigger and having more facilities like swimming pool, tennis court, children playground, gym, squash court and many more. Attractive exteriors and interiors. Mostly these condominiums are well furnished and equipped with the basic necessary furnishing and household equipments.
  2. Private apartment: As comparison with condominium private apartments are small and don’t provide many facilities. As the rent of private apartment is low.

Landed property

Landed properties in Singapore include terraced house, semi-detached house, detached house, and bungalows. But renting a landed property is more expensive, especially those nearer to the city center due to the scarce of land in Singapore. Rental costs for such landed property ranges between 8,000-30,000 SGD. Foreigners are not eligible to buy such property, but can rent the landed property.  You can have the landed property in Singapore only if you are a Singapore citizen or a Singapore permanent resident who has received approval to do so from the Ministry of Law.

 

HDB Flats

Public housing that is owned by the government is the HDB flats. In Singapore HDB flats are not considered to be a sign of poverty or a lower standard of living as compared to other countries. More than 80% of Singapore’s people live in HDB flats. 
These flats includes many basic facilities such as local banks, local schools, markets, polyclinics, libraries, shopping malls and train and bus stations are available easily. As these apartments are not equipped with luxury amenities like swimming pools or gyms but still they are preferable.
For the citizens of Singapore, the govt. provides the subsidy and are available at a subsidized rates. And for non-citizens of Singapore, the HDB flats are available for rent but not at subsidized rates. HDB flats vary in size, ranging from two-bedroom to four-bedroom units and according to that the rent is fixed.
Before renting the HDB flats make sure that your landlord has approval from the HDB authorities to rent his flat.

Others: Serviced apartments/Hotels
For short-term stay serviced apartments or one of Singapore’s hotels is to be considered.

SINGPORE CONTACT DETAILS

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance for Medical Emergency

995

 

Ambulance for Medical Non-Emergency

1777

 

Police Emergency

999

 

Fire Emergency

995

 

 

 

Credit Card Loss

Mastercard

6533 2888

 

Visa

6437 5800

 

American Express

6880 1111

 

 

 

Hospitals

Singapore General Hospital (Public)

6321
4311

 

Mt. Elizabeth Hospital (Private)

6737 2666

 

 

 

Flights

Flight Information

1 800 736 2000

 

 

 

Utility Services

Public Utilities Company (Gas, Water, Electricity)

6823 8888

 

Post Office

1605

 

 

 

Taxi Services

Comfort Taxi Company

6552 1111

 

Premier Taxi Company

6363 6888

 

SMRT Taxi Company

6555 8888

 

Comfort Limousine Service

6552 2828

 

GETTING THE ELECTRICITY, WATER AND GAS IN SINGAPORE

In order to the basic requirements of the house like electricity, gas and water you just have to put an  application in process with some attached documents and you will get the connection easily and quickly. You can apply for these connection on phone, E-mail, fax SMS, online or personally
Documents required during application process

  1. Singapore ID
  2. Completed application form 

After the application process initial deposit is to be submitted this is 3 times the monthly bill you are expecting for the foreigners. Payments made via GIRO interbank and the payment is automatically deducted from you bank or you can pay as cash in post office are any 7-eleven store.

GETTING AN INTERNET CONNECTION

Singapore is one of the first countries to have a nation-wide high-speed broadband infrastructure as well as wide-spread wireless internet connectivity and has wide choice to get connection at home. Almost 4 million broadband and internet has been established in May 2008 which means connection to everyone.
Via phone line, cable model, wireless(USB based modem technology) high speed internet access services are provided using ADSL in Singapore.
Four main internet service Providers are there in Singapore

  1. Singtel
  2. Starhub
  3. MobileOne (M1)
  4. Pacnet (formerly Pacific Internet Ltd.)

All these service providers provide different types of internet access and subscription plans for home as well as for businesses. Also the government has recently given license to two new players, iCell and Qmax to provide free WiFi hotspots in the city along with Singtel.

Internet Services - Singapore ISPs

Singapore ISP

ADSL Internet Access

Cable Modem Internet Access

Wireless Internet Access

SingTel  

Yes

No

Yes

Starhub

No

Yes

Yes

Pacnet

Yes

Yes

Yes

M1

No

No

Yes

 

How to apply a connection?

With the complete application form and the attached necessary documents you have to submit:

  1. For the Singapore Citizens or PR a Copy of Singapore NRIC is required.
  2. For the Foreigners a Copy of Employment Pass/Work Permit/Student Pass/Social or Dependent Pass (at least 6 months validity) and copy of passport is required.
  3. For the wired internet access at home a copy of tenancy agreement or proof of purchase of the place is to be submitted.

With these documents you can apply for an internet subscription plan toany of the respective ISP’s customer service center according to the requirements of location like SingTel Locations,Starhub Locations, Pacnet Locations, M1 Locations

 

 

Getting a landline phone service in Singapore

In Singapore two companies offers landline telephone service.

  1. Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) Limited: singtel is the leading and the sole provider of the landline services in Singapore from the back few years. Main importance of Singtel is that it is never interrupted by the power outage. You are not required to have any additional equipment while you are calling. Around 6 working days is required in order to start this connection after the submission of the application. Following fees is charged upon installation:
    1. One time fee of S$53.50 is to be submitted upon installation.
    2. Additional wiring  cost about S$53.50 for every 50 meters.
    3. Outgoing call rate is S$0.15/min during peak hours and S$0.075 during off time.
    4. Annual subscription fees for the singtel phone line is S$107 which is divided and and charged quaterly.
    5. For the foreigner extra $200 are charges after paying the above cost.

By visiting any  of the singtel customer service centre  can submit your application with the required documents. And you will get the connection.

  1. Starhub Limited: This is the new firm entered in this field and provides the landline connection with the new communication technology. Starhub provides the fixed phone line service by using the cable connection. The services include cable TV service, internet service and fixed phone service by starhub. Digital Voice Home is the name of the telephone service. More benefits like free local calls and lower rate international calls attract the customers but in addition to that there is also the drawback that the additional piece of equipment is required ie voice-enabled cable modem (VeCM) to use this service. Power outage is possible as it depends on VeCM and cable TV connection.

 

Documents attached with the application

In order to apply some documents are to be attached with the application form for the different types of users these are as follows:

  1. For Singapore citizens and permanent residents, Singapore identity card (IC) is to be attached.
  2. For foreigners living in Singapore, Employment Pass, Work Permit, Social Pass, or Dependent Pass and Passport copy is to be attached.
  3. For those holding Social Pass, Tenancy agreement or document of proof of
    property ownership in Singapore is required.

 

CHARGES

Following are the installation Charges and Other Fee for the Starhub Digital Voice telephone service:

  1. Cable modem is to be purchased from Starhub which costs around S$200.
  2. One time fee of activation is S$42.
  3. Charge of S$53 if you require a technician to come to your house and install the modem for you.
  4. For the internal wiring Starhub will charge you a fee of about S$64.
  5. The monthly subscription fee is about S$11. For foreigners, a submission of  S$200 is charged.

CENTRES OF STARHUB SERVICES

Any of the Starhub customer service centre, you can visit with the application and the required documents for the connection of the landline. The services will be activated within 5 working days. Some of their customer service centres as below:
a) Vivo City, 1 HarbourFront Walk #02-202,
    Open daily from 11am-9:30pm
b) Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #01-36
    Open daily from 10:30am-9:00pm
c) OUB Centre, 1 Raffles Place  #B1-02
    Open daily from 10:30am-07:30pm
d) Tampines Mall, 4 Tampines Central 5 #02-26D/27/28
     Open daily from 10:30am-9:00pm
e)  IMM Shop, 2 Jurong East Street 21, IMM Building #01-62
     Open daily from 11:00am-9:pm

 

Getting Mobile Phone Service in Singapore

Two connections are there in order to have mobile services in Singapore

  1. Postpaid mobile phone service
  2. Prepaid mobile services

Documents Required For Mobile Phone Service

When applying for a postpaid mobile phone service in Singapore, the following documents are required:

  1. For Singapore citizens and PRs, Singapore identity card is required.
  2. For employment pass / dependent pass/student pass holders, Passport and Pass is to be attached.
  3. Proof of residential address (e.g. utility bill)

Postpaid Mobile services

A postpaid mobile phone service is that where you can pay for the service on a monthly basis after using the service. The contract with the Singapore phone company is to be signed. The people that are heavy usage of cell phones and are living from the long term the postpaid mobile phone service is good.

Mobile Phone Service - Sample Subscription Plans
Here is a sample plan offered as of July 2008 by the three companies in singapore:

Sample Mobile Phone Service Subscription Plan in Singapore

 

Starhub

Singtel

M1

Monthly Subscription

S$25.68

S$25.68

S$25.68

Outgoing local calls

- 100 minutes free
- 16.05c/minute thereafter

- 100 minutes free
- 16.05c/minute thereafter

- 100 minutes free
- 16.05c/minute thereafter

Outgoing local SMS

- 500 SMS free
- 5.35c/SMS thereafter

- 500 SMS free
- 5.35c/SMS thereafter

- 500 SMS free
- 5.35c/SMS thereafter

Outgoing overseas calls

See next section

See next section

See next section

All incoming calls and SMS

 Free

Free

Free

Incoming local/overseas SMS

Free

Free

Free

One-time registration /SIM card charge

S$37.45 Registration plus SIM Card

-S$10.70 Registration
-S$32.10 SIM Card

-S$10.70 Registration
-S$26.75 SIM Card

Voicemail service

Free registration
Free subscription

Free for first 12 month

Free registration
Free subscription

Caller ID display service

-S$10.70 Registration
-$5.35 Monthly

Free for first 3 months

-S$10.70 Registration
-S$5.35 monthly

 

 

 

 

Billing cycle

per second

per minute

per second

Other Special Features

Students get additional goodies such as unlimited SMS, more free talk time, etc.

Students get additional goodies such as unlimited SMS, more free talk time, etc

- free unlimited outgoing calls to three other M1 subscribers
- Students get additional goodies

 

 

Getting a Prepaid SIM Card in Singapore

By using the prepaid SIM card you can also use your mobile phone in Singapore. Free from monthly bills by using the cards also no subscription or contract with a mobile phone company. In Singapore Pre-paid mobile phones services are also known as pay-as-you-go or prepaid wireless services. For the foreigners visiting Singapore on a short-term basis from one week or six months or individuals who don't use their mobile phone very frequently are the best users of this prepaid services. In Singapore prepaid services is easy, instant activation with low calling rates.
Singapore supports dual-band, tri-band, quad-band mobile phones. The prepaid SIM cards in Singapore ranges from S$10 to S$50. In Singapore 3 mobile phone service providers are there that offer prepaid phone service SingTel, MobileOne (M1) and Starhub. The SIM can be purchased at any outlet of Singtel, Starhub, and M1 or 7-eleven stores  or Cheers Convenience Stores or Singapore Post. The card must be registered under the name of the person who will be using it and one has to produce your passport or Singapore ID at the time of buying the prepaid mobile card. Once registered, the card is ready for use immediately.

 

Prepaid Card Rates and Charges

For the Local Calls as of July 2008, Singtel and M1 both charge S$16¢ during the day and S$8¢ during night on local calls. Starhub charges a flat rate S$22¢ on the first minute and S$8¢ on the next minute. The SMS rate for the three prepaid service providers is S$5¢.

Latest Promotions
Latest Promotions of prepaid cards in Singapore are thefollowing:

  1. Singtel Prepaid Card - Hi! Card
  2. Starhub Prepaid Card - Green Card
  3. M1 Prepaid Card - M Card

When you are required to recharge you SIM you have to top up your SIM card with any of the following method:

  1. With the purchase of top-up cards.
  2. By using your ATM you can charge you SIM electronically.
  3. Online by internet banking.
  4. Top up with postpaid subscriber.
  5. Top up with Singtel landline.

 

Mobile Phone Service - International Calls & Rates

For the overseas calls, you have to dial the access code followed by the country code, area code and telephone. Every telephone company in Singapore has its own International Direct Dialing (IDD) access codes:

  1. Starhub: 008 (best quality) and 018 (VOIP based, best value)
  2. SingTel: 001 (best quality), 013 and 019 (VOIP based, best value)
  3. M1: 002 (best quality) and 021 (VOIP based, best value)

 

Mobile Phone Service - Phones and Supported Networks

If you are having your own mobile with you from overseas, make sure that it's compatible with the frequency bands of mobile networks in the Singapore. Singapore supports dual-band, tri-band, and quad-band cell phones frequency bands.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

Medical insurance gives you with a financial safety in the case of sudden illness or disability. Different types of health insurance policy are there you can choose according to your requirements. There are also some policies that give you an income if you become disabled or are in need of a lengthy hospital stay. Both Private and government sectors provide these insurance facilities.

Private health insurance guide

Types of medical insurance

Each individual insures himself for the different medical insurance schemes. Following are the main types of medical insurance policies offered by insurance companies in Singapore:

  1. Critical illness insurance – In this type of insurance companies take care of large bills during major illnesses. It provides a lump-sum payment. Yet it depends on company to company, typical illnesses and diseases covered by critical illness insurance may include cancer, heart attack, stroke, blindness, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure, etc.
  2. Hospitalization Insurance- It is also known as surgical insurance, hospitalization medical insurance pays hospital medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident or illness. You will have to pay a fixed amount yourself before the policy benefits are kicked-in.
  3. Disability income insurance– This type of insurance provides you with an income in order to ease your financial burden if you cannot work because of a disability.
  4. Long-term care insurance – This type of insurance helps you pay for nursing or home care if you are not able to take care of yourself and are unable to perform certain activities of daily living.
  5. Medical insurance costs: In Singapore, depending on your present health the premium is decided. There is no fixed monthly amount and can vary from less than $100 to few hundred a month, depending on the type of medical insurance and type of coverage you choose.
  6. Be careful with exclusions: Many Singapore health insurance policies have exclusion clauses for the circumstances or treatments that they will not cover. So be careful while you are searching for the insurance plans.
  7.  Accurate medical information: It is for your benefit that you provide the information as accurately and truthfully as possible when applying for a policy.
  8. Making a claim: While making a claim, firstly you should complete your form given by the insurer with the attached documents like hospital bills, medical reports, test results, prescriptions and any other relevant documents.
  9. Two-week grace period: When your policy is approved, you get the two weeks to go through it and you are unhappy with the product, you will get a full refund from the insurer. In order to get your money back, you have to submit the written notice that you have decided to cancel your policy.
  10. Disputes: In case of any disputes you have go to the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) than the experts will settle the disputes or rule one way or the other. At last if no result is there than the case will get into legal court.

Government-linked Medical Insurance Schemes

For the Singapore citizens Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a compulsory retirement fund scheme. With this scheme you and your employer contribute a certain percentage of CPF every month as part of your pension fund.
The CPF has several health insurance schemes main two are as follows

    1. MediSave
    2. MediShield

Medisave

This scheme was launched in 1984 by the govt. of Singapore in order to save part of your income for sudden medical expenses. These health insurance includes hospitalization, maternity, certain outpatient categories, surgery and other ailments. Certain portion of your income is to be added every month to your Medisave Account. This savings can also be used to for the immediate family members as well.

MediShield

This scheme of insurance is for serious or catastrophic medical cases. It helps in [paying the large hospital bills and for treating serious illnesses that require long hospital stays.

Other CPF schemes includes

  1. EdlerShield
  2. Medifund
  3. Private Medical Insurance Scheme (PMIS).

 

These insurance schemes are meant for the citizens, foreigners or the permanent residents to cover themselves at affordable rates. People living in Singapore enjoy the wide range of insurance schemes.

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