Singapore dismisses 'highly misleading' prediction of 3,500 high net worth foreigners becoming citizens
SINGAPORE: A widely reported projection of 3,500 high net worth individuals being granted Singapore citizenship in 2023 is "highly misleading, with no credible basis", said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday (Apr 26).
Last Thursday, Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao published an interview with Mr Andrew Amolls, head of research at wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth.
"Between 3,000 and 3,500 high net worth individuals are expected to become Singapore citizens in 2023 ... and most of them come from China," he said.
Zaobao also said each individual would have on average at least US$6 million in investable wealth.
"The figures cited were from a person working in a private research firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We do not know how he or his company arrived at this figure," said MHA on Tuesday.
The authority added that Singapore citizenship applications for the rest of 2023 "have not even been decided yet".
Instead, the factors that are considered include the benefits to Singapore, the business created in Singapore, the number of Singaporeans employed and the individual’s ability to integrate into society as well as their commitment to sink roots in the country, the ministry stressed.
The Immigration and Checkpoint Authority's (ICA) website also states that an individual's family ties to Singaporeans, economic contributions, qualifications, age, family profile and length of residency will be assessed.
Several news outlets such as The Business Times, Mothership, The Online Citizen and Vulcan Post have since run articles based on the Zaobao interview, with headlines focusing on the prediction of 3,500 ultra-rich individuals becoming Singapore citizens.
"This statement is highly misleading, with no credible basis," MHA said on Tuesday. "Having high net worth does not guarantee citizenship."