Eight in 10 new citizens last year lived in Singapore more than five years

Eight in 10 people granted citizenships last year had lived in Singapore for more than five years, while five in 10 had been here for more than a decade.

These figures exclude minors under the age of 21, most of whom were born overseas to Singaporean parents, said Minister in Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu on Monday in Parliament. In all, 20,693 applicants were granted Singapore citizenship last year, including 2,735 minors.

Ms Fu was responding to questions on citizenship and PR applications by MPs David Ong (Jurong GRC) and Baey Yam Keng (Tampines GRC).

She also revealed on average each year, 4,100 new citizens were foreign spouses sponsored by Singaporeans, while an average of 580 citizenship applications from such spouses were rejected. This is for the period from 2008 to last year.Over the same period, 4,100 foreign spouses sponsored by Singaporeans were made new permanent residents on average annually, while more than half of the PR applications from such spouses - or 4,400 - were rejected each year.