askST: Can a Singaporean married to a Chinese national apply for a four-room flat?

Reader Agnes Teh asked whether a male Singaporean married to a Chinese national working here on an S Pass can apply for a four-room flat.

Housing reporter Janice Heng finds out.

What matters here is whether the applicant intends to buy a new flat directly from the Housing Board, or a resale flat from the open market.

A Singaporean whose spouse is neither a citizen nor a Permanent Resident (PR) is not eligible to buy a new four-room flat.

When buying directly from the HDB, such couples can only apply under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme for new flats, which limits them to new two-room flexi flats in non-mature estates.

This is assuming that they meet other eligibility requirements, such as the income ceiling.

To qualify for new three-room and larger flats, couples must either both be citizens, or comprise one citizen and one PR.

However, it is a different story when buying a resale flat on the open market.

Under the Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme for resale flats, there is no restriction on the size of a flat that such a couple can buy.

If the Singaporean in the couple is aged at least 21 but younger than 35, their non-citizen spouse must have either a Long Term Visit Pass or a Work Pass that is valid for a period of at least six months, and is also valid at the point of submitting the application.

If the Singaporean is aged 35 or older, their spouse must have a Visit Pass or Work Pass that is valid at the point of submitting the application.

The pass can have a validity period of less than six months. But if the Visit Pass or Work Pass expires during the transaction, it must be renewed and valid by the time the purchase is completed.

The HDB website has an e-Service allowing applicants to check if they are eligible to buy a new flat or a resale flat respectively, based on personal details such as age, marital status and citizenship.

More askST stories here.