Your Letters

Grant PR status to foreign students who grew up in Singapore

The Government has been attracting young students from all over the region and sponsoring their studies and growth in Singapore.

The vast majority of these students invariably cultivate a deep love and rootedness towards this country. They are keen to pursue higher education and settle down here.

However, many of them are not granted permanent residence when they apply for it.

It seems counter-intuitive for the Government to spend so much on grooming this group of students, yet treat them as "purely international" when it comes to university education.

With this status, even those who work exceptionally hard and get stellar results are allocated to the less-desired courses, which may not match their academic results. They also have to pay high school fees, and face great obstacles when looking for jobs.

Perhaps the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority can reconsider granting permanent resident status to students who have spent at least four years in Singapore in their teens.

Singapore is their second home. Their friends and their memories are here. Even though they are foreigners, they are culturally and emotionally similar to Singaporeans.

We should embrace them and ease their transition into becoming a part of our society, rather than push them away.

Candice Soon (Ms)

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 30, 2017, with the headline Grant PR status to foreign students who grew up in Singapore. Subscribe