Moving Out Of Singapore: An Expat’s Guide To Leaving Singapore

Moving Out Of Singapore: An Expat’s Guide To Leaving Singapore

Whether you are heading back to your home country to be with your family or your local job contract has just ended, the decision to leave Singapore has been made.

The process of moving out of Singapore isn’t difficult but it should be done in a systematic way to ensure a smooth transition out of the country without incurring any unforeseen legal penalties!

In this article, we will take you through the key essentials to settle (plus helpful tips) before you leave Singapore.

1. Get Your Passports & Visas Updated

Whether you are heading back to your home country or heading to your next career destination, ensuring your passports is in order is key.

Renew them before you leave and if you are entering countries that require an additional visa, take some time to obtain them as the process could take weeks or even months.


2. Clear Your Financial Obligations & Tax Liabilities

If you don’t intend to utilise your Singapore bank accounts or credit cards, it’s time to cancel them. The last thing you want is to be hit with hefty charges that could snowball – especially if you’re not physically in Singapore, making it harder to clear them.

Depending on your country, your income should be taxed by the authorities during the tax year.

Do check if your Singapore-earned income is subject to taxation on your home country in addition to the current Singapore tax rate for expats which is 15% on earned income or at the tax rates for residents, whichever is greater. 

You might need to pay taxes to your home country in addition to taxes in Singapore if there is an absence of a tax-treaty.

3. Plan The Movement Of Your Investments

Be it property, stocks, bonds or bank deposits, having a financial decision plan is important. Singapore doesn’t impose any capital gains tax so there isn’t a need to pay anything on your savings or investments.

However, countries like the USA do impose capital gains tax, so depending on your financial planning, it might actually be wiser to leave your investments in Singapore to better accumulate your wealth.

If you do decide to move your wealth back to your home country, consult a lawyer and your banker to plan the best way to shift it.


4. Give Your Landlord Ample Notice

Depending on your tenancy agreement, you will probably need to give 30 to 60 days notice to your landlord regarding your intention to move out.

Giving your landlord an early heads up will ensure that you will move out on schedule, avoid paying (and staying) for any additional time plus it allows your landlord ample time to find the next tenant to replace you.

Most tenancy agreements will have a diplomatic clause that allows you to terminate the lease before the lease term expires without having to suffer any financial penalty. Most of the time, the clause will only work if you need to leave Singapore permanently for work of it you are not permitted to remain in Singapore (since your work permit will be cancelled).

Do check your tenancy agreement and be prepared to provide supporting documentary evidence to your landlord.

5. Terminate Your Utilities & Other Service Contracts

If you own your own property, take the initiative and cancel away your utilities account from SP Services and clear any remaining incurred charges.

If you are a tenant, remind your landlord to have the account transferred to their next tenant’s names. You don’t want to be thousands of miles away and still be racking up an electricity bill in Singapore! 

If your landlord doesn’t do it, you can always go to classified ads on websites like craigslist or forums to get another expat to take over your account.

If you have any service contracts like phone-service and Cable TV, contact your service provider to cancel them as well.

3 Extra Tips To Make The Move Smoother

A) Hire Professional Movers To Speed Up The Process

Moving out of Singapore isn’t easy, especially if you have belongings and furniture that you can’t sell (or bear to part with).

Consider hiring professional movers that will help box up and transport your items all day to your new host country. Just make sure to compare quotes from multiple companies to get a good rate!

B) Make Arrangements For Your Loved Ones

Relocating kids to your new country? Check up on the necessary schools to enrol them in.

If you have a spouse that is joining you, start the search early for potential career opportunities for them!

C) Prepare An Essentials Bag For Moving Day

On the final day of the move, pack an essentials bag to help make the transition easier and to handle any potential emergencies that might suddenly arise.

Some essentials to consider packing:

  • Your passports, birth certifications & identification documents
  • Your insurance and international banking documents
  • Cash
  • Medication
  • Set of fresh clothing
essentials bag for moving

Make Your Transition A Smooth One

Moving out of Singapore might seem daunting but with these set of steps and tips, you can be sure that you will cover the essential bases to minimise any delay.

In the meantime, you can save on your electricity bill for the rest of your stay in Singapore. We have a range of price plans available, you can consider a short term 12 month contract or even enjoy a no lock in plan which offers complete flexibility to end the contract at any moment for a fixed daily fee. 

In the meantime, you can start to save on your electric bill for the rest of your stay in Singapore! 

Ready to switch?

Check out our residential plans here to enjoy savings off your electricity bill plus attractive rewards.

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