For many Singaporeans, moving overseas to work has always been a cherished dream. Having been a part of Singapore’s rigorous education system for over 13 years, I have witnessed firsthand the immense stress that my peers, siblings and relatives have gone through. Despite the pressures, this intense educational environment shapes how Singaporeans into some of the most efficient and hardworking individuals in the workforce. As a result, many more opportunities beyond Singapore’s borders, particularly in countries like Australia, United States and the United Kingdom (UK visa). 

Interestingly, the UK boasts as one of the highest number of Singaporean expatriates worldwide. According to a study by, back in 2020, there are an estimated 40,000 Singaporeans who are residents in the UK. In the academic year 2017/2018, there were nearly 8,000 Singaporean students. Conversely, Singapore serves as a critical gateway for UK businesses that aim to penetrate the East Asian market. Today, over 4,000 UK companies have established a presence here. 

There are several pathways for Singaporeans to settle in the UK. Most notably, launched a couple years back in 2020, the Global Talent Visa, formerly known as the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. It has expanded to include a new fast track scheme arranged by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for world-leading scientists, top researchers and mathematicians to come to the UK. On top of that, the Global Talent Visa will continue to welcome talented applicants within the technology and arts and culture sectors. 

The Global Talent Visa 

The Global Talent Visa to work in the UK is eligible for interested applicants who are a leader or potential leader in one of the following fields:

  • Academic or research
  • Arts and Culture
  • Digital Technology

You must be at least 18 years old.

Things To Note:

  1. Before applying for the Visa – You usually apply for the Global Talent Visa if you have successfully applied for an endorsement to prove that you are a leader or potential leader.
  2. Duration of Stay – Live and work in the UK for up to 5 years at a time
  3. Application – Online
  4. Duration of Wait – 3 weeks if you are outside the UK, 8 weeks if you are inside the UK
  5. Fees – £716 (£524 – apply for endorsement, £192 – visa) per person
  6. Healthcare – £1035 per year for each person applying

Students in Singapore

According to an article by Straits Times, NUS and NTU grads can start job hunting in the UK under the new Visa scheme – High Potential Individual (HPI) visa. This was announced back in May 2022.

This scheme seeks to attract “the best and the brightest” at the beginning of their careers, regardless of where they were born. Furthermore, it is open to those who have graduated no later than 5 years prior to the date of application.

They also added that applicants do not need a job offer to apply. Moreover, dependents are allowed to accompany them as well.

Successful applicants will either be awarded a 2 year work visa if they hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree. They might also get a 3 year work visa if they hold a PhD.

Lastly, they may also switch to other long-term employment visas if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Other Visas in the UK

Firstly, to start off, to check if you need a visa to go to the UK here.

Visas To Note:


Many Singaporeans aspire to work overseas due to the stress of the local education system, which also fosters efficiency in the workforce. The UK, hosting around 40,000 Singaporeans and nearly 8,000 students in the 2017/2018 academic year, is a popular destination, strengthened by significant business ties with over 4,000 UK companies in Singapore. Key visa routes for Singaporeans include the Global Talent Visa, targeting leaders in academia, arts, and technology, and the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, allowing top university graduates to work in the UK without a job offer. Other notable visas include the Health and Care Worker visa, Skilled Worker visa, and various temporary work visas.

In addition, do check out our other latest articles. If you are keen, check out our articles on other analysis: Trust Bank Referral and Year-to-Date Performance Review 2023.

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