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Returning Singaporeans

Who are Returning Singaporeans?

Returning Singaporean children refers to children who are Singapore Citizens (SC) orSingapore Permanent Residents (SPR) who are living and studying overseas and are currently not attending local schools.

Returning Singaporean Children include:
  • Children who are going overseas to live and study.
  • Children who are currently living and studying overseas.
  • Children who are returning home having lived and studied overseas.

What are the options for school admission for Returning Singaporean?

In recognition of the different needs of Returning Singaporeans, MOE has provided several options for school admission. Returning Singaporeans can choose one or more options based on their individual needs. For example, Returning Singaporeans who have a strong preference for a school of choice may choose to approach the school directly to seek admission, or also apply to MOE for assistance for school placement.

Students who are Returning Singaporeans have 2 options:
  1. Apply for admission at their schools of choice directly.  Shortlisted applicants may be required to sit for the School’s Placement Test.  The cost of Placement test fees for 1st subject is $44 and $22 for each subsequent subject.
  2. Participate in the School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans (SPERS) or in the Direct School Admission exercise.

Any centralised placement exercise conducted by the Ministry of Education for school admission?

School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans (SPERS) was started in 2006 to facilitate Returning Singaporeans’ (RS) re-entry into the local education system by offering a more convenient one-stop alternative to the ad hoc admission system where RS would have to approach several schools individually and sit for multiple school-based entrance tests. SPERS-Sec involves applicants sitting for a common set of English and Mathematics tests in mid-October for Secondary 1-3 admission in the following year. Based on their overall performance in the SPERS-Sec tests, applicants will each receive a list of secondary schools where students of similar abilities are already studying in. Applicants will then submit their school choices, following which MOE will then post them based on their school choices, their performance in the SPERS-Sec tests and available vacancies.

Details of the SPERS-Sec and SPERS-JC/MI exercises and the Supplementary Placement Exercise are found in the MOE RS website at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/returning-singaporeans/

Leave of Absence (LOA) Scheme (Applicable to Returning Singaporeans only)

What is Leave of Absence (LOA) Scheme?

In support of Singapore’s regionalisation efforts, the Ministry of Education has implemented a Leave of Absence Scheme (LOA) to facilitate children who accompany their parents on overseas posting to be readmitted into their schools upon their return.

Under this scheme, children granted LOA will continue to be registered as a student of the school. Upon their return, they can be re-admitted to their schools directly.

Who are eligible to apply for the LOA Scheme?

The child must be a Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), and is presently studying in a Singapore school and will be accompanying his parent on an overseas posting and intends to re-join his former school on his return.

Why must pay to apply for the LOA scheme? How much?

LOA fees were charged to defray the schools’ administrative costs of keeping in touch with these students. With effect from 1 Jan 2013, the LOA fee pro-rated on a quarterly basis by SGSS is as follows:
  • $240 for one full year;
  • $180 for ¾ of year (ie. start month is April onward);
  • $120 for ½ year (ie. start month is July onward); and
  • $60 for ¼ year of LOA  (ie. start month is October onwards). 

How to apply for the LOA Scheme?

  1. Complete the Application Form for Leave of Absence. Form is available on the MOE website at: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/returning-singaporeans/leave-of-absence/
  2. Submit application form to the school.
  3. Enclose a cheque made payable to the school (if application is made by post) or make cash payment at the school.  Please do not send cash by post.
  4. Renew LOA in November each year by submitting the renewal application form together with the required payment.

Do I need to renew the LOA Scheme on a yearly basis?

At the end of October, parents will need to decide whether to renew the LOA for their child for another year.  LOA status will lapse for those who decide not to renew their LOA application. 

For existing LOA applicants, parents are to submit the renewal application form together with the required payment to the school by November.

Who can I contact for enquiries on MOE Services for Returning Singaporeans?

For enquiries on MOE Services for Returning Singaporeans, you can contact:

Customer Service Centre
Tel: +65 68722220
Fax: +65 67754487 / +65 67768616

Student Admissions

International Students (IS)

International student with Dependant’s Pass (DP) or Immigration Exemption Order (IEO) or with either parent who is a Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), and who wish to study in a mainstream school, meeting the age criteria, may consider the following 2 options:

Option 1: Apply directly to schools

Schools generally consider admission applications in the first half of the year and international students may apply for admission at their schools of choice directly.  Admission is subject to the availability of vacancies and the international students meeting the school’s admission criteria.

International students with DP/IEO need not apply for Student’s Pass but International Students with either parent who is a SC/SPR need to apply for a Student’s Pass.  Admission is subject to the applicant obtaining a Student’s Pass issued by the ICA.

Option 2: Participate in Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS)

International students seeking admission into Secondary 1-3 in the following academic year can apply centralized school admissions under AEIS.  International students participating in AEIS would enjoy the convenience of a centralized test on English and Mathematics, and the offer of a school place based on available school vacancies and their performance in the centralized test. There would be no school choices and requests for school transfers will not be entertained.

To register for or find out more about AEIS, please visit the AEIS webpage at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/international-students/admissions-exercise/

International Students (IS)

International student without Dependant’s Pass (DP), without Immigration Exemption Order (IEO) and whose parents are not Singapore Citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), and who wish to study in a mainstream school, meeting the age criteria, are required to sit for and pass the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS) that is conducted in Sep/Oct annually. This exercise is for International students seeking admission in the following academic year.  International students participating in AEIS would enjoy the convenience of a centralized test on English and Mathematics, and the offer of a school place based on available school vacancies and their performance in the centralized test.  There would be no school choices and requests for school transfers will not be entertained.

International students who are unable to make it for the AEIS may wish to participate in the Supplementary Admissions Exercise for International Students (S-AEIS) in Feb/Mar for admission in the same academic year.

Shortlisted student will receive a Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR+) Registration Acknowledgement Letter from the school that will register him for Student’s Pass (STP) application. Upon receiving the SOLAR+ Registration Acknowledgement Letter issued by the school, the applicant should log into SOLAR+ on-line at ICA website immediately to apply for a Student’s Pass.

Local Students’ Admission

Admission is subject to the availability of vacancies and the students meeting the school’s admission criteria. Shortlisted students may be required to sit for the entrance test to assess their suitability for subject allocation.