Things to Know When Moving to Singapore

Things to know when moving to Singapore

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Many would know Singapore as Malaysia’s backyard, and it is common for Malaysians to travel freely between both countries. Malaysians and Singaporeans virtually look the same, speak the same languages and can be mistaken for one or another. But there are differences between the two countries that Malaysians should know when travelling or moving to Singapore.


How do I enter Singapore?

Every Malaysian upon entering Singapore will be given a Disembarkation/Embarkation Card (D/E Card). This immigration pass is also known as a Short Term Visit Pass.

Alternatively, if you have already found employment in Singapore, you may request your employer to apply for an E Pass or S Pass on your behalf.


What’s the best way to travel to Singapore?

There are four main modes of transport: take a flight, take a bus, take a train or drive your own car – or a combination of these.

Take a flight

Flying is the fastest but most expensive mode of transport. It takes about 80 minutes to get from country to country, including immigration clearance.

Airasia frequently offers cheap budget flights from KLIA 2 to Changi Airport Singapore, sometimes as low as 100 MYR (30 SGD). Alternatives such as Jetstar or Scoot are also options, although at a slightly higher fee.

Online flight aggregators such as Cheap Flights or Skyscanner are useful tools to help you book the cheapest flight possible

Take a Train

Taking the train is the most time-consuming way, and I would not really recommend it – only unless you really enjoy long train rides or you are on a super tight budget.

Check Easy Book to Book Singapore-Malaysia train tickets.

Take a Bus

Buses depart from TBS, the main bus station for buses to Singapore. TBS is short for Terminal Bersepadu Selatan.

Buses usually take between 4 to 6 hours depending on factors such as traffic and immigration. There will be stops along the way as well for passengers to clear their bladder and stretch their legs.

Buses will arrive in Singapore at one of the many arrival points – such as Newton Station, Bugis Station or Tampines Station.

You can find the cheapest rates for bus tickets on Easy Book, or Red Bus for various arrival and destination points.

Drive your own Car

Lastly, driving your own car is an option if you value the familiarity of being in your own car. Some travellers might opt for this if they have too much luggage to fit on the plane, or simply if they enjoy joyriding on the highway.

Driving in Singapore is definitely a pleasant experience, and finding your way shouldn’t be a problem if you have GPS and data access.

One thing to note is to prepare a Cash Card as its the most common way to pay for tolls and parking – which is available at Convenience Stores, such as 7 -Eleven.


How long can I stay in Singapore?

The Disembarkation/Embarkation (or D/E) card only permits a limit of 30 days, but can be extend for up to 90 days. Other passes such as the Employment Pass has a 3 years limit while the S Pass has a 2 years limit.


Is it legal to work in Singapore?

It is highly unlikely that you will be able to find employment within the 30 days limit of the Disembarkation/Embarkation (or D/E) card.

Most foreigners who seek to find long term jobs in Singapore would require a prospective employer to apply for the E Pass or the S Pass on their behalf.

More often than not, Malaysians pursue Singaporean job hunts over multiple trips into Singapore to refresh the limit of the D/E card.


Where should I stay in Singapore?

Finding a place to stay in Singapore as a foreigner is tricky. The most common type of housing in Singapore are HDBs, the equivalent of apartments or flats. Generally, rentals approved for residential use require long term stays of 6 months or more. D/E card holders probably have to resort to pricier tourist accommodation such as Airbnb or Agoda, or more affordable backpacker inns such as Hostel World.

That said, E Pass and S Pass owners now have to decide between HDB, Condos, Landed or Communal-type accommodation.

HDB apartments

The cheapest option: HDB flat owners are not allowed to rent out their flats to tourists. Flats can only be rented to foreigners who hold passes such as Student Passes and Long-Term Social Visit Passes.


Condos are the middle-priced option. Most condos have access to a gym, swimming pools, and function rooms. This is a common favourite amongst foreigners.

Landed properties

Landed properties may be pricey, but definitely worth it if you can afford it.

Look for HDB, Condos or Landed property to rent on, Carousell’s Property Tab, or even Facebook Property Groups.

Co-living service rooms

I personally recommend finding co-living spaces such as Hmlet, as you will get to mingle with other foreigners and expatriates from different parts of the world.

The community managers will also organize biweekly or monthly events to create opportunities to meet new friends and mingle, which can be difficult to do in a new and foreign territory.



Singapore is a pleasant place to work in for most Malaysians especially because it is a very seamless transition. Like we’ve mentioned, Malaysians can blend in as a Singaporean without any difficulty.

When it comes to moving to a new country – the key rule is to always do your research beforehand to prepare you for what’s to come….

By the way, if you need a trusted professional for any of your home repairs or installation when you move to Malaysia, be sure to hire experts on Kaodim and for any of your moving needs, locally and internationally – be sure to hire Moovaz as your official movers