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The Cost of Moving from the US to Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide

moving from the US to Singapore

Moving from the US to Singapore is an exciting opportunity. Singapore is a nation with a fantastic mix of people, nationals, ex-pats, and more. Here’s a fascinating place that is urban, comfortable, and efficient. Healthcare and schools are also excellent. And you’ll love the taxation, which aligns perfectly with the standard of living. 

But then moving requires understanding how much it would cost you to make that smooth transition. This comprehensive guide will explore the various expenses associated with the move and provide valuable tips on budgeting for your relocation.

The Cost of Living in Singapore

Before delving into the specifics of the move, it’s vital to understand the cost of living in Singapore compared to the US. Singapore is known for being one of the world’s most expensive cities. Housing, transportation, and healthcare are significant cost factors when budgeting for your move. Research the average rental prices, public transportation, and healthcare expenses to estimate your monthly budget in Singapore accurately.

Housing costs

Housing in Singapore is one of the most expensive in the world. If you’re looking to purchase property, it might be difficult as a foreigner. Hence, renting is more common. Even so, it might likely be your most significant expense when you move here. According to Numbeo in December 2023:

  •  One bedroom apartment in the City center costs S$4,033

  •  One bedroom apartment Outside the Center costs S$2,900

  •  Three bedroom apartment in the City center costs S$7,595

  •  Three bedroom apartment Outside the center costs S$5,209

Food, grocery & restaurants 

Singapore is an island city-state. Hence, the majority of its food is imported. Therefore, grocery prices are typically higher than in surrounding countries. Grocery prices in the US are generally 3.5% lower than in Singapore. Restaurant prices in the US are also 26.4% higher than in Singapore. Hence, two meals at a mid-range restaurant require an average of S$100.

Public transportation fees

Public transportation in Singapore is super affordable compared to many countries worldwide. It’s also calculated by distance. So you only pay for the distance you travel. You are also allowed up to 5 transfers in a 2-hour journey. This means you can transfer between buses and train networks. As an adult, you can choose from 3 ticket types/passes:

  • New Standard Ticket: $S1-S$2.30 + $S0.10 deposit (refunded on 3rd trip).

  • The Singapore Tourist Pass Unlimited Travel for S$10.00/day + S$10.00 deposit (refundable within 5 days)

  • Adult Stored Value Smartcard: $S10.00 + S$5.00 deposit (non-refundable).

Besides transportation, you may also have to plan for other expenditures. For instance, if you have kids, you must prepare for their education. Singapore’s education is top-tier—international student tuition ranges from $ 13,600 to $ 28,750.

Shipping costs: Moving from the US to Singapore

One significant cost of moving from Singapore to the US is shipping your household items. The shipping cost depends on factors such as the distance between your location in the US and your destination in Singapore. It also factors in the volume of your belongings. Then you need to choose to ship by air or ocean. Shipping by air gets your belongings to Singapore within three to eight days. By the sea, it can take up to eight weeks. Regardless, shipping by the ocean is more cost-effective. You can either pay for a complete container (Full container load or FCL) or pair it with others (less than a container load LCL). Your international house moving company in Singapore, Sirmove, can help you determine the costs of both methods. 

Visa and Immigration Costs

Obtaining a visa and dealing with immigration requirements are crucial parts of the moving process. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to apply for a work visa, an employment pass, or another type of visa to live and work in Singapore. These visas come with associated costs, including application fees and processing fees. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the different types of visas available and the fees involved to ensure accurate budgeting. Here are some sample costs. Remember that these figures are not absolutes and are subject to change. For more recent figures, check out the Singapore Ministry of Manpower:

  • Employment pass (job paying over S$3,300/month) = S$70application fee + S$150 issuing fee

  • S Pass (jobs paying at least S$2,200/month) = S$60 application fee + S$80 issuing fee

  • Dependent’s pass (spouses and children of employment pass or S pass holders) = S$60 application fee + S$150 issuing fee

  • Entrepass (for Entrepreneurs) = S$70application fee + S$150 issuing fee.

  • Training employment pass = S$ 70 application fee + S$150 issuing fee.

  • Work Holiday Programme (Valid for up to 6 months for those aged 18 - 25) = $150 issuing fee

  • Student’s Pass = S$30 application fee + S$60 issuing fee 

Insurance Costs

Insurance is an essential aspect of any move. You should consider obtaining health insurance to ensure you are covered for any medical expenses in Singapore. Additionally, your moving company will provide moving insurance, which includes coverage for any unexpected events during the journey. Typically, this may cost 3% of your shipment. You should research insurance providers if you’re getting additional moving insurance alongside other insurance needs. Next, compare policies and factor the insurance costs into your moving budget.

Removal Company Costs

Hiring a professional moving service can simplify relocating from the US to Singapore. Your removal company may handle everything from packing to shipping and even delivering to your destination home. Your moving overseas cost may be between S$ 7,200 and S$24,000.

Shipping a car to Singapore

Importing a new or used (less than three years old) or vintage car to Singapore is possible. However, there are some specific rules covered by the Land Transport Authority that you must abide by. SirMove also offers vehicle shipping and will move your car from your location in the US to your door in Singapore. 

Storage costs

No matter how you ship your belongings, you may also require temporary or long-term storage at your location or destination. Speak to your international moving company to help you figure out the strategic storage solutions you need.

Pet relocation 

Taking your pets to Singapore is also possible. However, you must prepare well and follow the guidelines for bringing pets to the country. Singapore also doesn’t allow certain breeds into the country. Specific regions within Singapore also have their requirements regarding pets. Fortunately, your moving company, SirMove, can help you understand the rules and processes of bringing your beloved pets abroad. 


Moving from the US to Singapore comes with various costs that should be considered during planning. By understanding the cost of living, shipping expenses, visa and immigration fees, insurance costs, and the expenses associated with moving services, you can effectively budget for a smooth transition. Use the provided information to gather more specific information and find potential cost-saving opportunities. With careful planning and budgeting, you can successfully navigate the costs of moving from the US to Singapore.

For more information, a consultation or an international moving quote contact, ring 65 6534 7345, or visit

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SIR Move Services Pte. Ltd.

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