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NEW TO SINGAPORE?

Have you moved to Singapore recently and don’t know how to rent an apartment or open a bank account? Do you need more information about getting a local driving license or want to know where you can get Indian groceries? Here’s some help…

About Singapore

Singapore consists of the main, low-lying Singapore Island and 58 smaller islands within its territorial waters. Urban areas comprise almost 50% of the land area, while parkland, reservoirs, plantations and open military areas occupy 40%. Singapore Island measures approximately 42km east to west and 23km north to south at its widest points. While there are built-up, high-density areas all around the island, the main city area is in the south, built on the shores of the Singapore River. The Central Business District (CBD) is at the southern shore of the river's mouth. Chinatown adjoins the CBD to the south-west. To the north of the Singapore River is the colonial district, which has many reminders of British rule. Further north again is Little India and Arab St. Orchard Rd runs north-west from the colonial district.

To the west of the island is Jurong, an industrial area with a sprinkling of tourist attractions. The east coast has some of the older residential areas, a major beach park and the international airport. The north-east is the location of huge housing developments and the central north of the island has most of Singapore's undeveloped land and remaining forest. A 1km long causeway connects Singapore with Johor Bahru in Malaysia; a second causeway is planned to relieve congestion. Under current plans, land reclamation and housing developments should dramatically alter Singapore's geography.

Hot and humid year-round, Singapore's temperature almost never drops below 20 degrees Celsius, even at night, and usually climbs to 30 degrees Celsius during the day. Humidity is high, hovering around the 75% mark. Singapore is wettest from November to January and at its driest from May to July - the difference between the two, however, is slight. And due to Singapore's proximity to the equator, it receives a steady diet of sunshine all year.

Renting an apartment

You can rent a Housing Development Board (HDB) or private condominium/ apartment with the help of real estate agents or look at the classifieds in the Straits Times. Most landlords lease out their properties for a minimum of 1 year, though some may do so for 2 years or more than that term. It is not allowed to rent a residential property for less than six months. If you use the services of an Agent, you will need to pay the agent one month’s rent for every year of the term of the lease agreement. Please ensure you read the lease agreement carefully and note the clauses related to termination of the agreement.

Opening a bank account

You can open a bank account with any of the Indian, local, or multinational banks in Singapore. Most will require copies of your passport, employment pass (EP) card and any other relevant information. Please check the requirements with the bank when you go to open an account.

Getting a driving license

If you have a valid Indian driving license before you moved to Singapore, you can convert it to a Singapore Driving License by sitting for the Basic Theory Test. This is an online test that you can take at the Traffic Police Driving Test Centres. You can find more information at the following links:
http://driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg
The test centres are located at:
Singapore Driving Test Centre 3, Ang Mio Kio, St 62
Bukit Batok Driving Centre 815, Bukit Batok West Ave 5
Comfort Driving Centre 215, Ubi Ave 4

The conversion can be done in person at the Traffic Police Department with the following documents:
- Your Passport
- Your pass certificate for the Singapore Basic Driving Theory test
- Your valid Indian driving licence
- Certification from the licensing authority of the date of the test
  (If your Indian driving licence is not in English, an official translation is required)
- A processing fee payable with Cashcard or NETS.
- Passport photo with a white background

Indian Groceries

You can get most Indian groceries at Little India on Serangoon Road. The area has various shops that traditionally stock needs like masale, vegetables as well as popular Indian brands. The closest MRT stations are Little India and Farrer Park.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Police: Tel: 999 Police Hotline Tel: 6225 0000
  • Ambulance: Tel: 995 Ambulance (non-emergency) Tel: 1777
  • Fire Brigade: Tel: 995
  • Hospitals
  • Adam Road Hospital Tel: 6466 7777
  • Alexandra Hospital Tel: 6472 2000
  • Ang Mo Kio Hospital Tel: 6453 8033
  • Balestier Medical Centre Tel: 6253 3818
  • Camden Medical Centre Tel: 6887 3210
  • Changi General Hospital Tel: 6788 8833
  • Child Guidance Clinic, Inst. of Health Tel: 6435 3879
  • East Shore Tel: 6344 7588
  • Gleneagles Tel: 6473 7222
  • Institute of Mental Health & Woodbridge Hospital Tel: 6389 2200
  • Tel: 6389 2222 (24-hr emergency service)
  • KK Women's & Children's Hospital Tel: 6293 4044
  • Mount Alvernia Hospital Tel: 6347 6688
  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital Tel: 6737 2666
  • Helpline: 1800 738 9595
  • National University Hospital Tel: 6779 5555
  • Raffles Hospital Tel: (65) 6311 1111
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital Tel: 6256 6011
  • Thomson Medical Centre Tel: 6256 9494
  • Singapore General Hospital Tel: 6222 3322 / 6321 4311 (A&E)

Indian High Commission in Singapore & Consular Services

The High Commission of India, in Singapore, is located at 31, Grange Road. No. 1 near Orchard Building (where the California Fitness Centre is located) and is within walking distance of the Orchard Building and Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya)/the Mandarin Orchard Hotel (Meritus Mandarin?), located on Orchard Road. Other landmarks near the High Commission are the Singapore Power building on Somerset Road and the Singtel building on Exeter Road. The nearest MRT station is Somerset. Orchard MRT station is also within walking distance. 

Address:
The High Commission of India
31, Grange Road, Singapore 239702.
Tel: 6737 6777 Fax: 6732 6909
https://www.hcisingapore.gov.in/
Email : indiahc@pacific.net.sg

Indian Banks in Singapore

  • AXIS Bank - Tel: 6571 9229
  • Bank of Baroda - Tel: 6536 7749
  • Bank of India - Tel: 62220011
  • Export-Import Bank of India - Tel: 6532 6464
  • ICICI Bank - Tel: 6723 9288
  • Indian Bank - Tel: 6534 3511
  • Indian Overseas Bank - Tel: 6225 1100
  • UCO Bank - Tel: 6532 5054
  • State Bank of India – Tel: 6228 1116

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