Support Schemes for Returning Singaporeans

MOE provides a comprehensive suite of services to Singaporeans who are going overseas, Singaporeans who are currently overseas and Singaporeans who are returning home. The services available for Returning Singaporeans are:

Leave of Absence

In support of Singapore’s internationalisation efforts, MOE has implemented a Leave of Absence (LOA) Scheme to facilitate the re-admission of children who accompany their parents on overseas postings upon their return.

If your child is granted LOA, he/she will continue to be registered as a student of the school. Upon your return, your child can then be re-admitted to his/her former school directly.


Your child must be:

  • A Singapore citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR);
  • Presently studying in a Singapore school; and
  • Accompanying you on an overseas posting with the intention of re-joining his/her former school on return to Singapore;
  • OR

  • Registered for Primary One but will be overseas at the start of the school year.

LOA Period

  • Primary 1–6
  • Secondary 1–5
  • JC1 — JC2 / Pre-U1 — Pre-U3

LOA Services

Our schools will provide the following services to a child on LOA to ensure continual engagement with the school and to ease his/her subsequent return to the school:

  • Administrative matters — Key notices e.g. P1 sibling registration, DSA exercises, registration for key national examinations, LOA renewal and returning arrangements, etc.

  • Academic matters — Major test and examination papers and accompanying answers (where appropriate) on a regular basis. Access to the Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS), an online portal, to enable students to keep in touch with the national curriculum (opt-in through the current school when applying for LOA).

  • Relationship matters — Developments in the school and the local education scene

LOA Fees and Renewal of LOA

The schools will charge an annual nominal fee* for a child on LOA. The quantum will be determined by the school concerned. At the end of each year, parents will need to decide whether to renew the LOA for their child for another year. The child’s LOA status will lapse for those who decide not to renew their LOA.

*As a guide, the annual fee for primary schools will be at least $39, for secondary schools at least $60 and for junior colleges at least $81.

How to apply

  • Complete the Application Form for Leave of Absence (14kb .pdf)

  • Submit application form to the school. LOA application is subject to Principal's approval.

  • 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

  • Renew LOA in November each year by submitting the renewal application form together with the required payment

Immersion Programme

Returning Singaporean children returning from overseas for a short duration can consider enrolling in an immersion programme, which allows him/her to attend classes for a stipulated period to experience school life in Singapore. This will help in easing your child’s re-entry to the system. You may approach the schools directly to apply for the immersion programme. Alternatively, you may apply for the programme through MOE by submitting the Application Form for Immersion Programme (not earlier than 3 months from the intended date of immersion). 

You may indicate your preference for schools, but MOE is not able to guarantee immersion in any particular school as it is subjected to the Principal’s consensus. In the event your preferred school is unable to accommodate your immersion request, we will identify other schools near your local residence for your child's immersion. You will normally be required to pay for school fees for the period that your child is in school. Depending on the individual schools, you may also be required to purchase school uniforms, textbooks, etc. Please note that immersion is not an admission process, and being granted immersion in a school will not guarantee your child a permanent school place or give your child priority for admission.

Boarding Award Scheme

For Singapore Citizen children whose parents are working or residing overseas, MOE has implemented a Boarding Award Scheme. This scheme provides young Singapore Citizens studying in a Singapore mainstream school at the Secondary or Pre-University level (Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute) with the benefits of living in hostels in Singapore while pursuing their Singapore education.

Eligibility for Boarding Award Scheme

  • Your child as well as one parent must be a Singapore citizen

  • Your child must be studying in a Singapore mainstream school at the Secondary or Pre-University level (Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute)

  • Both you and your spouse are residing overseas. Neither of you are in Singapore for more than 90 days in a calendar year

Details of Boarding Award Scheme

  • 80% of boarding fees for all students who are studying in Singapore mainstream secondary schools or Junior Colleges or Millennia Institute

  • 100% of boarding fees for those who are recipients of the Edusave Scholarships for Independent Schools (ESIS)

  • Award is only tenable at these hostels:
    • ACS (Independent) Boarding School (Mixed)
    • ACS Oldham Hall (Mixed)
    • Anglican House (Mixed)
    • Dunman High School Hostel (Mixed)
    • Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School (Mixed)
    • Nanyang Girls’ High Boarding School (Girls only)
    • National Junior College Boarding School (Mixed)
    • NUS High School Residence (Mixed)
    • Raffles Institution Boarding School (Mixed)
    • St. Andrew’s Hall (Mixed)
    • Victoria Hall (Mixed)

Benefits of hostel living

  • Peace of mind - You can be assured that your child will be in a safe and familiar environment, looked after by housemasters, experiencing the comforts and security of a home away from home.

  • Personal growth and development - As boarders, your child will learn time management, taking care of personal needs and making independent decisions. Your child will grow in maturity and become self-disciplined, independent and responsible.

  • Community living - Living in an extended community, your child will learn about resilience, teamwork and cooperation, caring for one another and placing the concerns of others before self. The hostel will also be a place where networking begins and lasting friendships form.

How to apply

To apply for the Boarding Award, you may complete the Application Form for Boarding Award Scheme.

For more information, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.