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F.A.Q.: Frequently Asked Questions - Coming to Singapore / Immigration Matters PDF Print E-mail
Frequently Asked Questions - Coming to Singapore / Immigration Matters

Question: I've now been in Singapore for over 2 months leaving a good job to relocate with my fiance who is a P1 pass holder. During my time here I have had 2 Employment Passes rejected, I am now thinking of appealing and would be grateful for any advice on the process and what type of things immigration look out for. The only alternative is to get married earlier than planned. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation and have been able to solve this dilemma? (There's all this talk about attracting 'new talent' into the country, although they don't realise that most people come in pairs, married or not.)

Answer: Since you are planning to marry, you might consider marrying at the registry office. You would be legally married and then would still have your wedding later on as planned. It's not difficult and does not take long. If you are married to an employment pass holder then his company simply assists in your obtaining a dependent pass. This would also be done if you have any children.

Once you are a dependent, there are many things you can do. You can teach English, look after children, apply for all manner of jobs, then the time pressure is off and you don't have to keep running to JB for a new passport stamp.

You have to be very patient. I waited for six months for my employment pass. By the way, once you application is declined, it is almost impossible to re-open it.

I was running to JB every two weeks to renew my visa, and finally got tired of it and decided to go to the Registry of Marriage, since our wedding date was set already anyway. After that, my husband's company applied for dependant pass for me so I could stop going to JB. But to work full-time, you still need your own employment pass.

If you want to do contract work or hold a number of positions, the best route will be to set yourself up as a sole proprietor, really easy (as a dependants pass) and costs about $155.00.

For those who are not legally married you should get all the papers ready before coming out, or go to your High Comm. to say you were living in a "common law marriage" and that he would take financial responsibility for you, and have his company help you get a long term social visit pass. This means you won't have to keep leaving the country. If you find an employer willing to employ you and get you an employment pass then you'd be fine.

If you out here as a spouse to an expat the Career Resource Centre will be able to help you in your job search, they currently have about fifty jobs for expats listed - part time, full time, professional and non professional. Check out their web site: Or email the Ministry of Manpower who will advise you Tel: 332 8891

Question: Once you have a dependents pass in Singapore, is it easy to obtain employment? Do you still have to obtain an employment pass? How do you go about applying for a dependents pass in the first place? How long does it take to be processed?

Answer: You can work full time on a dependent's pass. Your employer applies to the Ministry of Manpower for a "Letter of Consent" on your behalf. Just a form to fill in and send in with details of your employment, your cv, previous work references etc. This letter of consent applies only for that job, so if you change employers you need a new LOC.
- Taken from our messageboard

Question : My partner has just found work here and starts soon. We have been together for some time but are not married. Does the Singapore government recognise this kind of de-facto relationship and can I therefore obtain a dependent's pass ?

Answer: No, you can't - you can only apply for a dependent's pass when you're married. However, you can apply for a long term social visit pass (valid for 6 months). For this you need to obtain a letter from your Embassy stating that you have been living in a de facto relationship.

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