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Thai Designer Contracted in SIngapore - Pass?

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Shadowhawk
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Thai Designer Contracted in SIngapore - Pass?

Postby Shadowhawk » Sun, 23 Mar 2014 12:56 pm

Hey everyone,

The following question is on behalf of a friend of mine.

My friend, a Thai national, is an interior designer with a registered company in Thailand. She's been in contact with several Singaporean companies who are interested in her work, and potentially want to contract her design company. While most of the work can be done by her team in Thailand, she would have to come to Singapore from time to time for the following reasons:

-meet with potential clients (i.e., marketing)
-supervise execution of her designs (e.g., visiting the job site, directing workers, etc.)

She would typically have to stay in Singapore for 3 weeks or so, but that may have to be extended if the design execution takes longer than expected, or the job is larger than usual. She would likely need to visit Singapore in this fashion several times per year.

So comes the question: what pass should she apply for?

The Singaporean companies contracting her will not likely sponsor a normal Work Permit, so we are brainstorming other options.

I started looking for business visas for Singapore, and wound up on MFA's website:

http://www.mfa.gov.sg/content/mfa/overseasmission/london/visa_information/entryvisa_requirements.html

However, there isn't anything there, or on the ICA and MFA sites they link to, for Thai nationals.

I also looked at the other passes MOM offers, and the closest thing she would qualify for is Work Pass Exempt activities, as she is "Providing expertise or specialized skills," although not in plant and process machinery as stated in the sub-bullets. Also, forumers on this board have implied that Work Pass Exempt activities provide a maximum stay of 60 days/year, which would not satisfy her work requirements.

So, given that background, what options do you think she has?

Thanks in advance.

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Postby katbh » Sun, 23 Mar 2014 3:25 pm

Most people who do this sort of work do it on tourist visas. This is the standard. It is unlikely that there would be any other visa that they would qualify for as they do not intend to be resident in Singapore and they would not fall under the 'entertainment' visa option.

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Postby Shadowhawk » Sun, 23 Mar 2014 3:34 pm

katbh wrote:Most people who do this sort of work do it on tourist visas. This is the standard. It is unlikely that there would be any other visa that they would qualify for as they do not intend to be resident in Singapore and they would not fall under the 'entertainment' visa option.


Thanks for the reply. I was under the impression that this is illegal, though maybe it's only illegal for a tourist visa holder to work and draw salary from a Singaporean company (this I know for sure), and if you are working and drawing salary for a foreign company contracted by a Singaporean company, it's okay to come into Singapore and work (i.e., represent the interests of their company).

If anyone else could weigh in, it'd be much appreciated.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 24 Mar 2014 2:06 am

This is a very common practice... Flights are not full of tourists, they are full of business people. People come in from Hong Kong, from KL, from Jakarta, from Bangkok, and more.

There are some key takeaways here worth noting. First, she is not being employed by the Singapore company, she has a contract to perform a specific function. Second, she works for and pays taxes in Thailand. Third, she doesn't stay long term in Singapore, only long enough to review work, set up work plans, etc.

At any given time, and in any reasonably large company, you'll find people from all over the place in town on business from a one day "in and out" flight, to three or four weeks. I have never seen an issue with this, and frankly, unless the government were to insist on some kind of "day employment pass" (and to what end?), she should just come to Singapore on a standard tourist visa.

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Postby Shadowhawk » Mon, 24 Mar 2014 9:41 am

Strong Eagle wrote:This is a very common practice... Flights are not full of tourists, they are full of business people. People come in from Hong Kong, from KL, from Jakarta, from Bangkok, and more.

There are some key takeaways here worth noting. First, she is not being employed by the Singapore company, she has a contract to perform a specific function. Second, she works for and pays taxes in Thailand. Third, she doesn't stay long term in Singapore, only long enough to review work, set up work plans, etc.

At any given time, and in any reasonably large company, you'll find people from all over the place in town on business from a one day "in and out" flight, to three or four weeks. I have never seen an issue with this, and frankly, unless the government were to insist on some kind of "day employment pass" (and to what end?), she should just come to Singapore on a standard tourist visa.


SE, thanks very much for another informative post. When I get the chance, I'll confirm with the gahmen just to be sure we're not doing anything ... illicit.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 24 Mar 2014 9:05 pm

I think the only thing that would raise red flags is if she were in Singapore for a larger percentage of her time than in Thailand, for example, in on Monday, out on Friday, week after week after week.

If she reaches a point that business is that good, then forming a company and applying for EP would be the way to go.


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