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Long Term Visit Pass application issue

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IanE
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Long Term Visit Pass application issue

Postby IanE » Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:43 am

I moved to Singapore two months ago on an Employment Pass and my partner, whom I lived with for seven years in the UK previously has come to Singapore with me.

Before I left the UK I checked to see the criteria for my partner to get a Long Term Visit Pass and I noted that to be eligible for the pass I needed a "Letter from Main Pass Holder's respective Embassy or high Commission confirming the status of common-law marriage or Statutory Declaration of common law relationship". So I wrote an email to the British High Commission and they responded with an auto email stating "We do not issue this letter. The Ministry of Manpower has confirmed to us in writing that British nationals applying for Long Term Visit Pass for their partners do not need a letter from the British High Commission Singapore. Please furnish all their other requirements and the pass will be ready on the appointed date. The same is true if you are a permanent resident seeking a long term visit pass for your partner. If the authorities insist, you will need to make a statutory declaration at a lawyer’s and present this to the authorities."

I put the application in for the Long Term Visit Pass and it was rejected, saying "Missing Letter from Main Pass Holder's respective Embassy or High Commission confirming the status of common-law marriage or notarised affidavit by the work pass holder stating his/her common-law relationship with the applicant as recognised by their country, and the official English Translation (if applicable)."

So I sent the application back to MoM, along with a letter explaining that the British High Commission had stated that a letter is not needed for British nationals and I printed a copy of the email from the High Commission, highlighting the relevant part.

I received another rejection letter yesterday saying "Missing notarised affidavit by the work pass holder stating his/her common-law relationship with the applicant as recognised by their country, and the official English Translation (if applicable) to confirm the status of common-law marriage. The attached documents are not acceptable."

Does anyone know what a notarised affidavit is and how I go about getting one?

Thanks in advance for any help supplied.

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Postby ali-sha » Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:57 pm

There were changes made effective 1 March in regards to the LTVP. In the past, you could have a stat dec declaring your relationship. Now, MOM requires the notarised affidavit, and unless you are in a same sex relationship that is recognised by the UK, the UK will not sign off as they do not accept common law relationships. Your partner will need to find work here and receive their own pass in order to stay here with you.
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Postby IanE » Tue, 22 Apr 2014 1:28 pm

ali-sha wrote:There were changes made effective 1 March in regards to the LTVP. In the past, you could have a stat dec declaring your relationship. Now, MOM requires the notarised affidavit, and unless you are in a same sex relationship that is recognised by the UK, the UK will not sign off as they do not accept common law relationships. Your partner will need to find work here and receive their own pass in order to stay here with you.


Thanks for your response, although it does sound alarming if I cannot get a LTVP for my partner.

From MoM's response, it does look like I need a notarised affidavit from me, but I don't really know what this is and how I go about getting it.

Can anyone else advise me on this?

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Postby ali-sha » Tue, 22 Apr 2014 1:42 pm

This is a reply from the British Commission in early March 2014

Further to my email, I consulted my colleagues in the High Commission in Singapore on your query.

I was informed that The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently changed their policy on Long Term Visit Passes (LTVP) These are immigration passes issued to partners of foreign nationals who hold employment passes who are in a ‘common-law-relationship’. Prior to 1st March 2014 a British national and his/her partner could make statutory declaration on their relationship and submit this with their LTVP application and the LTVP would normally be granted. Since 1st March 2014 MOM now require the citizens to obtain a letter from their embassy or high commission stating that they accept and recognise the declaration of common-law-marriage.

Unfortunately the term common-law-marriage has no legal status in the UK, the High Commission therefore cannot write a letter recognising the relationship which unfortunately means that the LTVP cannot be processed.

You may if you wish, get married and then you could apply for your husband’s dependant’s pass but other than that he would be looking at either a short term visit passes, or, if he was able to find work, an employment pass in his own right. The short term visit passes obviously have problems, as the Singapore Immigration authorities would not allow this to be used long term and could refuse entry at any time.

I hope this helps.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 23 Apr 2014 9:33 pm

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You could always get married. I suppose the 'take-away' is the Brit HC are not equipped to certify the veracity of someone's claimed status-free relationship. How can they?

I can't see any other place would have rolled out the red carpet for your unemployed boyfriend either.

[/i]

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Postby ali-sha » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 7:05 am

Marriage is on the cards, however, one of us is still in need of finalising a divorce. Unfortunately, until that has been completed, we are not in a position to marry.

And for what it is worth, my partner is employed here in Singapore, it was me who was not.
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 7:41 am

Unfortunately the term common-law-marriage has no legal status in the UK, the High Commission therefore cannot write a letter recognising the relationship which unfortunately means that the LTVP cannot be processed.


ali-sha wrote:Marriage is on the cards, however, one of us is still in need of finalising a divorce. Unfortunately, until that has been completed, we are not in a position to marry.

And for what it is worth, my partner is employed here in Singapore, it was me who was not.


If the divorce is not finalized, you're still married. If you're still married, you're not in a common-law marriage, legally recognized or not.

This is exactly why the High Commission won't help you: You're committing fraud.[/b]

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 9:41 am

Good point, and that might be the end of the road.

She can't get a Dependent Pass (DP) as they aren't married.*

And unless he's SGn or a PR, the LTVP doesn't look like a potential avenue either ... http://www.ica.gov.sg/services_centre_o ... pageid=376




* Note the MoM website refers to one of two eligible categories as 'spouses (legally married)', and the other being children. That's pretty black and white. In fact I was quite surprised that they are now (?) as specific to use that precise wording. http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... fault.aspx

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Postby IanE » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 9:52 am

This is terrible, it looks MoM have changed the LTVP criteria as per the above link.

When I was planning the move to Singapore earlier in the year I checked and at the time I would have been able to get my partner an LTVP, which i applied for when we had found somewhere to live.

Now that I am here, it looks like it's changed, so I'm really not sure what to do now.

As per my previous post, MoM have said that the LTVP has been rejected because: "Missing notarised affidavit by the work pass holder stating his/her common-law relationship with the applicant as recognised by their country, and the official English Translation (if applicable) to confirm the status of common-law marriage. The attached documents are not acceptable."

So it looks like I can get a notarised affadavit, but I don't know how to go about doing this, can anyone advise how I go about doing such a thing?

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:38 am

I can see that they’re trying to move away from granting mere ‘girl/boyfriend visas’, but a blanket ban on unmarried couples is certainly also going to block some top-flight FT, who just happen to have not got around to getting married.

The criteria do seem to have changed. I mean it wasn’t long ago we were discussing same-sex couples and the proving of being ‘effectively married’, or <I>de facto</i> marriage. But then I have to wonder what their definition of ‘legally married’ is... (does it include Common Law marriage?)

I haven’t had to get a notarised affadavit, but I understand (inexpertly) it basically involves making a statement in front of a lawyer (or notary public). I expect you might need to bring documentation/proof to satisfactorily back-up your statement. They’re then attesting that they’ve confirmed your credentials, and hence the government can take that into account.

-- Proving a common-law relationship has been discussed at length here before (worth searching). As I recall it’s essentially proving it’s not a sham relationship. Family photos going back some time, joint bills, a joint bank account ... i.e. some established joint track record.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:42 am

IanE wrote:This is terrible, it looks MoM have changed the LTVP criteria as per the above link.

When I was planning the move to Singapore earlier in the year I checked and at the time I would have been able to get my partner an LTVP, which i applied for when we had found somewhere to live.

Now that I am here, it looks like it's changed, so I'm really not sure what to do now.

As per my previous post, MoM have said that the LTVP has been rejected because: "Missing notarised affidavit by the work pass holder stating his/her common-law relationship with the applicant as recognised by their country, and the official English Translation (if applicable) to confirm the status of common-law marriage. The attached documents are not acceptable."

So it looks like I can get a notarised affadavit, but I don't know how to go about doing this, can anyone advise how I go about doing such a thing?


You bigger problem is how to get a notarised affadavit as most notaries will already know what you want it for and the fact that the UK doesn't recognize that type of relationship, therefore will not notarise an affidavit that is obviously attempting to commit fraud. There are plenty of notaries here in Singapore, but willing to jeopardize their position by notarizing a knowingly fraudulent document will be another matter.

I think you are going to have to rethink your options. Singapore is tightening up in all areas regarding immigration and Employment Passes and other residency vehicles. It looks like too many locals have complained about unmarried trailing persons when their own citizens cannot get passes for their legitimate foreign spouses. Guess you cannot blame them for trying to level out the playing field.

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Postby IanE » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:57 am

JR8 wrote:I haven’t had to get a notarised affadavit, but I understand (inexpertly) it basically involves making a statement in front of a lawyer (or notary public). I expect you might need to bring documentation/proof to satisfactorily back-up your statement. They’re then attesting that they’ve confirmed your credentials, and hence the government can take that into account.

-- Proving a common-law relationship has been discussed at length here before (worth searching). As I recall it’s essentially proving it’s not a sham relationship. Family photos going back some time, joint bills, a joint bank account ... i.e. some established joint track record.


Thanks, that's really helpful information.

The annoying thing about this situation was that before moving to Singapore I checked it out with the British High Commission and they said that they had an agreement with MoM that "British nationals applying for Long Term Visit Pass for their partners do not need a letter from the British High Commission Singapore". Following this advice, we put our paperwork with out other belongings that went into storage before leaving the UK.

Oh well, we've had a joint bank account for years and split the bills previously, so we'll have to find some details online.

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Postby IanE » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:05 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
You bigger problem is how to get a notarised affadavit as most notaries will already know what you want it for and the fact that the UK doesn't recognize that type of relationship, therefore will not notarise an affidavit that is obviously attempting to commit fraud. There are plenty of notaries here in Singapore, but willing to jeopardize their position by notarizing a knowingly fraudulent document will be another matter.

I think you are going to have to rethink your options. Singapore is tightening up in all areas regarding immigration and Employment Passes and other residency vehicles. It looks like too many locals have complained about unmarried trailing persons when their own citizens cannot get passes for their legitimate foreign spouses. Guess you cannot blame them for trying to level out the playing field.


Thanks for your response, but I don't follow how notarising an affidavit that I have written stating the details my true common-in law marriage, with necessary back up documentation is attempting to commit fraud. Indeed, the British High Commission have said "If the authorities insist, you will need to make a statutory declaration at a lawyer’s and present this to the authorities."

My issue is that I don't really understand what I need to declare and what sort of back up documentation I may need.

Unfortunately it is a bit late for me to rethink my options, bearing in mind I moved here for a job and I'm tied into a two year lease agreement on an apartment.

I do understand why they may tighten up on certain areas of immigration, but it's a bit tough when the goalposts are changed half way through a move.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:37 am

Isn't the issue that you're still married to person A, and now wishing to attest to an effective marriage to person B?

I think attesting the latter is one thing, and a hurdle that can be crossed... but with #A still legally in the picture I rather doubt it. Under UK law you can't be legally 'married' to two people at once, can you? I rather doubt it...

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Postby IanE » Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:44 am

JR8 wrote:Isn't the issue that you're still married to person A, and now wishing to attest to an effective marriage to person B?


I think that there is a little confusion, I am the original poster and I'm seeking advice on how to complete a notarised affadavit for my partner to stay in Singapore. Someone else ("ali-sha") also contributed to this thread and they're the one who has an issue with one of them still being married.


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