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Visa extension problems!

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kbcp
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Visa extension problems!

Postby kbcp » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 3:22 pm

I'm a Canadian citizen who has spent three months in Singapore during the fall of 2014. My fiance has a job here and I am using social passes until I can apply for a spousal visa in May, after our wedding (which will not take place in Singapore). I obtained three roughly consecutive 30-day visit passes during 2014 by applying successfully online the first time, and then going on a 5-day trip to Thailand the second time.

I left Singapore for five weeks over Christmas and returned in January. After 30 days, my online pass extension was denied. I got the news this morning and took a round trip to Johor Bahru. Upon returning, I was taken to an interrogation room, where the fact that I was trying to make a round-trip after a denied extension was frowned upon (understandably). Luckily, I was able to enter the country by explaining my circumstances (that I am engaged to a British citizen who works in Singapore, and will be married (and eligible for a spousal visa) in May.

I am visiting Langkawi in three weeks for a five-day trip. I am anxious that when I return to Singapore, I will face the same questions as I did today. That said, I do need to exit the country around that time as my pass runs out. When I return, I will apply for a 90-day visit pass sponsored by a Singaporean resident.

My question is this -- does anyone know if I am handicapped by my denied extension? And can anyone recommend how I should proceed for the next few months? Today's interview with the ICA has me quite shaken! I should add that I have never had any problems with immigration up to this point. The Johor Bahru atmosphere was so different than Changi, where they barely even glance at my passport.

Thank you in advance!

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zzm9980
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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:17 pm

Yes. You're hurting yourself, and potentially your chances of staying long term. Marriage does not guarantee you'll even receive a pass to stay in Singapore.

I would suggest leave for a few months, then come back after you're applied for and have approval for the pass to stay. Or, get at least legally married here at the ROM and apply for a pass ASAP.

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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby kbcp » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:28 pm

Thank you for that advice -- I will be out of the country for three months before returning to Singapore to pursue a spousal visa, if that makes a difference. I am going to go to ICA with documentation concerning my partner's status here, our wedding plans, my proposed day of departure, etc. to see if I can get a 90 day extension with a local sponsor. We are also thinking of getting documentation from the UK consul stating that our relationship would be considered a marriage in the UK (common law).

I'm just so surprised that all of a sudden it's a problem, when I got in three times previously with ease (through immigration in 30 seconds). But I suppose that now I have established a visible pattern.

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JR8
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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:50 pm

kbcp wrote:I'm a Canadian citizen who has spent three months in Singapore during the fall of 2014. My fiance has a job here and I am using social passes until I can apply for a spousal visa in May, after our wedding (which will not take place in Singapore). I obtained three roughly consecutive 30-day visit passes during 2014 by applying successfully online the first time, and then going on a 5-day trip to Thailand the second time.

I left Singapore for five weeks over Christmas and returned in January. After 30 days, my online pass extension was denied. I got the news this morning and took a round trip to Johor Bahru. Upon returning, I was taken to an interrogation room, where the fact that I was trying to make a round-trip after a denied extension was frowned upon (understandably). Luckily, I was able to enter the country by explaining my circumstances (that I am engaged to a British citizen who works in Singapore, and will be married (and eligible for a spousal visa) in May.

I am visiting Langkawi in three weeks for a five-day trip. I am anxious that when I return to Singapore, I will face the same questions as I did today. That said, I do need to exit the country around that time as my pass runs out. When I return, I will apply for a 90-day visit pass sponsored by a Singaporean resident.

My question is this -- does anyone know if I am handicapped by my denied extension? And can anyone recommend how I should proceed for the next few months? Today's interview with the ICA has me quite shaken! I should add that I have never had any problems with immigration up to this point. The Johor Bahru atmosphere was so different than Changi, where they barely even glance at my passport.

Thank you in advance!


Hauled in for doing 'visa runs'; you're not the first. There comes a point where their red flags go up.
What SVP did you get this latest time? What did they say about staying until your wedding?
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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JR8
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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:55 pm

kbcp wrote:We are also thinking of getting documentation from the UK consul stating that our relationship would be considered a marriage in the UK (common law).


I'd ask for their advice, but not assume that they'll attest anything. It used to be done, hence you'll see that advice around on the web, but I believe latterly the position has been that they do not regard themselves in a position to adjudicate on such matters, i.e. and also, that it's not a part of their diplomatic function.

So check first, and have no presumptions. That's my 2c.

Edit: Apologies/oops, you're Canadian. The suggested approach above doesn't change though.
Last edited by JR8 on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

kbcp
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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby kbcp » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 4:58 pm

I got 30 days (maximum for Canadians) -- they seemed to understand my situation after I explained it to them. The things that convinced them were the fact that I had my partner's employment number and had randomly thought to bring along my wedding venue contract with the date on it. I also have a UK student visa (am currently on leave-to-work-away) which hopefully reinforces the fact that I am in fact visiting and have commitments elsewhere.

The problem is of course that I now have to worry about convincing another person when I come back from Langkawi or get apply for a 90-day sponsored extension. In the future I will be with my partner, which seems to make the whole thing much more credible (i.e. someone with a visa is vouching for you and will support and house you). As I mentioned above, I felt that the process was markedly different at JB than at Changi, possibly because more border runs take place there?

Thanks for your advice re: the high commission, I am a child of diplomats and know all too well this isn't a part of their job -- still thought I'd give it a try and see if I can get some help! :)

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JR8
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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 5:06 pm

kbcp wrote:I felt that the process was markedly different at JB than at Changi, possibly because more border runs take place there?


JB is probably border-run numero-uno, due to it's proximity and low cost to get to/fro.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:32 pm

kbcp wrote:I got 30 days (maximum for Canadians) -- they seemed to understand my situation after I explained it to them. The things that convinced them were the fact that I had my partner's employment number and had randomly thought to bring along my wedding venue contract with the date on it. I also have a UK student visa (am currently on leave-to-work-away) which hopefully reinforces the fact that I am in fact visiting and have commitments elsewhere.

The problem is of course that I now have to worry about convincing another person when I come back from Langkawi or get apply for a 90-day sponsored extension. In the future I will be with my partner, which seems to make the whole thing much more credible (i.e. someone with a visa is vouching for you and will support and house you). As I mentioned above, I felt that the process was markedly different at JB than at Changi, possibly because more border runs take place there?

Thanks for your advice re: the high commission, I am a child of diplomats and know all too well this isn't a part of their job -- still thought I'd give it a try and see if I can get some help! :)


You're right, now you do have to worry about it. As a child of diplomats you of all people should understand how serious most countries take their border control and how dimly they look upon those flouting those rules.

You're playing with fire. Good luck, you're going to do what you want I suspect. But you should really just not come back until you're married. Be it in a few months, or married on paper earlier.

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ecureilx
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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 13 Feb 2015 9:28 pm

kbcp wrote:The things that convinced them were the fact that I had my partner's employment number and had randomly thought to bring along my wedding venue contract with the date on it..


ICA doesn't care about 'plans' .. plans are what they hear often including some saying they are coming to Singapore with plans of finding a nice guy to marry

I too have heard that personally...

if they let you in, to quote a comedian.. 'you seem to be a nice guy' .. but the nice part runs out pretty fast I am sure

3 months away is good ....

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Re: Visa extension problems!

Postby bumblebee007 » Sat, 14 Feb 2015 4:31 pm

kbcp wrote:I'm a Canadian citizen who has spent three months in Singapore during the fall of 2014. My fiance has a job here and I am using social passes until I can apply for a spousal visa in May, after our wedding (which will not take place in Singapore). I obtained three roughly consecutive 30-day visit passes during 2014 by applying successfully online the first time, and then going on a 5-day trip to Thailand the second time.

I left Singapore for five weeks over Christmas and returned in January. After 30 days, my online pass extension was denied. I got the news this morning and took a round trip to Johor Bahru. Upon returning, I was taken to an interrogation room, where the fact that I was trying to make a round-trip after a denied extension was frowned upon (understandably). Luckily, I was able to enter the country by explaining my circumstances (that I am engaged to a British citizen who works in Singapore, and will be married (and eligible for a spousal visa) in May.

I am visiting Langkawi in three weeks for a five-day trip. I am anxious that when I return to Singapore, I will face the same questions as I did today. That said, I do need to exit the country around that time as my pass runs out. When I return, I will apply for a 90-day visit pass sponsored by a Singaporean resident.

My question is this -- does anyone know if I am handicapped by my denied extension? And can anyone recommend how I should proceed for the next few months? Today's interview with the ICA has me quite shaken! I should add that I have never had any problems with immigration up to this point. The Johor Bahru atmosphere was so different than Changi, where they barely even glance at my passport.

Thank you in advance!

It is kinda clear with your pattern the reason for extending your visa so that you can stay with your fiancée but from ICA's point of view it is not the same, whether your are a citizen of britain, canada or china you were trying to stay longer n find a job here (which i guess you might have tried) n when the validity of your stay ran out you were trying to extend it. A lot of foreigners try to do the same as what you did just to get more time to find a job. So having a british or canadian citizenship would not guarantee you a preferential treatement.

In any case they would give you a hard time everytime you try to get out n come back in Singapore within a short span of time.

Best is stay out for a while just to avoid any limelight.


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