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Relocation to Singapore from UK

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ellatyne
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Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby ellatyne » Thu, 21 Jul 2016 9:20 pm

Hi guys,

Hoping to get some advice from you. My boyfriend and I (both with British passports) are planning on relocating to Singapore in October. We are both planning on working but will be arriving without jobs and so I am looking to understand how you enter the country in the correct way when you don't have a job secured and you also don't have a return flight booked?

Thanks in advance guys,

Ella :)

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 21 Jul 2016 9:25 pm

If both are holding a British passport, just get on the plane. You will be given a 90 visa on arrival.

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby ellatyne » Thu, 21 Jul 2016 9:55 pm

Thanks so much for the speedy response! So we won't get any trouble with no return ticket and if they ask saying that we intend to get jobs etc? Seems too easy, hence just wanting to double check with you.

Thanks,

Ella

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:29 pm

I would highly recommend that you have a return ticket, or at the very least, a ticket to some new destination. Note however, that the onward destination may also want you to have a return ticket... but you could fly to Bangkok, get a bus ticket to Vientiane... or take the bus to Kuala Lumpur... cheap.

When SMS says, "just get on the plane. You will be given a 90 visa on arrival", what he means is that people with UK passport usually aren't asked about onward journey plans, as opposed to Bangladeshi tourists, for example, where the immigration authorities will have a keen interest in knowing what the onward destination is going to be.

The assumption is that UK passport holders have enough connections, assets, and the wherewithal to want to return back to the home country, but technically, you do need to meet the requirements, especially if you all look like a hippie chick and dude, as opposed to clean cut investment bankers. The assumption is that you won't be one of "those people" who overstay their welcome.

Be also aware that while Singapore immigration may not ask about onward plans, the airline you fly may well ask that question as they don't want to be stuck flying you back if you are refused entry. Make sure they will fly you one way (if you have that bus trip to KL, for example) before you buy your ticket or you might not even get on the plane.

You may be vaguely asked what you plans are... lots of people come looking for jobs... it's not illegal to look while on holiday... so you could say your there as tourists, going to make some side trips, maybe see if anyone will hire you... they've heard it before.

Having said all that, you two should seriously think your plans through before spending the money, effort, and time, lest you end up with a 90 day holiday fraught with frustration and dead ends. And, the chances are good you're going to need that return ticket home anyway because you're not going to have jobs.

The vast majority of foreign expats arrive in the country as internal transfers in the companies they work for, or they have been recruited for their experience to specifically fill a role in Singapore.

You have a number of strikes against you before you ever get started. First, all companies are under intense pressure to hire locally. Unless you both have excellent and substantial experience, or a resume that reflects well above average accomplishments... say.... a Nobel prize or a working cold fusion reactor that fits into a small carry-on, your chances of even clearing the hurdle to get an employment pass (EP) are slim.

So... if you're in the 3 to 7 years of experience... accounting, IT, business, sales... you're average and the government wants to give average jobs to average Singaporeans. Moreover, and especially in the technical fields, Asians from all over the continent and sub-continent will jump at the chance for the same job as you want, only for far less money than you would be willing to accept.

I say "both of you" because you're not married, the UK doesn't recognize common law marriage, and thus, both of you will need EP's... you can't get a dependents pass for one of you.

Here's a few more hurdles you will have to clear in order to land jobs, even if you manage to clear the issues of EP's. As Brits you're not going to get hired by Chinese run companies, unless they want you for some specialty such as developing an export program to the UK. Beginning with National Service, networks are formed that are long lasting. There are many interlinks between government and business and cultural groups. It just isn't going to happen.

And when it comes to getting hired by MNC's, you're a hassle. You don't know anything about the company, unlike an internal transfer. You don't know anything about working in Asia, its customs and pitfalls. And, you need to qualify for an EP.

My closing thoughts are these. Singapore is a tight knit community in professional circles. For any given business segment, everybody eventually knows everybody. People do change jobs... while A goes to B, B goes to C, and C goes back to A. It's all networking and you won't be part of that. Couple this with absolutely terrible HR departments... I'm convinced they are trained to discard the suitable people... and you're not going to get a foot in the door.

Your best bet to get to Singapore is to identify companies in Singapore for which you might have the skills to work. If they have jobs available in Singapore, apply for them, fully understanding that your relocation allowance will probably be zero. Otherwise, go to work for the company wherever, with the long term plan of getting yourself to Singapore. Once here and employed it's much easier to move around.

My S$0.02.

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maneo
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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby maneo » Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:43 pm

Well said.

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby ellatyne » Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:30 am

Hi Strong Eagle,

Thank you very much for your input and advice. I have been told by people that have lived and worked out there that as well as it being off-putting for a company to have to get you an employment visa if you are applying from outside of Singapore it basically rules you out altogether because they don't trust you as a serious candidate.

My boyfriend should be entitled to a PEP and is looking into that now, but I am just working on a worst case scenario. I have already had interviews for jobs out there and had very positive responses and one job offer, although I couldn't get out there in the time frames that they wanted. My boyfriend and I have savings and we aren't going to go in desperate need of money and if we cannot get jobs, which I appreciate could be the reality, then we would go off travelling for a bit, so either way we are going to have a great time.

It would be preferable to not book a return to the UK as the flights aren't cheap particularly as it wouldn't be used in the end. If we went in with the following as our story, which would be absolutely true, do you think this would be suitable:

Boyfriend and I are travelling to Singapore to see friends, explore the country, travel to other countries using Singapore as a base, look to see if working out there is an option for us, along with being able to show decent savings, and a flight already booked to indonesia or thailand within the first 2 weeks (would be with a return to singapore).

I do of course realise that you couldn't say for sure, but I am interested in your opinion as your understanding and experience of the country is a lot better than mine.

Thank you all for your consideration of my plans,

Ella :)

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 22 Jul 2016 9:40 am

Strong Eagle wrote:I would highly recommend .....

My S$0.02.


^^^^ This.

However, SE, I hereby infer on you the BBCW award of the day. :P

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:35 am

^^^^^^^^^^^^

Ouch! Ouch!

Methinks it must be time to partake of some THC laden smoke.

However, I do allege that unlike some of BBCW's posts, mine contains significant, if not heavily laden with, _relevant_ content.

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:11 am

:lol: :lol:

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 22 Jul 2016 8:54 pm

Two things: That you were able to actually secure a job offer puts you in the minority of individuals who have succeeded in applying from overseas. Congratulations. There may be hope yet. And, you must be in a vocation where local supply is low.

Have you put your particulars into MoM's EP qualifying self assessment tool? http://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/service ... sment-tool

It doesn't mean you'll get an EP, only that you meet minimum qualifications, and the reason I ask this is that just because an employer offers a job doesn't mean the employer will be able to grab the EP... there have been numbers of folks on this board in that boat.

ellatyne wrote:Boyfriend and I are travelling to Singapore to see friends, explore the country, travel to other countries using Singapore as a base, look to see if working out there is an option for us, along with being able to show decent savings, and a flight already booked to indonesia or thailand within the first 2 weeks (would be with a return to singapore).


I see nothing wrong with this. When I first visited in 2002, that's exactly what I did... Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia. When I came back permanently in 2004, and before I got my Entrepass, I golfed every weekend in Bitan, Batam, and Johor Bahru. Every time I came back into Singapore I got a brand new 90 day visit pass, with nary an eye blinked.

So... I don't see issues... and in the end, ICA is very specific that it is the individual ICA officer who gets to make the call as to whether you get in or not... just be sure you have your bases covered (American slang term :)) as it looks like you have done.

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Re: Relocation to Singapore from UK

Postby ellatyne » Sat, 23 Jul 2016 7:46 am

Thanks so much for the info. It has been very helpful! :)


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