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Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

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0ALI0
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Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby 0ALI0 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 12:34 pm

My visa application was rejected today after 2 months of processing.

The thing is I have a very prestigious scholarship (3000 SGD a month) from NUS. I often visit Singapore, probably every other week because I work with NUS scientists regularly and I also own a company there which has even received funding from the Singapore government. So I usually get 3 month multiple entry visa with no issue.

I am currently a scientist in Malaysia and have been living here since 2008.

So this is very strange. Why would they reject? Only reason I see is that I hold an Iranian passport (even though I left when I was 15).

NUS has suggested that I appeal. How can I do that? Do I go to ICA in person or can I do it online?

Thanks


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Last edited by 0ALI0 on Wed, 03 Aug 2016 11:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: RE: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 12:36 pm

0ALI0 wrote:My visa application was rejected today after 2 months of processing.

The thing is I have a very prestigious scholarship (3000 SGD a month) from NUS. I often visit Singapore, probably every other week because I work with NUS scientists regularly and I also own a company there which has even received funding from the Singapore government. So I usually get 3 month multiple entry visa with no issue.

I am currently a scientist in Malaysia and have been living here since 2008.

So this is very strange. Why would they reject? Only reason I see is that I hold an Iranian passport (even though I left when I was 15).

NUS has suggested that I appeal. How can I do that? Do I go to ICA in person or can I do it online?

Thanks


NUS should have applied for the right pass if you need to be here regularly.

The multiple entry visa, unless applied as business visa - is strictly for social visit purposes

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby 0ALI0 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 12:49 pm

Ok. I need to clarify that NUS did apply for a student pass.
That's beside the fact that I have multiple-entry social pass.

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby x9200 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 1:19 pm

0ALI0 wrote:My visa application was rejected today after 2 months of processing.

The thing is I have a very prestigious scholarship (3000 SGD a month) from NUS. I often visit Singapore, probably every other week because I work with NUS scientists regularly and I also own a company there which has even received funding from the Singapore government. So I usually get 3 month multiple entry visa with no issue.

I am currently a scientist in Malaysia and have been living here since 2008.

So this is very strange. Why would they reject? Only reason I see is that I hold an Iranian passport (even though I left when I was 15).

NUS has suggested that I appeal. How can I do that? Do I go to ICA in person or can I do it online?

Thanks

You made my day. Thank you.

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby 0ALI0 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 1:25 pm

x9200 wrote:
0ALI0 wrote:My visa application was rejected today after 2 months of processing.

The thing is I have a very prestigious scholarship (3000 SGD a month) from NUS. I often visit Singapore, probably every other week because I work with NUS scientists regularly and I also own a company there which has even received funding from the Singapore government. So I usually get 3 month multiple entry visa with no issue.

I am currently a scientist in Malaysia and have been living here since 2008.

So this is very strange. Why would they reject? Only reason I see is that I hold an Iranian passport (even though I left when I was 15).

NUS has suggested that I appeal. How can I do that? Do I go to ICA in person or can I do it online?

Thanks

You made my day. Thank you.


How so?

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 2:59 pm

0ALI0 wrote:I often visit Singapore, probably every other week because I work with NUS scientists regularly and I also own a company there which has even received funding from the Singapore government. So I usually get 3 month multiple entry visa with no issue.

OK, I'll volunteer to explain. There's a problem here, most likely. Those visas you've been getting certainly don't seem to be compatible with the activities and travel pattern you described. Quoting ICA: "All visitors on visit passes are not permitted to engage in any form of business, profession, occupation or paid employment while in Singapore."

Immigration agencies all over the world tend to deny visa applications if they believe the applicant has already violated the terms of a previous visa. That could be the case here.

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby 0ALI0 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 3:58 pm

BBCWatcher wrote:
0ALI0 wrote:I often visit Singapore, probably every other week because I work with NUS scientists regularly and I also own a company there which has even received funding from the Singapore government. So I usually get 3 month multiple entry visa with no issue.

OK, I'll volunteer to explain. There's a problem here, most likely. Those visas you've been getting certainly don't seem to be compatible with the activities and travel pattern you described. Quoting ICA: "All visitors on visit passes are not permitted to engage in any form of business, profession, occupation or paid employment while in Singapore."

Immigration agencies all over the world tend to deny visa applications if they believe the applicant has already violated the terms of a previous visa. That could be the case here.


Thanks but that can't possibly be the reason, because:

1) My company (not as in my employer, but I am a shareholder) fills out the form. The purpose of the trip, i.e. business meetings, is very clear and is explained in the letter that is submitted along with other documents.
2) I have to re-apply for multiple-entry social pass every 3 months, and in the past 3 years, not even a single time my application has been rejected. I must have traveled to Singapore over 50 times in that period. So clearly no issues there.
3) Being shareholder in a local company does not require you to have an employment agreement/ pass and therefore does not go against getting a student pass which is fully funded by the university.

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 5:17 pm

"1) My company (not as in my employer, but I am a shareholder) fills out the form. The purpose of the trip, i.e. business meetings, is very clear and is explained in the letter that is submitted along with other documents."

Sounds like you are stretching the truth if you are actively engaged in the business of the company, paid or not. If that is the case (normally the AGM would be about the only time a "shareholder" would be required to attend a meeting. (unless you just happened to be the only shareholder - they will see the ruse you are perpetrating).

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby 0ALI0 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 6:59 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:"1) My company (not as in my employer, but I am a shareholder) fills out the form. The purpose of the trip, i.e. business meetings, is very clear and is explained in the letter that is submitted along with other documents."

Sounds like you are stretching the truth if you are actively engaged in the business of the company, paid or not. If that is the case (normally the AGM would be about the only time a "shareholder" would be required to attend a meeting. (unless you just happened to be the only shareholder - they will see the ruse you are perpetrating).


"... ruse you are perpetrating."

haha, don't be ridiculous. You sound absolutely clueless. Probably never applied for a visit pass before, have you? There are two categories. One that are you sponsored by an individual (like you are visiting a family, friend, etc) and then there's one that is sponsored by a company. In the latter case, the company has to write a letter and explain the purpose of the visit. The company stamp, registration no., and ACRA business profile are also required. So no, it's not anything like what you think. If the purpose for the visit is "business meeting" you write "business meetings" in the form and that is what I have been doing for the past 3 years with no issues whatsoever.

I'm sure you have never seen a Form V39A in your life, so here you go:

https://www.ica.gov.sg/data/resources/d ... rmV39A.pdf

See what it asks for? Purpose of visit! and then blank (e.g. holiday, transit, business, meeting, etc)

Besides, as shareholder and more importantly co-founder, I need to attend board meetings, meetings with investors, government agencies, etc. And I happen to be the PI for the government funding that the company receives. So there's that.

Anyhow, this forum appears to be filled with not-so-knowledgeable keyboard warriors that LOVE to argue instead of simply answering the question. I asked about the appeal process.

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby Wd40 » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 7:11 pm

This forum is reflection of what Singapore is coming to. PR is denied, EPs take months to approve. Heck! Even my fibre broadband installation has been delayed already by 1.5 months. There is some issue with NetLink trust capacity. Apparently they have been fined millions of dollars by IDA, the last few years for the delays. Yet, they haven't made any amends.

Sent from my Redmi Note 2 using Tapatalk

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 7:40 pm

So let us know how you get on. It will be interesting and I reckon all will want to know


Sent from the ozone layer - the answer is out there!

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Re: RE: Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 7:57 pm

0ALI0 wrote:Anyhow, this forum appears to be filled with not-so-knowledgeable keyboard warriors that LOVE to argue instead of simply answering the question. I asked about the appeal process.


SMS, you richly (don't) deserve that.

0ALI0: go to http://www.ica.gov.sg

Look for form 14A, the same form used for submitting visa application, attach a page of explanation that you are perfectly not breaking any immigration law, and how ICA has done something wrong, get your company local partner to attach a copy of his / her IC, ROC, and ask the person to personally handover the lot at the ICA visitor center, and you should hear something back from ICA.

Other than the above, there is no appeal process i know of. Unless you know something else and are just challenging our experience and exposure.

A lot of us here are holding our breath to know the outcome!!

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Re: RE: Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 8:04 pm

0ALI0 wrote:Besides, as shareholder and more importantly co-founder, I need to attend board meetings, meetings with investors, government agencies, etc. And I happen to be the PI for the government funding that the company receives. So there's that. .


On second thought, why didn't ICA extend a form of PR that they roll out to important individuals who contribute to Singapore? I know one individual who had a fast tracked PR - 1 month from start to finish. Is your business contributing to Singapore in any way ?

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 8:14 pm

We're offering a considered hypothesis, 0ALI0 -- an "educated guess." You appear to me, and perhaps also to ICA, to be working in Singapore without work permission. Yes, foreigners without work permission are allowed to be shareholders of Singapore-based companies (most types anyway), but you appear to have an extremely active role that the words "profession" and "occupation" well describe. I don't think it's even a close call.

That said, Student Passes are discretionary, and ICA has no obligation to explain its reasoning. ICA is the same agency that knows how often and for how long you've been in Singapore, as it happens.

OK, you asked about appeals. Appeals are seldom successful, unfortunately. They're particularly rarely successful unless either ICA made a clear procedural error of some kind -- for example, considered you for the wrong pass -- or unless there is a material change in circumstances. If you can, try to provide well-reasoned, well-articulated arguments in your appeal along those lines.

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Re: Visa rejected despite prestigious PhD scholarship

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 8:48 pm

Personally, this.....
2) I have to re-apply for multiple-entry social pass every 3 months, and in the past 3 years, not even a single time my application has been rejected. I must have traveled to Singapore over 50 times in that period. So clearly no issues there.


is probably the crux of the problem.

What has been does not mean "will always be". They are tightening up on abusers (or what appears to be abusers) with a vengence. Additionally, I am sure with the recent arrests by ISD, they have to be wondering due to your nationality the fact that you are here almost all the time (50 trips in 36 months)? It's no wonder you are having problems, considering your nationality and the current state of worldly affairs.


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