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Very, VERY urgent help needed!!

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Very, VERY urgent help needed!!

Postby Worried » Tue, 15 Feb 2005 6:33 pm


I'm a recent postgraduate and I've been offered an (unpaid) internship in Singapore. I ahve enough money saved to live off for 2 months and it was all organised until I got another email from immigration;

Previously, I contacted them and asked if I could do the internship on a social visa. The reply I got I think was standard, as it was just conveyed that I could not partake in 'paid employment'. So I though, okay great, I can go ahead.

Now, all the plans have been arranged, my flight booked etc. and I finally get another reply from a different department in immigration - stating that I cannot partake in paid or unpaid employment. :shock:

I don't know what to do! Does anyone have more info about this? Please help, as I'm due to fly out this weekend!! The place where I'll be interning have previously said they can't act as my sponsor, which I'd thought would be alright until now.

Essentially, I'll be 'volunteering' at this place to gain some work experience, but I don't know if I can do this?!

HELP! Is it very strict in SG? Will I be able to volunteer for a month without trouble with immigration?





Postby Guest » Tue, 15 Feb 2005 8:54 pm

I think you will be alright, immigration have more important worries than someone volunteering.




Postby Worried » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 2:43 pm

Thanks very much for your reply.
Are you sure that it would be okay though? I heard Singapore is an extremely strict city.

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Strong Eagle
Posts: 11108
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 7:18 pm

Here's the deal. You drop in on a social pass. You check 'staying with friends'. You won't be able to open a bank account, cash checks or anything like that. Make sure you have a working atm card. If you get paid anything at all it needs to be in cash.

Mainly, as long as you don't have a paper trail, you'll never be noticed, and you won't have a paper trail. Yes, the probability is not zero, but the chances are very, very small that anything would happen, especially in the short period of time that you will be here. Even then, you're not working, you're observing, or doing a seminar.

There are all kinds of people here working without authorization in various capacities, including maids who take on part time work outside of their own house. I also know people who have come in on a social visit pass, started a consulting company, then used the company they started as the means to get an employment pass.


Postby Worried » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 7:32 pm

Thanks for your advice Strong Eagle :)

I've also just contacted the Singapore High Commission in London, and they basically said it's fine for me to volunteer, just so long as I don't get paid and that I inform immigration at the airport I'm either visting or seeking employment (both true).

So, panic over I guess! :wink: I think I'm just so used to the astringent immigration laws for entering/working/studying in Australia.

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