Singapore Expats Forum

Should we move to Singapore?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

ScotNZ
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun, 14 Jan 2018

Should we move to Singapore?

Postby ScotNZ » Sun, 14 Jan 2018 12:47 pm

My husband, 2 year old son and I currently live in New Zealand (in husbands home town). My husband has a recent diploma in Mechanical Engineering, with around 13 years work experience in a similar field. Our main question is, would he be able to find work in Singapore if we moved there?

We actually met in Hong Kong several years ago when we were young and child-free! He was on an 18-month rugby contract, so wasn’t actually “working” in a “real” job. I am British and worked as a teacher for a big International School, and loved it.

My salary would be much better in Singapore than it is in New Zealand. So I’m happy to apply for a teaching job again, and be the main bread winner, but hopefully sponsor my husband and son to join me. Pretty sure this is possible. But we want to know if he would find work out there.

My husband doesn’t really mind what work he does...he’s not expecting to earn big money like the bankers, etc....just ‘half decent’...he’d love to set up his own ‘handyman’ business (which I think he’d be excellent at...he worked as a plumber for 10 years but never sat the final exam so doesn’t have the piece of paper but does have excellent references, and he has single handedly renovated our entire house in NZ!) or do something related to sports (he’s played top level rugby until this year, is a qualified surf-lifeguard and enjoys all sports) but would obviously love to also work within his current industry (mechanical engineering within a petro-chemical plant). But he’s open to anything really!

We feel we’d be able to save more money out there (with my increased salary, gratuity, ) and have a better lifestyle - IF my husband worked out there too. But would my husband be able to find work, and what kind of jobs do you seriously think he would be offered?

Any input from current people in Singapore would be appreciated!

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5807
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Should we move to Singapore?

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 14 Jan 2018 6:31 pm

You won't. I've done a fair amount of research into moving to NZ fro Singapore and my wife teaches here. The living costs (real estate, cars and just living) in Singapore are significantly higher than NZ than any salary and tax difference in Singapore favour is discounted completely and a handyman and teacher are not going to be highly paid in Singapore. Consider other destinations such as the UK, Malaysia and wherever your teaching cert can be used.
IANAL. IANACPA. IANA Teacher.
Arrested? Lawyer Up
International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
School advice? Avoid for profit schools
Tax advice? CPA
Pay me $5k for 100% success filling in PR form!

bgd
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed, 25 Jul 2007

Re: Should we move to Singapore?

Postby bgd » Tue, 16 Jan 2018 4:35 pm

Cars, accommodation and alcohol are all more expensive. But other costs are higher in NZ, particularly utilities, public transport and food. The tax rate is significantly lower here, only if you aren't subject to NZ tax - look carefully at your tax liabilities, simply being a non-resident doesn't exempt you from NZ tax on your world wide income in some circumstances - the "enduring relationship" thing.

Base any calculations solely on your expected income, it's unlikely your husband will be able to work. He might be better looking after your wee boy, child care isn't cheap.

It's possible that you could save money, but I doubt you'd have a better standard of living than you already enjoy.

Edit: Sg would be fine if you simply wanted a different lifestyle for a while. It might not be financially better but can be rewarding from an experience point of view. The same goes for other Asian countries in the region, but Sg is less of a culture shock.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11149
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: Should we move to Singapore?

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 17 Jan 2018 1:16 am

I would not settle in Singapore unless you are willing to live with uncertainty of your residence status. If you both lose work permits, you'll be tossed in 30 days. Period. End.

I have no hotline into MoM, and I judge your husband will have a difficult time finding work and getting a work permit for same. Perhaps SMS can chime in on this matter.

Schooling is yet another matter if you plan on staying a while. You're second class as EP, and even PR, when it comes to public schools, and private schools cost a bomb.

I think Singapore is a lovely place, with a good quality of life. But without job security, as might be afforded by working for a MNC that transferred you in, you should consider your Singapore sojourn to be migratory, until and unless you find work that will guarantee you long term renewal of your work permits.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35219
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Re: Should we move to Singapore?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:28 pm

Using Strong Eagle's post as a starting point and also agree with what the other posters have said as well.

Strong Eagle wrote:I would not settle in Singapore unless you are willing to live with uncertainty of your residence status. If you both lose work permits, you'll be tossed in 30 days. Period. End.

I have no hotline into MoM, and I judge your husband will have a difficult time finding work and getting a work permit for same. Perhaps SMS can chime in on this matter.

Schooling is yet another matter if you plan on staying a while. You're second class as EP, and even PR, when it comes to public schools, and private schools cost a bomb.

I think Singapore is a lovely place, with a good quality of life. But without job security, as might be afforded by working for a MNC that transferred you in, you should consider your Singapore sojourn to be migratory, until and unless you find work that will guarantee you long term renewal of your work permits.


Even if you were to manage to get a job here with an International School, while you could get your husband a Dependent's Pass, with his quals, he would most likely only be given a Letter of Consent (LoC) in all probability IF he could find a position. He would most likely have to work for local scale (which for tradesmen, sucks). There is no respect for tradesmen here like in western countries, nor are there strong unions either. Obviously, if he could find a coaching job or even something in the Petrochem field here there would be a little more money in that sector, but most mechanical technician jobs will be normally easily filled by locals from the Polytechnics and ITC colleges and the MOM would be hard pressed to give an S pass to someone from a western country without a degree in that field unless they had at least 10 years in the specific industry.

If he were to find employment on a LoC just remember that if for some reason you lose your EP then the LoC, which is tied to your pass, will be canceled as well.

Good luck to you if you try it, but please ensure you have a plan B and don't burn any bridges in the process.

MrEgon
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon, 12 Dec 2016

Re: Should we move to Singapore?

Postby MrEgon » Wed, 17 Jan 2018 1:36 pm

All the above replies are pretty true. Living cost in Singapore is high everywhere else in the world. Just google what your favourite food cost on redmart.com such as cheese or strawberries... Online shop is cheaper though. If you want to earn a decent money and have a saving in Singapore, then probably you have to decrease dramatically your living standard compared now. The local Handyman in Singapore isn't expensive at all. So a handyman job for your husband won't be easy, before first of all the Visa which allows you to work at all. There are lots of regulations for foreigners to work in Singapore. In short, the locals regard the foreigners "steal" their jobs. Therefore government set nearly all facilities with foreigner price and local price (Permanent Residence & Singaporean). Lots of job positions requires PR or Singaporean. Of course you could also open your own company, but at least one Singaporean besides you have to be the registered owner. There are Human Resource companies which loves to "borrow" Singaporean names for you to register companies at certain cost. Easy to get in, but won't be easy to get rid of them. They would charge every possible detail "services". You got to read all the laws on this.

However sounds like you really want to come over. Then get prepared that you won't have extra saving at all. If you hold degrees / certificates for teaching from UK or NZ, probably you could have chance to find a position in International Schools or as English teacher in local schools. If you are a teacher in the school, normally your child could get into the school without tuition fee at all. Then your employer would apply EP for you. If your salary is above the requirement, your husband and child could get Dependent Pass and come over with you. Just remember not to move over without at least one of you already get a job offer. In the long run, you might have to think about applying PR to "enjoy" the tax which you have paid in the red dot country. Your boy would have to serve 2 years in military when he reaches 18.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests