UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

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trickiw
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UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Wed, 20 Jun 2018 5:21 pm

Hi,

I am British university student who has a summer internship offer with a major international company in Singapore. However, my WHP (work holiday pass) application was just rejected on the basis that the programme had reached its capacity limit of 2000. What are the alternatives?

I was directed to the Training Employment Pass (TEP), but I would be ineligible as it says the internship must be part of my course of study, which it isn't. Could I perhaps ask my university to make it part of my study to get around this? I do fit the all the other criteria (the company would sponsor me and I do go to an "acceptable" university).

And how common is it that the WHP programme is full? There is now a notice on the MoM website saying the programme is full, but it wasn't there when I applied a few weeks ago - so I feel that I was quite close.

I also wouldn't actually be earning a salary (just an expenses allowance). Given this, and the fact that I would be with such a prestigious company (so I'm pretty low risk), is there flexibility in any of the work permits Singapore offers?

Huge thanks for help!
TW

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PNGMK
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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:18 pm

Not that I know of.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by okonu » Thu, 21 Jun 2018 2:09 pm

Alternatives are to find another internship in the UK, or work illegally on a tourist visa. Latter not a good idea...

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Thu, 21 Jun 2018 4:57 pm

okonu wrote:Alternatives are to find another internship in the UK, or work illegally on a tourist visa. Latter not a good idea...
It's been suggested that I forgo the allowance payed to interns and then I could still work there, since I would not be earning any salary and would just be there for 'business'.

The Singaporean High Commission in London were a little unhelpful, they said British Citizens are fine and don't need a visa for tourism/business/family, but that business is stuff like 'meetings or interviews', which wouldn't be my case. They didn't really understand the concept of travelling to SG for an unpaid internship.

What do you guys think? It seems like they're quite nice to and relaxed with Brits in Singapore, but at the same time it seems sketchy, if anything Singapore is known for being strict, and the High Commission didn't inspire much confidence.

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 21 Jun 2018 7:10 pm

You already know the difference between business and working here. I won't rehash it again. But picture this..... You are working and your company get spot-checked by MOM. When asked for your NRIC or your Work Pass, and you have to tell them you have none of the mentioned, what do you think is going to happen?
Life isn't about avoiding the bruises. It's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it!

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Tue, 10 Jul 2018 5:50 am

Hi Guys, quick update:

Crisis averted! I got my WHP 3rd time lucky! Just some advice for anyone else facing a 'full' WHP program in the future...

The MoM seems to update the WHP webpage very infrequently, and if you call them directly, the people you will deal with just don't know about the status of the program (and won't find out for you). So, if you see any notification/banner on the website saying the program is full and you will likely be rejected, ignore it and apply anyway. There is no application limit, and there is no way of knowing when spaces will be free, or if there actually are any free at that time - plus, the notification is likely going to put other people off from applying.

For 5 weeks from just after I first applied to when my 3rd application was accepted the program was supposedly full, but in reality the page was never updated the whole time, despite it being summer vacations, when many foreign students are looking to work in Sg.

I also mentioned the idea of taking unpaid 'work-experience'. Whilst it is extremely common here in the UK and Europe in general for school, university and sometimes even postgraduate students to take short term unpaid experience, it appears very uncommon in Sg, and given their reputation for strictness and the fact you are not a citizen, I would discourage this route. Do not rely on your company, or for that matter, the High Commission in London itself to think about labour/exploitation laws, (sounds overly-serious, but Singapore has that attitude!).

Hope this helps someone!

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 10 Jul 2018 6:42 am

Good follow up and thanks for the info - it will help others (most of the regulars inc. myself know very little about the WHP).
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Thu, 12 Jul 2018 6:31 pm

PNGMK wrote:Good follow up and thanks for the info - it will help others (most of the regulars inc. myself know very little about the WHP).
Yep I do feel like a WHP expert at this point!

Ultimately I think if you plan well and early you would have to be very unlucky to go wrong, the WHP is valid for 6 months, even if you don't have an offer from a company in Singapore you can just apply anyway, as the condition of waiting 12 months to apply again is only given you have actually held the pass/had it issued to you - which happens upon arrival in Sg; if you get accepted and just remain at that stage (where they notified you that you are on the program), you can withdraw and can apply again whenever after that! Moreover, you can remain at the acceptance stage (an In-Principle Approval letter) for 3 months before it expires and your WHP is withdrawn, and this is not part of the 6 month lifespan of the WHP.

TLDR; The WHP (and also TEP) system really rewards getting in early. Might not even ever use the pass but better safe than sorry. Unfortunately you can exploit this system, which is why I think the program seems to be perpetually 'full'.

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by annie1022 » Mon, 16 Jul 2018 4:26 pm

Hello.
So if you want to conduct an internship commencing January 2019, when would you suggest is the best time to apply for the WHP?

Thank you.

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Mon, 16 Jul 2018 6:08 pm

annie1022 wrote:Hello.
So if you want to conduct an internship commencing January 2019, when would you suggest is the best time to apply for the WHP?

Thank you.
No more than 3 months before your expected start date, and I would suggest mid-late October 2018.

So if you start 1st Jan 2019, you should apply no earlier than October this year. If your application is successful 1st time, your In-Principle approval letter is valid only for 3 months, and your physical Work Holiday Pass is only issued in Singapore itself. Things can always go wrong, so you should stay inside the 3 month window and overlap your IPA validity with when you will be in Sg. Hence I suggest Mid-Late October, a little over 2 months before you expect to start. This also allows for at least 3 unsuccessful applications (probably 5 if you're really fast).

Hope this helps!
Will

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by spelda » Mon, 16 Jul 2018 7:13 pm

@trickiw
I just applied for a WHP last week and to my dismay I now witnessed that glaring banner stating that all WHP are gone.

But your post helped me to stay calm and hope for the best. My internship will probably commence in September so I'm having high hopes that I get a visa issued until then.

Are you already in Singapore? Do you just enter the country as a tourist and then before you start your internship go and collect the visa? Thanks for the reply! Have a nice day.

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by karengwen » Fri, 28 Jun 2019 9:37 pm

@trickiw
Your post here helps/motivates me a lot for submitting my application knowing the quota has been reached. My internship starts around late August so I hope I could receive the approval letter before then. However, in case my application is rejected, do you know how long do I need to wait to re-submit the application or I could re-apply immediately?
Thanks in advance and have a good day!

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by andreatle » Tue, 01 Oct 2019 2:30 pm

trickiw wrote:
Thu, 12 Jul 2018 6:31 pm
PNGMK wrote:Good follow up and thanks for the info - it will help others (most of the regulars inc. myself know very little about the WHP).
Yep I do feel like a WHP expert at this point!

Ultimately I think if you plan well and early you would have to be very unlucky to go wrong, the WHP is valid for 6 months, even if you don't have an offer from a company in Singapore you can just apply anyway, as the condition of waiting 12 months to apply again is only given you have actually held the pass/had it issued to you - which happens upon arrival in Sg; if you get accepted and just remain at that stage (where they notified you that you are on the program), you can withdraw and can apply again whenever after that! Moreover, you can remain at the acceptance stage (an In-Principle Approval letter) for 3 months before it expires and your WHP is withdrawn, and this is not part of the 6 month lifespan of the WHP.

TLDR; The WHP (and also TEP) system really rewards getting in early. Might not even ever use the pass but better safe than sorry. Unfortunately you can exploit this system, which is why I think the program seems to be perpetually 'full'.
Hello @trickiw
I made a stupid mistake by applying too early (cuz I wasn't sure how long it will take to receive the result and to my surprise, they grant me the pass just within one week...). I think my pass will have already expired before my internship ends. Do you have any idea which pass/ visa I can apply to legally stay in Singapore and complete the rest of my internship? (2 weeks ~ 1 month)
Thanks in advance!

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Fri, 10 Jul 2020 12:12 am

TLDR; Apply no more than 12 weeks from the date that you will physically be in Singapore, if you get your in principle approval letter before this and cannot go to Sg earlier, withdraw immediately and apply again nm than 12 weeks before. You can re-apply 24 hours after rejection, aka the next day.

i) If your application is rejected you can re-apply 24 hours after they inform you. As it takes around 2 weeks to process applications, if you applied 3 months from the date you would be in Sg and re-applied straight away after each rejection, you could get up to 5 applications done. If you get rejected >5 times, well, unlucky isn't an adequate word... :(

ii) If you get the IPA >3 months before the date you will be Sg and going earlier is not an option, withdraw immediately and reapply not more than 12 weeks before you will for sure be in Sg. As I said, there is no application limit and you would have to be hugely unlucky to get rejected >5 times, especially out of Summer season.

Bear in mind that the WHP (and most other passes) is issued at the MoM building in Clark Quay AND you have to book a slot to come in. Passes are NOT issued at the airport. So your IPA must be valid until you know you can go get the pass. It maybe have changed since I went through it in 2018, but the office is open weekdays and Saturday morning. You can book it all through the portal.

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Re: UK Citizen: WHP rejection, what to do?

Post by trickiw » Fri, 10 Jul 2020 12:50 am

@andreatle
Last edited by trickiw on Fri, 10 Jul 2020 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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