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Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

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xmastree333
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Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by xmastree333 » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 1:08 pm

Hi. I'm a 33 year old American who is a software developer with 10 years of experience in America. I have a Thai wife, married legally in Thailand.

2 questions.

1. Would I be able to get her and myself relocated to Singapore on a residency status?

2. This question is a little more subjective. Would both my wife (Thai, 27) and I be welcomed in Singapore overall, legally speaking? Obtaining the needed visas and residency status is one thing, but is immigration welcoming of legal foreigners? I ask because Thailand is not very welcoming of legally registered foreigners, regardless of if they work at a corporation even as big as Agoda and even if they are married to a Thai. I am forced to leave Thailand every 90 days and re-enter, there is no residency option that is attainable, I have to keep applying every year for a visa. And more recently, the police (a squad of 9 armed with guns and flak vests) knocked on my door and thousands others as part of "Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner" which is a xenophobic campaign to simply stick-it to foreigners, even ones like me who cross all their t's and dot their i's. We have squads of police knocking on our condos doing on the spot searches and it's just embarrassing for my neighbors to see me like this, as though I have warrants or am a drug dealer. I can't imagine raising children in the state that Thailand is with its current military Junta.

 



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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by bgd » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 1:46 pm

1 - If you can find a job here then you can stay, providing the employer can get you the necessary visa. Generally IT isn't so good these days, but it depends on whether your skill set is in demand here.

2 - There is certainly encouragement to give jobs to locals over foreigners but no active intimidation, it just makes working visas more difficult to obtain. Some of the local population resent foreigners but limit themselves to moaning in local rags and forums.

Staying here for the long term is harder with many companies relocating to cheaper locations. Unless you become a PR you are out after 30 days if you lose your job. With a PR you get 6 months.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by xmastree333 » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 1:59 pm

Pardon me for asking such a newbie question but, how difficult/likely is getting PR for myself (American, IT worker) and also for my wife (Thai, housewife). I'm mostly asking from a "starting a family" situation in mind. I might just have to move back to America for that, but I was wondering if Singapore would be an option as I like the area based on visiting a few months ago.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by Barnsley » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 2:18 pm

xmastree333 wrote:Hi. I'm a 33 year old American who is a software developer with 10 years of experience in America. I have a Thai wife, married legally in Thailand.

2 questions.

1. Would I be able to get her and myself relocated to Singapore on a residency status?

2. This question is a little more subjective. Would both my wife (Thai, 27) and I be welcomed in Singapore overall, legally speaking? Obtaining the needed visas and residency status is one thing, but is immigration welcoming of legal foreigners? I ask because Thailand is not very welcoming of legally registered foreigners, regardless of if they work at a corporation even as big as Agoda and even if they are married to a Thai. I am forced to leave Thailand every 90 days and re-enter, there is no residency option that is attainable, I have to keep applying every year for a visa. And more recently, the police (a squad of 9 armed with guns and flak vests) knocked on my door and thousands others as part of "Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner" which is a xenophobic campaign to simply stick-it to foreigners, even ones like me who cross all their t's and dot their i's. We have squads of police knocking on our condos doing on the spot searches and it's just embarrassing for my neighbors to see me like this, as though I have warrants or am a drug dealer. I can't imagine raising children in the state that Thailand is with its current military Junta.
Have got some friends who are planning to move to Thailand to retire.

Is it really so bad , as what you say doesn't seem to be getting much press and many folks I know are looking at Thailand to retire , this is with the knowledge that they will be unable to work whilst there.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by xmastree333 » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 2:48 pm

Barnsley wrote: Have got some friends who are planning to move to Thailand to retire.

Is it really so bad , as what you say doesn't seem to be getting much press and many folks I know are looking at Thailand to retire , this is with the knowledge that they will be unable to work whilst there.

There are more high-level broad reports like this: https://www.thephuketnews.com/over-1-00 ... -68996.php

Which state: "So far this month Phuket immigration officials checked 397 houses and hotels for alien foreigners". Rather high level. So it happened to me for real and this checking was mostly uneventful, my papers were in order. But that's just embarrassing to be treated like a drug dealer when you spend your whole life being a good corporate citizen. Imagine if I had kids and they saw me like that. That's just unliveable.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by bgd » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 4:42 pm

xmastree333 wrote:Pardon me for asking such a newbie question but, how difficult/likely is getting PR for myself (American, IT worker) and also for my wife (Thai, housewife). I'm mostly asking from a "starting a family" situation in mind. I might just have to move back to America for that, but I was wondering if Singapore would be an option as I like the area based on visiting a few months ago.
PR won't be easy and it takes time. You need to be here working for several years before there is any point in applying. Neither of you is a preferred race so that further limits your chances. If you breed boys (for National Service) that could help.

Search these forums and you'll get an idea of the difficulties people have been facing.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by judelougascon » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 5:22 pm

Singapore is a good place to relocate. With many opportunities and good people around the country.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 5:23 pm

The biggest problem he's going to have is finding a job in the first place, let alone worrying about how to get PR. Too many from SE Asia with IT degrees who will work a heck of a lot cheaper than he probably will unless he gets transferred here by a MNC employer from a western company. Methinks he's going to need a rather large dollop of luck, truth be known.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by xmastree333 » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 6:21 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The biggest problem he's going to have is finding a job in the first place, let alone worrying about how to get PR. Too many from SE Asia with IT degrees who will work a heck of a lot cheaper than he probably will unless he gets transferred here by a MNC employer from a western company. Methinks he's going to need a rather large dollop of luck, truth be known.
These are good points actually. In the past, I lived in Thailand for 5 years and never bothered applying because I had remote so it was a no brainer to work online. However, remote work from the US isn't that easy to get, and I rather have something with better family raising hours such as 9am-5pm instead of 9pm to 5am. Now, I'll toot my own horn here, but I'm a really good software engineer so I could see myself being employed readily in Singapore/etc as I would be offering expertise since I have worked at Amazon in the past. I got the skills for sure, and I actually am ok with making far less money than in America. And from what I hear, SWE's like myself easily get employed in this region, it's just a matter of if they are willing to make low wage and work in a bueracratic mess whereas most SWE's prefer writing "botique/hipster/hand-crafted" software isntead of the kind of spagehti code that can occur in autocratic bureaucracies. From what i hear, getting the job is easy, it's getting over the cultural differences that is not. So I may be best off heading to America afterall.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 8:35 pm

Getting over cultural differences is problematic, but not insurmountable. I'm a Yank and I just past 36 years here, 25 of 'em as a PR. I also have a local wife and a son & daughter who were born here and are both married now and the eldest (daughter) just gave me my 2nd grandson on the 18th, 12 days ago. 'taint easy, but is doable (even with a non-majority wife - mine's a 7%'er. I'm a 2%'r.

Fair enough, if you have some Amazon under your belt, you might want to put feelers out to MS, Google or even FB here. We have/had another on here who is also a Yank and was married to a Vietnamese (also tend to be problematic bringing them into Singapore as spouses but he did it (dependent pass) but he never took up PR. He's currently working for Google (I think) and spend most of his time bouncing all over Asia with a huge chunk of it being in the PRC now.

Again, good luck. Getting work "in this region" is one thing. Getting into Singapore is a horse of another color. Especially considering the vast majority here are Indian nationals today. (including a lot of the hiring managers - therein lies the problem).

Maybe SE (Strong Eagle) will pipe in here as he formerly owned a IT salvage company (for lack of a better word - they salvaged region sized projects that were stalled or about to flop), He's back in Houston but still one of our Moderators and very well versed in the IT and business owner specialty. He's one of our jewels here and the two of us have been here almost from the beginning of the board.

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Re: Newbie here, would Singapore be a good relocation choice for me?

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 30 Oct 2018 9:51 pm

I think you're misreading the market for "software engineers", whatever that is. The culture isn't the issue, unless you're being an assholian, bull in the china shop American when it comes to integrating with your fellow workers. Code jockeys with attitude don't get far. No... the real problem is finding the job.

These are facts that are hard to ignore.
  1. IT of every sort (programming, support, hardware assembly) has been leaving Singapore for lower costs areas of the globe. What's left in Singapore is a shell of what was there a decade ago... I'm referring to the MNC's who used to have hundreds of people in Singapore... all gone to KL, or India, or Manila, or China now.
  2. Global teams are a fact of life. I saw a big SAP project being run out of Germany, designed in the USA, coded in Brazil, and tested in Kuala Lumpur. SAP skills in Singapore would be useless for this project... time to head to Brazil.
  3. You're not going to get a job with a local company. Nevermind that the gahmen is cracking down on hiring foreigners, you just won't fit the bill in so many ways. You haven't done NS with your buddies, you don't speak the language, you're ang mo in a land of Chinese and Indians. Expats get hired by local firms only when there is a pressing need to do so.
  4. When MNC's use EP's to bring in staff, they are bringing in staff that already works for the company in another country, or has already been transferred to Singapore by another company. They are not hiring clean into Singapore. There's no point, and plenty of downside.
  5. The Indian body shoppers aren't going to hire you... this is the cheapest of the cheap when it comes to importing labor into Singapore, and here you may be correct about culture... you're just not enough of a rube/carrot to actually believe the crap the body shoppers are telling you.

My advice? Make a list of every MNC you can think of that might have a need for skills that you have. Then go to the careers section of their website and lookup Singapore jobs. You'll get insights into just what sort of jobs are available.

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