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Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

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lyseoy
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Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by lyseoy » Thu, 07 Mar 2019 2:29 pm

Hi all, new to the forum :love:

Having run afoul with immigration in another country, despite having done nothing illegal, I know how much of a PITA this can be. Singapore being notoriously strict about EVERYTHING, I'm really trying to do my homework on this:

I may be moving to Singapore for a contract job, lasting about 1 year. I am currently living in Thailand with my gf. I've checked the options we have for her staying with me in Singapore and it seems she can only come as a tourist on visa-on-arrival. Two questions pertaining to that:

1. How frequently can she stay a full 30 days on VOA? I've found little good advice about this, best so far seems to be the mininum-same-time-out-as-in rule-of-thumb that I'm familiar with from other countries. Safe to say she can stay 4 weeks in SG, stay home 5 weeks, repeat?

2. How does it work with extending her visa when she's in SG? She'll need a citizen or PR to sponsor her, so this is obviously not something I would ask anybody until I've made a solid friend in SG, but is it even possible to do it like this? Can any SC or PR with sufficient income sponsor her?

I have read the sad stories on the forum about people denied entry, banned and blacklisted, so our TOP PRIORITY is to avoid things like this, at all cost. I would have very few opportunities to travel while doing this job, so it would really not be good for our relationship.

A little information about us: I'm a Norwegian male, late 30's, masters degree. She's a thai female, late 20's, no higher education or occupation. Living together in Thailand for the last 1,5 years.


Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 07 Mar 2019 2:57 pm

You should really consider marrying her and sponsoring her on a DP. Anything else is sheer guesswork and has risks around it. Some ICA four eyes sinkie geek could take an instant dislike to your GF and ban her for years on the spot on her first entry because of some unknown reason.
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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by The Ref » Thu, 07 Mar 2019 7:37 pm

I hate to be rude but ...
lyseoy wrote:She's a thai female, late 20's, no higher education or occupation.
ICA will assume she is doing what so many other young uneducated Thai women do in Singapore to earn money and is unlikely to get more than a second VOA

Thailand for a weekend is easy, but for a year it would put a massive strain on the relationship.

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by MikeJones » Thu, 07 Mar 2019 9:25 pm

My wife is Thai and before we were married she did visit me a number of times in Singapore. She is a fair bit older than in your case but otherwise similar and while she never got banned or deported she did get taken and questioned a couple of times. For your specific questions:

1. 4 weeks in 5 weeks out of Singapore is far to frequent and will almost certainly cause trouble with ICA. That sort of pattern might work for westerners for a while but for SEA females it will almost certainly cause ICA to at least question your gf if not turn her around. In my case my then gf would visit for 3 weeks every 4-6 months, it helped that I frequently travel to Thailand for work so it wasn't too much of a strain being apart for too long.

2. e-Xtend is the online process to extend visitor visas and you're right you need a SC or PR to make the application. My gf tried it a couple of times via a PR friend of hers, from memory the first time was declined and the second was granted but this was over a period of maybe 3 years so your mileage may vary.

Some other advice that may help:

Make sure your gf understands to show immigration her return ticket, they will probably ask for it but with poor English (on both sides, singlish can be hard to understand for a native english speaker much less a Thai) and some stress it's easy for your gf to get confused or not understand and this will pretty much guarantee she's taken and questioned. This is what happened to my gf on one of the occasions my gf had trouble.

Once you've got your EP send your gf a photo of it and tell her to show that to the ICA agent when they ask why/who she is visiting in Singapore. This is no guarantee she won't have trouble but at least gives the ICA agent some evidence that she's not just making up reason for visiting. Also make sure she has your Singapore mobile number and can call you (i.e she has roaming set up on her phone) or get ICA to call you if they do question her. This depends a bit on the ICA agent as in my case the first time my gf was questioned they did not/refused call me but let her through after 45 minutes or so, the second time they did call me to confirm I was expecting her.

If at all possible travel to Singapore with your gf, so you are there to answer any questions ICA have and again provide evidence that your gf is not inventing a bf in Singapore as an excuse to visit for other purposes.

Don't make her trips the full 30 days, staying 20-25 days each time apparently looks less suspicious than multiple trips of 30 days exactly. I've no real evidence that this really does make a difference but a few people have told me the same.

According to my gf the male ICA agents are nicer and more likely to let her through than the female ones. Who knows if that's true or if she just happened to get female ICA agents having a bad day.

Having said all of that the only guaranteed way to avoid immigration trouble is, as PNGMK says, get married and get her a DP. ICA can turn her around and/or ban her without having to give any reason even if you are standing right there as well.

Mike

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by lyseoy » Fri, 08 Mar 2019 12:35 am

The Ref wrote: ICA will assume she is doing what so many other young uneducated Thai women do in Singapore to earn money and is unlikely to get more than a second VOA.
No need to apologize, I appreciate the candor. Yes, on the surface she would appear to fit the stereotype. And in the eyes of any immigration officer, you're guilty of whatever they assume unless you convince them otherwise. So that is obviously something we have to manage, with all possible documentation that she's visiting me and that I have everything in order.

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by lyseoy » Fri, 08 Mar 2019 12:38 am

PNGMK wrote:You should really consider marrying her and sponsoring her on a DP. Anything else is sheer guesswork and has risks around it. Some ICA four eyes sinkie geek could take an instant dislike to your GF and ban her for years on the spot on her first entry because of some unknown reason.
It is something I'm considering anyway, but just for getting her access to SG (which may not even be guaranteed if married?), for now I'd prefer not. Appreciate the tip.

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by lyseoy » Fri, 08 Mar 2019 12:54 am

MikeJones wrote:A lot! :D
Thanks Mike! That's a lot of first hand experiences and valuable advice! =D>

I do plan to travel with her to SG. Why not. Gives me a weekend in BKK to catch up with friends, she'll feel much more comfortable with it, and less chance of problems with ICA. Triple win.

Glad it worked for you and wife, while you were not yet married. Only twice or thrice a year though, that's gotta be overly careful?? :o

Can you tell me anything more about your experience with the e-Xtend? Any idea why it was declined the first time? Was it the same sponsor each time?

And, I understand there are no guarantees. It's always up to the immigration officer serving you that day. All we can do is educate ourselves as much as possible about how they think and try to fit the bill as much as possible...

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 08 Mar 2019 7:49 am

lyseoy wrote:
PNGMK wrote:You should really consider marrying her and sponsoring her on a DP. Anything else is sheer guesswork and has risks around it. Some ICA four eyes sinkie geek could take an instant dislike to your GF and ban her for years on the spot on her first entry because of some unknown reason.
It is something I'm considering anyway, but just for getting her access to SG (which may not even be guaranteed if married?), for now I'd prefer not. Appreciate the tip.
Marry her before she is banned though. Otherwise you're still facing issues. We have seen that a bit here.
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
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lyseoy
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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by lyseoy » Fri, 08 Mar 2019 12:39 pm

Barring a legal marriage, this seems to be the best option available:

https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permi ... for-family

An LTVP as a common-law spouse of an EP holder. I can't be 100% sure I'll get the EP, but I have good qualifications and the job pays very well. There's a self-assessment tool on MOM's website:

https://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/servic ... sment-tool

For some reason it's offline now, so I can't check, but sure will when it's online again.

We should be able to document we are common-law spouses with our shared tenancy agreement and notarized statement from my Embassy.

Thoughts?

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Sat, 09 Mar 2019 11:06 am

I doubt that will work Lyseoy because Common Law marriage is not recognized in Thailand, only in liberal western countries as you need supporting docs from your consulate or embassy and Thailand won't do that (only places like Australia etc do it). There is a half way around it though (maybe) and that is to do just a religious ceremony (not legal) in Thailand and bring the translated certificate in.

(Sorry I see now you're using your own embassy to authenticate the common law marriage - let's see if ICA will recognize that but I suspect not based on your gf nationality).
Last edited by PNGMK on Sat, 09 Mar 2019 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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!

MikeJones
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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by MikeJones » Sat, 09 Mar 2019 11:38 am

I can't say anything more about e-Xtend as I had nothing to do with it. My gf has a Thai friend who is PR in Singapore (married to a SC with a couple of kids) and she did this for her. AFAIK the SC or PR fills in an online form and gets notified the next day whether the extension is granted or not. If it is you get another 30 days and should print out the extension acceptance to show ICA if asked when leaving. You can only extend once so when you get to the end of the second thirty days you can't apply again.

Mike

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by Strong Eagle » Sat, 09 Mar 2019 1:56 pm

lyseoy wrote:We should be able to document we are common-law spouses with our shared tenancy agreement and notarized statement from my Embassy.

Thoughts?
I don't think that's a plan that's going to fly. Norway doesn't appear to have common law marriage. It is recommended that you enter into a "cohabitation agreement" with the other person to handle division of property, etc. There are additional rules if there are children, but, it appears that there is marriage, and there is cohabitation... but no common law marriage.

http://www.nyinorge.no/en/Familiegjenfo ... abitation/

https://www.skatteetaten.no/en/person/n ... abitation/

I suppose that if you can get the Norwegian embassy to issue a common law marriage letter, you've got the problem taken care of, but from the limited amount of reading I have done, there aint no such thing as common law marriage in Norway, and hence, you're not going to get a letter.

PNGMK has already noted your problems in trying to get this done in Thailand.

Besides, there's one other thing that folks don't often think about when they say that they'll become common law married: In the eyes of the country that recognizes common law marriage and in the eyes of Singapore, YOU ARE MARRIED, just as surely as if you had a formal civil marriage, and all the rules for terminating a marriage apply. So the question would be: Why don't you just get married and save all the hassle of proving up a common law marriage?

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by lyseoy » Tue, 12 Mar 2019 5:46 pm

PNGMK wrote:(Sorry I see now you're using your own embassy to authenticate the common law marriage - let's see if ICA will recognize that but I suspect not based on your gf nationality).
Checked with my embassy today. Confirming a common-law marriage is not possible they said...
Strong Eagle wrote:There are additional rules if there are children, but, it appears that there is marriage, and there is cohabitation... but no common law marriage.
I just recently learned about common-law marriages, and though it basically meant cohabitation, but as you say, you can't register as such in Norway, so I guess that rules it out for me.
Strong Eagle wrote:Besides, there's one other thing that folks don't often think about when they say that they'll become common law married: In the eyes of the country that recognizes common law marriage and in the eyes of Singapore, YOU ARE MARRIED, just as surely as if you had a formal civil marriage, and all the rules for terminating a marriage apply. So the question would be: Why don't you just get married and save all the hassle of proving up a common law marriage?
Well, you can't terminate a Norwegian marriage / common-law marriage in Singapore, can you? And I thought there were much fewer strings attached with a common-law marriage than a real on?

Anyway, the nice lady at our embassy today also told me that they can't wed us here in Thailand, but in Kuala Lumpur they actually can. Doing a pre-nup basically anyway you like, is very straight forward with a standardized form, with check-boxes for all different alternatives. :-k This seems to be the best option for us now.

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Re: Best way for Thai female to pay regular visits to Norwegian bf working in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 12 Mar 2019 6:23 pm

You can terminate a marriage in Singapore if you are resident here. Plenty of expats do but I don't recommend it as the women's charter is not designed for expat situations.
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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