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EP is pending for 7 weeks

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
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gurukul
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EP is pending for 7 weeks

Post by gurukul » Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:25 pm

I am on S Pass and eligible for an EP with S pass expiring soon on 5-Dec-2019. My employer applied my EP on 18-Sep and its been 7 weeks with my EP still in "Pending" status. On 7th Oct MOM asked company to fill a form, asking why a local is not considered and if the job was posted on job banks. Since this is an existing employee (working for 4 years with the company) being moved from S pass to EP, this was not a new hire and so a job was not posted - this was generic response provided to MOM the same day.
05-Nov - My HR called MOM for a status and they mentioned that processing will take time as my company is in MOM's watchlist.
Some history: My company got acquired by a bigger group in Jan this year, and post the acquisition most locals along with several foreigners left the company on their own. We are now down from 55 employees to just 17 (which has 6 locals (Singaporeans & PRs) + 11 foreigners). This event seems to caused an imbalance in ratio of locals vs foreigners in my company and probably they are now in watchlist.
Since my S pass expires soon, on HR's inquiry on timelines, MOM mentioned that they can apply a short term visit pass (STVP) 2 weeks before my S pass expiry.

- Anyone have a similar recent experience?
- Any chances I may get EP approved?
- My company does have 1 S-pass quota based on 6 locals. Would an S pass renewal be better?
- If my HR applies for a short term visit pass for me and my dependents (around 20-Nov), will my S pass that has expiry on 05-Dec get cancelled when Short term visit pass is approved?
- For some reason if EP is rejected and while I am on STVP can company apply for S pass, will it be new S pass application or a renewal since I may be on STVP by then?
- Generally How long is the Short term visit pass duration?
- Also the group/parent company that acquired my company has a presence in Singapore and have a good ratio of locals to foreigners. While i may get an internal transfer from my company to parent company but that does not reflect at MOM side. So should parent company apply an EP for me? Any suggestion on this front?
- Last question: While my EP application is applied and pending, in parallel can my S pass renewal be applied?

Thank you.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: EP is pending for 7 weeks

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 05 Nov 2019 3:33 pm

Yep, before I retired earlier this year, in 2018 we downsized from three companies to two. This entailed the movement of S & WPs to the new company. It is a delicate operation (I did the same, 2 years before that when we downsized from 4 to 3 companies. The problem is compounded because the companies are NOT subsidiaries (easier that way) but all were Pte Ltds but with common ownership (shareholding). The HR manager has to time the movement of employees and ensure when the move is complete there is no overage of quotas because as long as there is a overage, any renewals will be rejected as well any new passes (moving from an S to an EP is a new pass for your information).

Your employer may well have screwed up if when the EP was applied for the box wasn't checked 'to consider for an S pass' if not suitable for an EP (MOMs opinion, not your employer). If that wasn't checked then if you are not considered qualified for the EP, you are then dead in the water as you cannot get an S pass and the employer cannot make a new application for an S pass. (It is clearly stated on the EP application form, which is the same form for an S pass) At that point you could find yourself between a rock & a hard place as the company cannot get you back on the S pass and the only way around it is that a different employer makes an application for you (e.g., a new company). This is fine in some cases, (like our set up with, at one time, 5 Pte Ltds all doing the same business.) Especially with the Quotas on S passes as the loss of one or two locals in small company can hurt if your company like to run with full quotas without leaving a cushion of at least 1 availability for emergencies. Good Luck. I hope your HR Exec/Mgr is up to the task.

gurukul
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Re: EP is pending for 7 weeks

Post by gurukul » Wed, 06 Nov 2019 3:32 pm

Thanks sundaymorningstaple. I am not sure if HR checked the consider for S pass option. Meanwhile it seems I cannot apply for existing S pass renewal while EP application is in process. I guess should have extended S pass first and then applied for EP.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: EP is pending for 7 weeks

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 07 Nov 2019 12:42 am

Sounds like it. Hopefully you can get is sorted, but it sounds to me that what happened is what I said.

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Re: EP is pending for 7 weeks

Post by gurukul » Mon, 23 Dec 2019 12:28 pm

Finally my EP and DP's got approved.. Took 3 months and 2 days, all because of my company's status being in watchlist. The company is keen to move out of watchlist in next year by hiring locals for upcoming positions which right thing to do.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: EP is pending for 7 weeks

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Dec 2019 6:03 pm

Congratulations. Yeah, some employers get into trouble with the MOM by flying to close to the quotas and overs shooting too many times. It's happens with great regularity as the MOM keeps moving the goalposts (quota limits).

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