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Should I wait to move to Singapore?

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wearethegods
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Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by wearethegods » Wed, 15 Jul 2020 4:49 pm

I was offered a job back in February and got my IPA for the EP visa. I was suppose to move over to Singapore and start a Job (IT Consultancy) in May. Then the whole world went to hell it got postponed. I had a conversation with my new boss today and he now says I could come over in September, I'd just need to do the SHN which I don't mind doing.

A bit of background about myself. I work in the UK (27 and single) and have a very stable job. The industry I'm in is very stable however my justification for moving to Singapore is that I wanted to experience a new culture and different way of life. The job in Singapore is in the same industry with a slight pay bump (Total compensation $7500).

I've seen various articles online stating that Singapore's economy has shrunk by 41% and I'm worried now may not be the best time to move. However its taken me 2 years of blood sweat and tears to find a company willing to sponsor my EP and hire me due to my limited number of years experience. So I don't really want to give up this opportunity. I also don't really want to move over and then lose my job in 6 months.

My new boss in SG is optimistic and says unless there is a complete economic disaster he doesn't see any serious problems.

At the moment I'm obviously not in Singapore and don't really have a feel for whats going on in the ground over there. Anyone in Singapore who can weigh in on this? Would you suggest I bite the bullet and just move or would you say it may be best to wait?

simpsonjoshua
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by simpsonjoshua » Wed, 15 Jul 2020 5:46 pm

I think you should move here now, as many expats are heading home, so you'll have a lot of choices for housing, jobs (less competition).

wearethegods
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by wearethegods » Wed, 15 Jul 2020 6:10 pm

simpsonjoshua wrote:
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 5:46 pm
I think you should move here now, as many expats are heading home, so you'll have a lot of choices for housing, jobs (less competition).
Why are many Expats heading home?

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PNGMK
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 15 Jul 2020 8:50 pm

wearethegods wrote:
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 6:10 pm
Why are many Expats heading home?
Retrenchments.
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!

bgd
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by bgd » Wed, 15 Jul 2020 9:28 pm

At the moment SHN for foreigners is $2000 for the stay and $200 for the test.

Maybe that will change by Sept, but you should factor in that cost just in case. And do check that they will let you in before you cut your ties at home.

wearethegods
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by wearethegods » Wed, 15 Jul 2020 10:43 pm

bgd wrote:
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 9:28 pm
At the moment SHN for foreigners is $2000 for the stay and $200 for the test.

Maybe that will change by Sept, but you should factor in that cost just in case. And do check that they will let you in before you cut your ties at home.
Yes, the company has agreed to pay the fee and I won't be resigning until the entry approval has been granted.

aki01
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by aki01 » Thu, 16 Jul 2020 10:09 am

a lot people are also moving home voluntarily, not just because of retrenchments, due to the restrictions that have been put in place. One of the benefits of living in Singapore is the ability to cheaply visit other countries throughout Asia - now, this isnt possible and most likely won't be until next year. All bars are closed and there are restrictions on most sports. (e.g. you can only have 5 players on a soccer pitch). (you can still drink at establishments that have a restaurant licnce but max 5 ppl to a table, hard shutdown at 10.30pm). So, for newly arrived single people like yourself, it may not be much fun in the beginning, esp trying to meet new ppl. As long as you're aware of this and willing to stick it out until the restrictions are lifted, then you'll be fine.

Specific to your job - I run a software consulting team (for a software vendor) covering APAC and between the travel bans and Covid restrictions affecting business throughout Asia, it is a challenging environment right now. Almost all project are remote and we've seen a lot of customers suspend projects and budgets. So, some questions:

1. What area of IT consultancy are you in - is it particularly specialised e.g. cyber, AI etc ?
2. Is it a specific project you are being hired for or do you expect to be working for different customers
3. is the expectation that you will only be working in Singapore or was business travel in the original job spec
4. is the company a big player (e.g. Accenture) or a small system integrator

TropicalExpat
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by TropicalExpat » Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:52 pm

I would also be wary, just because your get your IPA it doesn't mean you'll be allowed in.
I've heard of one expat (Work Permit) trying to move to Singapore with IPA, and they have been applying to enter Singapore (Covid-19 requirement) and got rejected for 3 months. This has been less of an issue in recent weeks, but is something to be aware of.

Back to your question. Only you can really tell if it's a good time to move.
I would say, in Singapore you will have experiences you will never get back in the UK and that by itself might be worth coming to.
Government policies are always tilted to favour locals (unsurprisingly), so all the income support they provided in recent budgets are only for Singapore citizens and PRs; and thus excludes all foreign workers. Therefore, if you are a company looking to cut jobs, you are more likely to cut foreign staff than you are locals, as currently the government heavily subsidies locals' wages.

Also something else to bear in mind. If it doesn't work out, be prepared to leave in a hurry. Once you have lost your job/leave your job in Singapore, you have a month "grace" before you have to leave.

Whatever you decide, this is not a choice between the devil and deep blue sea. You have good options either way.
Best of luck!

wearethegods
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by wearethegods » Thu, 16 Jul 2020 5:36 pm

aki01 wrote:
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 10:09 am
a lot people are also moving home voluntarily, not just because of retrenchments, due to the restrictions that have been put in place. One of the benefits of living in Singapore is the ability to cheaply visit other countries throughout Asia - now, this isnt possible and most likely won't be until next year. All bars are closed and there are restrictions on most sports. (e.g. you can only have 5 players on a soccer pitch). (you can still drink at establishments that have a restaurant licnce but max 5 ppl to a table, hard shutdown at 10.30pm). So, for newly arrived single people like yourself, it may not be much fun in the beginning, esp trying to meet new ppl. As long as you're aware of this and willing to stick it out until the restrictions are lifted, then you'll be fine.

Specific to your job - I run a software consulting team (for a software vendor) covering APAC and between the travel bans and Covid restrictions affecting business throughout Asia, it is a challenging environment right now. Almost all project are remote and we've seen a lot of customers suspend projects and budgets. So, some questions:

1. What area of IT consultancy are you in - is it particularly specialised e.g. cyber, AI etc ?
2. Is it a specific project you are being hired for or do you expect to be working for different customers
3. is the expectation that you will only be working in Singapore or was business travel in the original job spec
4. is the company a big player (e.g. Accenture) or a small system integrator
1. Cyber.
2. General Consultancy.
3. Singapore.
4. Small consultancy firm.

aki01
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by aki01 » Thu, 16 Jul 2020 7:36 pm

go for it. but as advised above, dont sign a lease to an apartment, rent a room until you get familiar with singapore and know where you want to live.

Krazihaus
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Re: Should I wait to move to Singapore?

Post by Krazihaus » Thu, 16 Jul 2020 7:39 pm

I would say that moving to Singapore in 2020 does carry risk given that Singapore has just announced that the economy has entered a technical recession. It’s anyone’s guess how the pandemic will unfold over the rest of the year.. but a second wave of infections and subsequent tightening of restrictions and borders is a valid concern. As others have pointed out, if the economy goes further south then the first to be let go are foreigners and especially new joiners if they haven’t completed their probation. On the plus side, Singapore is still a great place to live and the government is very transparent with Covid-19 updates. I would personally try and delay your start date in Singapore, if that is an option. For context, I am an expat in Singapore and have been here over 6 years.

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