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Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
malcontent
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Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 3:30 pm

My wife is an Indonesian Chinese. She has spent most of her life here, including primary and secondary school. Her only absence was 5 years during college in the US (which is where we met). We have been living in Singapore for over two decades, but will move back to the US when our kids go to college in a few years from now. Before that happens, my wife (who is already approaching her 50’s) would like to obtain SC for certainty about future ‘right of abode’ in Singapore. The problem is, she would be applying alone. Our kids would stick with US citizenship (daughter has PR under her and son has a DP under my EP).

I believe the best course of action is for her to just stay on PR and try to keep extending it from abroad. She has her own Pte Ltd, and that would continue after the move. However, she does not employ anyone, it’s almost a sole proprietorship.

Should she try to apply for SC? If not, is there anything we can do to better ensure she retains her PR, e.g. keep contributing to CPF while abroad?

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by bro75 » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 4:53 pm

The best way for her to retain her PR in Singapore is to be physically resident in Singapore and be engaged in employment or trade or business. This is assuming that she got her PR through the PTS scheme. IF she is retired, it is said by a government official that her REP will be approved as long as she is resident in Singapore and has family ties in Singapore.

https://mothership.sg/2020/02/parliamen ... lications/

Just based on the limited information you provided, she may have only a small chance of being approved for SC. Her nationality, age, financial profile, family ties does not really add anything to her application. But there is no harm in trying for SC except for the fees.

malcontent
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 5:45 pm

Let me just add that she has been a PR for close to 3 decades now. I would expect at least one REP renewal while abroad should be relatively easy, we would still have properties and a business in Singapore. Maybe just need to clarify the purpose of being abroad and intentions to return.

The second REP renewal may get more sticky, but as long as the circumstances and intentions remain unchanged, we should at least have a decent chance. She is not the type to accept rejection - she will definitely demand they reconsider and provide all the reasons they should.

I wonder if at least having applied for SC prior to leaving would help show intention to return.

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by TropicalExpat » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 6:18 pm

She can apply but if the kids aren't going to be SCs as well then you can almost be guaranteed they will be suspicious of her intentions.
Are you legally recognised in Singapore as being married? I'm assuming your son is both your child and your wife was a PR when he was born.
If so, I suspect the government will reject her application for SC as the son would have avoided national service as a DP.
There is no harm in applying, but if the above situation exists, then I suspect they are just waiting for her to leave and then rejecting her REP.

malcontent
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 6:49 pm

Yes, we did our ROM in Singapore many years ago. Kids both born in Singapore, but neither was registered as a PR at birth. My daughter got PR before primary school (back when PR helped). She ended up at a girl’s school, but by the time it was my son’s turn, PR was no longer helpful for primary school... anyway he does not have the aptitude for local school like my daughter does, so there was no point.
Last edited by malcontent on Sun, 20 Sep 2020 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by lot286 » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 6:54 pm

not sure where my post went... apologiges for duplication in any case.

my reply was
** I Put a zero % chance that she will obtain SC. And a very high chance her PR renewal will be rejected. PRship is given to foreignres who demonstrate and interest to become an SC. Her intention so far as what you'd said is more as a 'matter of convenience', given her (entire?) famly has now become US citizens.

malcontent
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 7:06 pm

She will have to get a US green card (PR) while we are in the US simply because that is the only practical option for her to stay with myself and our children while they study in the US.

No intention for her to apply for US citizenship.

malcontent
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Sun, 20 Sep 2020 9:10 pm

So it sounds like the consensus is:

1. No harm applying for SC but no chance of getting it either.

2. PR is going to be in real jeopardy if we do not reside in SG.

Any suggestions on ways to increase our chances of successful REP renewal while abroad?

I do know of at least one SPR that worked several years in Australia and even got PR there... she was able to renew her REP successfully, but she had to provide a lot of evidence to convince the authorities here that the assignment was not indefinite and she would be returning to Singapore.

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by TropicalExpat » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 7:25 am

malcontent wrote:
Sun, 20 Sep 2020 9:10 pm
So it sounds like the consensus is:

1. No harm applying for SC but no chance of getting it either.

2. PR is going to be in real jeopardy if we do not reside in SG.

Any suggestions on ways to increase our chances of successful REP renewal while abroad?

I do know of at least one SPR that worked several years in Australia and even got PR there... she was able to renew her REP successfully, but she had to provide a lot of evidence to convince the authorities here that the assignment was not indefinite and she would be returning to Singapore.
There is no real way to increase chances of successful REP renewal in the current circumstances.
If she has an intention to come back to Singapore eventually, the suggestion I would have is for her to stay here until her next REP comes for renewal, get it for the 4-5 years she would get it renewed for, and then leave for those number of years. And then come back and work for a year and get it renewed again. But I don't think that's a practical option.

The problem you guys face is that ICA has the information that the two of you are married and have had two kids without registering your son for PR and that for decades you haven't not applied for PR as a family. For you guys, this is perfectively reasonable but from their perspective, you have been keeping your options open and not really wanting to stay in Singapore long term.
At the same time, here age will be against her renewal. As you aren't a PR family unit there is no reason for ICA to approve her to stay. If your kids were PR and staying in Singapore for study and then work, then there's an argument that they would give her REP renewal.

I know some posters get annoyed when I go off topic, but I wanted to add something else. There is anecdotal evidence that because your son never applied for PR, he will struggle to get an EP/WP or PR in the future.

In any case, just go for the SC application and good luck!

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 7:42 am

TE has said it all I'm afraid. If your wife really wanted to be a SC she would have ensured her kids were and in particular her son met his obligations re NS. You need to pursue US citizenship for her before Trump slams that door shut too.
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!

malcontent
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 1:15 pm

Thanks for all the replies and advice. Quite honestly, I think my wife would physically return to Singapore to continue appealing if her REP could not be renewed from abroad. She would not take it lying down, after all, she has lived here since primary school.

Lets say she does apply for SC and they ask our whole family to convert? I’ve heard of cases like this, even with EP/DP holders in the mix. The problem with that is, our kids need to retain USC to qualify for in-state tuition. I need USC to get her an IR-1 spouse visa to come live in the US while our kids are studying. Giving up USC would prevent me from living and working in the US while the kids are in college, and long-term, I would stand to lose substantial US retirement benefits.

Based on the current schedule, she will get her next REP renewal before we go. The one after that we will have been two years in the US, with both kids in college. I have to believe that at least this first renewal should be successful given the purpose of her stay in the US is to accompany our kids who are studying there, plus evidence of her continued economic and financial ties to Singapore. But you never know.

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by TropicalExpat » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 1:46 pm

Don't get us wrong, we understand your situation.

Let's look just at your wife's company.
What level of taxes is it paying? Who does it benefit, if no one is employed (other than your wife)? How are Singaporeans at large benefiting? You don't need to answer these questions, but it's just worth thinking about the logic.
Earning taxes is one thing, but making sure Singaporeans are employed is an important part of the gahmen's social contract.

You talk about getting the first renewal because her purpose is to accompany the kids. That's a parent talking :)
Look at the it from the gahmen's perspective. All of you have left, and then she wants to come back many years later after they graduate, when she's more expensive to maintain - statistically speaking she'll be more unhealthy when she is more likely to earn less. And she wouldn't have paid as many taxes.

Just living here a long time doesn't mean she's integrated. She married a non-local and had kids. One is a PR, but the males are not. Does she have family in Singapore (other than you guys)? Brothers, sisters, parents etc.

Your situation is not unique, and I think many have just resigned themselves to their lot.
I don't think appealing will help either. I've heard of situations where ICA allow a one off REP renewal for one year only and then beyond that she would have to reapply as a fresh candidate.

There's nothing stopping you guys staying in Singapore and visiting the kids in college ... Isn't college supposed to be when parents cut the apron strings :)

malcontent
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by malcontent » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 3:01 pm

I hear what you are saying. We are not in our prime, we are becoming dead weight, and that just gets worse with age.

She has two siblings (each with their own families) who live in Singapore. All 3 of them got 2nd generation PR from their parents around 3 decades ago. Of the two, only one has a complete PR family (with boys doing NS), so I suppose they can get SC with no problem.

As far as cutting the apron strings. The way it works in the US, in-state tuition of financially dependent students is based on the residency of the parents. The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is about US$35,000 more per child per year at top schools in a given state. That amount grows each year, but just today we are talking an extra US$280,000 for 2 kids earning 4 year degrees. Expensive to cut those apron strings!

The other reason we need to move to the US for a time is because my Singapore employer has been deducting FICA taxes from my payroll all these years, which qualifies me for social security income in retirement. In order for a non-US spouse to share in these benefits while overseas, we must have lived 5 years in the US as a married couple. We need to tick that box.

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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by TropicalExpat » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 3:55 pm

malcontent wrote:
Mon, 21 Sep 2020 3:01 pm
I hear what you are saying. We are not in our prime, we are becoming dead weight, and that just gets worse with age.

She has two siblings (each with their own families) who live in Singapore. All 3 of them got 2nd generation PR from their parents around 3 decades ago. Of the two, only one has a complete PR family (with boys doing NS), so I suppose they can get SC with no problem.

As far as cutting the apron strings. The way it works in the US, in-state tuition of financially dependent students is based on the residency of the parents. The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is about US$35,000 more per child per year at top schools in a given state. That amount grows each year, but just today we are talking an extra US$280,000 for 2 kids earning 4 year degrees. Expensive to cut those apron strings!

The other reason we need to move to the US for a time is because my Singapore employer has been deducting FICA taxes from my payroll all these years, which qualifies me for social security income in retirement. In order for a non-US spouse to share in these benefits while overseas, we must have lived 5 years in the US as a married couple. We need to tick that box.
Going back to your original query. I think it's going to be difficult to get her SC.

It's a tough call, especially with out of state fees. I remember those discussions a long time ago and I thought it was expensive then!

But just go ahead with the application and I wish her all the best for the application and for your move to the US.

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PNGMK
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Re: Stay on PR or apply for SC?

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 21 Sep 2020 7:22 pm

What a conundrum....
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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