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How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

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rohorn
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How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by rohorn » Thu, 17 Dec 2020 8:14 pm

Hello all. Thanks in advance for any help/guidance on the below!

My husband just got a job in Singapore starting in August 2021.
I have a company in London and can work anywhere remotely. I was wondering how many times can I visit on a 90-day visa? The job is for 2 years and he is a teacher so we would be doing a lot of traveling around S.E.A. during his long school holidays.

I've read some stories about not being granted access the second time? It doesn't make sense for me to apply for a visa as this would mean having to give up my business and look for a new job. It would mean my holidays would be much smaller and inflexible with the school holidays.

We are a same-sex couple and married in the UK, but I've read that they do not acknowledge that we are spouses so I would not be able to come on his visa.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

Ronan

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by TropicalExpat » Fri, 18 Dec 2020 11:17 am

rohorn wrote:
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 8:14 pm
Hello all. Thanks in advance for any help/guidance on the below!

My husband just got a job in Singapore starting in August 2021.
I have a company in London and can work anywhere remotely. I was wondering how many times can I visit on a 90-day visa? The job is for 2 years and he is a teacher so we would be doing a lot of traveling around S.E.A. during his long school holidays.

I've read some stories about not being granted access the second time? It doesn't make sense for me to apply for a visa as this would mean having to give up my business and look for a new job. It would mean my holidays would be much smaller and inflexible with the school holidays.

We are a same-sex couple and married in the UK, but I've read that they do not acknowledge that we are spouses so I would not be able to come on his visa.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

Ronan
Same sex couples are not recognised in Singapore. You will not be to use his visa to stay. I'm not going to comment on morals here, but this is just the way it is.

Short visits are fine, but if you are doing border runs (i.e. head across the border to Malaysia for the day just to restart your Singapore counter), regularly for 2 years, it might not work. You will eventually be caught. The whole system here is online so you won't be able to slip through the border.
While I'm not sure if border runs on their own are illegal, if they are to hide the purpose of trying to be stay as a resident by proxy, then the border officers may ban you. They probably won't charge you in court, but they may just kick you out and not let you in for x years (i think currently the ban from entering Singapore is 5 years).

I don't know what people can suggest on how to approach this. I would suggest making sure you don't hit the 90 day mark, and spending a month or so (an extended period?) back in the UK. Also, you might consider during one school holiday just not going to Singapore. You say you are planning to travel in SE Asia during the school holidays - so you just fly into say Malaysia, and then onto Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and just totally avoid Singapore.
Again, I'm not an expert at these things.

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 18 Dec 2020 2:04 pm

If you play-play with visa runs (especially trying this during the covid era), you are going to get stuffed. Even in good times, since around the late 1990's~early 2000's that loophole has been pretty well closed for hetero defacto/common law couples from countries where you cannot get a legal marriage. It's never existed for other types of couplings at all. What you will be doing is opening a big whoop~arse.....
Can-of-worms.jpg
and it will end up in tears, for sure.

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 21 Dec 2020 9:46 pm

OP should pursue a DP. That is possible with a legal marriage even same sex now.
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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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by rohorn » Mon, 21 Dec 2020 10:28 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Mon, 21 Dec 2020 9:46 pm
OP should pursue a DP. That is possible with a legal marriage even same sex now.
Thank you for the responses everyone.

Can you clarify what you mean by OP?

I have read it is ‘possible’ with female same-sex couples, but as the law still criminalises some parts of male same-sex relationships it is very unlikely a DP will be granted.

We are going to try, but do you think we would have a better chance with DP or LTVP?

Thanks!

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by therat » Mon, 21 Dec 2020 10:41 pm

OP ==> original poster

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Dec 2020 7:49 pm

rohorn wrote:
Mon, 21 Dec 2020 10:28 pm

We are going to try, but do you think we would have a better chance with DP or LTVP?

Thanks!
Only if your pairing has been legitimized in your own country. Even then, it is going to be iffy as there is nothing in black & white. Well, with the exception of 377A that is. So, you buys your ticket and takes your chances. You are going to need a pretty good dollop of luck, I'm guessing.

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 23 Dec 2020 4:40 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Tue, 22 Dec 2020 7:49 pm
rohorn wrote:
Mon, 21 Dec 2020 10:28 pm

We are going to try, but do you think we would have a better chance with DP or LTVP?

Thanks!
Only if your pairing has been legitimized in your own country. Even then, it is going to be iffy as there is nothing in black & white. Well, with the exception of 377A that is. So, you buys your ticket and takes your chances. You are going to need a pretty good dollop of luck, I'm guessing.
377A is only prosecuted if it occurs inconjunction with other offences.... (such as public nudity). Don't forget hetero anal/oral was illegal here even for married couples until two decades ago and it was the same (only prosecuted in conjunction with another crime).
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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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by dhuang » Tue, 05 Jan 2021 10:57 pm

Travelling around SE Asia for leisure from Singapore? That's not going to happen anytime soon...

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by Myasis Dragon » Wed, 06 Jan 2021 12:35 am

The issue is not entirely clear because the Singapore authorities don't divulge the criteria for allowing or denying additional visit visas.

Quite a few Southeast Asia countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and I think Vietnam) have a rule that you can spend a maximum of 90 days in the country every 180 days. I had an employee who was caught at the Bangkok airport with 93 days of visitation on her passport in a 180 day period. She was kept overnight and put on the first plane back to Singapore.

Singapore does not explicitly state this rule, but as SMS and others have noted, doing a visa run to Malaysia or Indonesia after staying for 90 days, only to return a day later hoping for another 90 days, is probably going to raise red flags.

OTOH, as a Brit, you're eligible for a frequent traveler visa.

(https://www.ica.gov.sg/enteringanddeparting/visitor/ftp).

This means you can use the automated facilities with your foreign passport. Nowhere on this page is there any specified limit to the number of times you can enter Singapore nor the duration of each visit. Thus, if you've got the travel budget, you might consider frequent visits of shorter duration.

With respect to your same sex marriage: Nowhere in the dependents pass policies and provisions is there any mention that the couple must be hetero. The only provision is that you be able to provide a valid marriage license, and since the UK allows same sex marriage with the same rights and responsibilities as hetero marriage (ie, not a "civil union"), I'd probably try to get a DP before worrying about visas and visa runs. I recall at least one same sex couple from the UK posting on this board that they had successfully applied.

https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permi ... /key-facts

In the end, all of these rules are to prevent foreign labor from entering Singapore under the radar and working illegally without a permit.

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by rohorn » Sat, 09 Jan 2021 3:37 am

Myasis Dragon wrote:
Wed, 06 Jan 2021 12:35 am
The issue is not entirely clear because the Singapore authorities don't divulge the criteria for allowing or denying additional visit visas.

Quite a few Southeast Asia countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and I think Vietnam) have a rule that you can spend a maximum of 90 days in the country every 180 days. I had an employee who was caught at the Bangkok airport with 93 days of visitation on her passport in a 180 day period. She was kept overnight and put on the first plane back to Singapore.

Singapore does not explicitly state this rule, but as SMS and others have noted, doing a visa run to Malaysia or Indonesia after staying for 90 days, only to return a day later hoping for another 90 days, is probably going to raise red flags.

OTOH, as a Brit, you're eligible for a frequent traveler visa.

(https://www.ica.gov.sg/enteringanddeparting/visitor/ftp).

This means you can use the automated facilities with your foreign passport. Nowhere on this page is there any specified limit to the number of times you can enter Singapore nor the duration of each visit. Thus, if you've got the travel budget, you might consider frequent visits of shorter duration.

With respect to your same sex marriage: Nowhere in the dependents pass policies and provisions is there any mention that the couple must be hetero. The only provision is that you be able to provide a valid marriage license, and since the UK allows same sex marriage with the same rights and responsibilities as hetero marriage (ie, not a "civil union"), I'd probably try to get a DP before worrying about visas and visa runs. I recall at least one same sex couple from the UK posting on this board that they had successfully applied.

https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permi ... /key-facts

In the end, all of these rules are to prevent foreign labor from entering Singapore under the radar and working illegally without a permit.

Thank you for your reply and information - it is all very helpful.

I have also read the 90/180 day rule a few places and Singapore identifies you as a tax resident after 183 days which would make sense.

I wouldn’t be going to the Malaysian border to renew a 90 day visa - the plan is to spend the time in between in Australia / Japan / back in UK.

I had read about the FTP but again the info is incredibly vague about how many times per year and lengths of stay. Frequent suggests quite a few but I thought this was more suited to business travellers who visit for a few days at a time?

You are the second person I have read who heard of a same-sex couple being granted a DP, but it seems to depend on the minister dealing with the case. Do you happen to remember the user / thread so I could message them directly? (Long shot I know).

Thanks again.

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by Myasis Dragon » Mon, 11 Jan 2021 1:41 am

rohorn wrote:
Sat, 09 Jan 2021 3:37 am
Myasis Dragon wrote:
Wed, 06 Jan 2021 12:35 am
The issue is not entirely clear because the Singapore authorities don't divulge the criteria for allowing or denying additional visit visas.

Quite a few Southeast Asia countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and I think Vietnam) have a rule that you can spend a maximum of 90 days in the country every 180 days. I had an employee who was caught at the Bangkok airport with 93 days of visitation on her passport in a 180 day period. She was kept overnight and put on the first plane back to Singapore.

Singapore does not explicitly state this rule, but as SMS and others have noted, doing a visa run to Malaysia or Indonesia after staying for 90 days, only to return a day later hoping for another 90 days, is probably going to raise red flags.

OTOH, as a Brit, you're eligible for a frequent traveler visa.

(https://www.ica.gov.sg/enteringanddeparting/visitor/ftp).

This means you can use the automated facilities with your foreign passport. Nowhere on this page is there any specified limit to the number of times you can enter Singapore nor the duration of each visit. Thus, if you've got the travel budget, you might consider frequent visits of shorter duration.

With respect to your same sex marriage: Nowhere in the dependents pass policies and provisions is there any mention that the couple must be hetero. The only provision is that you be able to provide a valid marriage license, and since the UK allows same sex marriage with the same rights and responsibilities as hetero marriage (ie, not a "civil union"), I'd probably try to get a DP before worrying about visas and visa runs. I recall at least one same sex couple from the UK posting on this board that they had successfully applied.

https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permi ... /key-facts

In the end, all of these rules are to prevent foreign labor from entering Singapore under the radar and working illegally without a permit.

Thank you for your reply and information - it is all very helpful.

I have also read the 90/180 day rule a few places and Singapore identifies you as a tax resident after 183 days which would make sense.

I wouldn’t be going to the Malaysian border to renew a 90 day visa - the plan is to spend the time in between in Australia / Japan / back in UK.

I had read about the FTP but again the info is incredibly vague about how many times per year and lengths of stay. Frequent suggests quite a few but I thought this was more suited to business travellers who visit for a few days at a time?

You are the second person I have read who heard of a same-sex couple being granted a DP, but it seems to depend on the minister dealing with the case. Do you happen to remember the user / thread so I could message them directly? (Long shot I know).

Thanks again.
I've gone over old posts and cannot find the one that I remember. In any event, we are talking years ago so relevancy is questionable.

Having said that, I still think your best bet is to file for DP (your employer, actually, they have to do the filing and they bear the responsibility of a bond or guaranteeing repatriation of DP's), assuming that you otherwise meet the qualifications.

They will file online but there is a PDF form on the MoM website which shows the application.

https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/docu ... form12.pdf

I don't see what you have to lose by trying this angle. The worst they can say is 'no', which leaves you exactly where you are now.

In my search, I noted that a couple of posters made the observation of a "homophobic HR department" in their company... this may be something you will need to check out.

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Re: How many times can I visit my partner in Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 11 Jan 2021 8:59 am

^ exactly. The more supportive your HR, the better.
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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