trying to relocate from UK

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PNGMK
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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 13 Jul 2021 1:56 pm

^ yes!
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by BigginHill » Tue, 13 Jul 2021 3:03 pm

Seconded.

I'm leaving in a couple of months as well, which in retrospect I should have done 3-6 months ago.

Singapore is fantastic & will become so again when borders reopen. But it's a soulless repressive existence being locked in here for years.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by jwoods1864 » Tue, 13 Jul 2021 11:54 pm

I am also going and quite relieved about it.
Life here will continue with these restrictions for quite a while to come.


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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by malcontent » Wed, 14 Jul 2021 11:28 am

I also find it extraordinarily peculiar that anyone would be willing to take a pay cut to move to Singapore… unless they have ulterior motives (like a love interest or close family members living here).

Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but all the more so for expats who are more heavily taxed (no CPF deduction), compensated less (no employer CPF contribution) and don’t get access to government subsidized housing, healthcare, schooling, etc.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by margaret44 » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 4:10 am

Thanks so much this is all so helpful as is everyone else’s replies. It’s shocking to hear so many expats are leaving - is it all down to the Covid restrictions? I can deal this those - the U.K. has been a pretty miserable existence for the past 6 months! It’s a storm and it shall pass.
I’m interested in the bigger picture. I love Singapore - it’s safe and clean and beautiful and HOT! but maybe it’s not meant to be and I need to appreciate what I have in London. Which is a lot, I realise.
Thanks again all.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by BigginHill » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 11:04 am

Take it with a grain of salt. Cabin fever & border restrictions are the main issues here & we've had both nonstop for the past 16 months, hence the frustration. Rigid local restrictions are just the icing on the cake.

14 days in a quarantine hotel just isn't meaningful for any kind of recurring travel, only repatriation or family emergencies.

(if only quarantine for vaccinated people could be done in own home, and/or max 7 days in a hotel...)

Until last week most Employment Pass holders weren't even allowed into Singapore. There's no guarantee arrival bans won't reappear in the future.

Singapore's a tiny dot & South East Asia is currently not a good place to be; there'll be no regional travel for years & neighbouring countries are losing control of COVID.

I know London/UK has been through a very tough year. The grass is not always greener though. For 2021-2022, I reckon Europe & US are preferable to Asia.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by malcontent » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 11:47 am

I can understand the desire to escape the weather, since I’m from Michigan (which is only good in the summer months). But the price you pay for things here is daunting to say the least. If you are very wealthy or making beaucoup bucks, the tax savings can make up for it… but if not, good luck.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by smoulder » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 2:57 pm

madasahattersley wrote:
Tue, 13 Jul 2021 1:29 pm
margaret44 wrote:
Tue, 06 Jul 2021 8:58 pm
Hi all - still on the mission to move to sg….
One question if I may….it has come to my attention that my husbands eligible for a PEP visa. Should he bother applying? Do you think it’ll make him more of an attractive applicant if he already has a visa in place, despite still being based in the U.K. currently? He’s only found about 3 jobs to apply to in 6 months, and most specify they’re looking for a Singapore based applicant or ask the question “do You have the right to live in sg” etc. So I assume they just bin his application immediately (he’s not had any responses yet)
The minimum salary requirement isn’t an issue for us as he wouldn’t accept a job paying less than 144k a year anyway..
On another note. Do you think it would be madness to get the PEP visa and move out there without a job? He’s never been unemployed so would definitely be risky however perhaps after 15 years of working flat out he is due a bit of a break. We have established a few contacts out there who are doing some ground work for us so maybe it would be faster move without a job and job hunt over there (hoping he secures one in 6 months)
Decisions! It’s so hard. Help. Thanks.
Hi Margaret,

I would highly advise against the PEP route without a job. I have been in Singapore for 11 months (I'm on a DP) and being unemployed really is a miserable existence, for a few reasons;

1) Job hunting is not an equal playing field at the moment for foreigners. You are right that his applications will have been binned if he says he requires sponsorship, and if he has only found 3 suitable jobs it will take years before the right one turns up. I have applied for several hundred over the past year and all apart from about 5 have triggered either a generic auto-rejection email, or no response at all. Recruiters will have no interest in helping him and will generally not even have the decency to reply to your emails. Perhaps COVID was a catalyst for this, but I can't see it changing.

2) It depends on your personal values, but being here for under a year has taught me that as a fully grown adult, I don't like being told to follow (mostly arbitrary) rules all the time, and I mean ALL the time. I like to engage my common sense and live freely, as long as it isn't affecting anybody else. This is deeply incompatible with the culture here.

3) Singapore is not a particularly interesting country in itself, and after probably 3 months we had already done everything at least twice. Most of the free outdoor attractions here are utterly sterile and if you are even slightly adventurous will not be sufficiently stimulating. There are a couple of minor exceptions, but most of the cool paths through jungle etc are closed off for safety reasons (see point 2 above).

4) Your husband's salary is exceptionally high in the UK, and taking a pay cut to S$12k per month will lead to either an enormous lifestyle downgrade or a total reduction in savings.

My advice - look at moving to another country. We will be moving after the minimum contract my wife signed up to, either back home or to a slightly more relaxed country (Thailand, Vietnam). Expats are leaving Singapore at a quite incredible rate currently and very few of my British friends plan to stay here long term. Sorry I couldn't say anything more encouraging.
Probably comes down to personal choices. Everyone's got a different reason why they want to be here.

At the moment we are all locked in here on this tiny island and cannot travel to the neighboring countries. During good times, that's how we scratch that travel itch. Unfortunately it's not an option now. Hopefully, vaccinations will change that soon.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by tiktok » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 3:17 pm

The grass is always greener. You'll love it here for around 6 months. When the novelty wears off, this place makes Slough look exotic. And you'll be financially poorer.
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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by BigginHill » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 3:35 pm

smoulder wrote:
Thu, 15 Jul 2021 2:57 pm
During good times, that's how we scratch that travel itch. Unfortunately it's not an option now. Hopefully, vaccinations will change that soon.
The real problem is, noone has any kind of reliable time line for this damn COVID pandemic.

Border reopenings could be anywhere within 1-3-5 years (beyond the 1½ year we've already wasted); with the dynamics of this virus, noone really knows when & where it'll end up with any certainty.

Making any kind of wait-and-see strategy shaky at best. One might end up waiting years for things to happen 'soon'.

I reckon now is a good time to set one's future personal priorities...!

Worst case, COVID remains & SG will be forced to choose between going full-Aus/NZ/China type isolation indefinitely (+2 years), or eventually after a couple of years, well, stop caring out of pure fatigue & just "let go", backed up with vaccines & antivirals.

Best case, COVID gradually, but surely, begins to fizzle out globally end of 2022 after mass-vaccination, while gahmen very slowly starts opening up 21Q3.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by Addadude » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 5:07 pm

BigginHill wrote:
Thu, 15 Jul 2021 3:35 pm
Best case, COVID gradually, but surely, begins to fizzle out globally end of 2022 after mass-vaccination, while gahmen very slowly starts opening up 21Q3.
This is what I believe the SG government is working towards. They know Singapore can't continue to be a closed shop and have any chance of survival. The working theme is COVID-19 (and it's variants) is here to stay and we'll have to learn how live with it, just like we live with the flu. Once they can get past 70+% of the population being fully vaccinated, I'm hoping they'll start opening up to travel again to and from places that have similar COVID statuses.

To the OP, for what it's worth, I'm a very long term expat here. (Immigrant is probably a more appropriate description!) I came here on what was initially a 3-year contract and now I'm here nearly 30 years! I don't find life in Singapore particularly unbearable - even with the so-called 'heavy-handed' COVID restrictions. (They have actually worked quite well and I don't find them terribly onerous.) Of course I have a lot of personal reasons to continue on here as well.

I definitely would NOT take a pay cut to come here!
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by smoulder » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 5:18 pm

Agreed with addadude. There are hopes that we could see Singapore starting to ease off on the restrictions within the next few months.

Off the top of my head, I believe end of August is the target to finish up with vaccinations.

However as has been stated many times in the forum, landing up here with no job and hoping to get hired is a terrible idea, even at the best of times. And now certainly is not the best of times with hiring tilted heavily towards citizens and PRs.

Most of the regulars here and I dare say, most of the foreigners in Singapore, got here just because we were relocated by our employers. Unless you are looking at some kind of investment type plan (starting a business for instance), it's best not to quit your job and fly here to search for a new job.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by margaret44 » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 9:33 pm

Thanks everyone. I’m coming to terms with the fact that our move probably won’t actually happen. It seems we’ve chosen the worst time imaginable to try and move out there! The idea behind it is that our son starts school next year so we ideally wanted to be settled over there before that.
I’ve just read an article on the FT (Financial Times) about the mass exodus of foreigners over there…..
My husband has been put in touch with a very senior CEO of a major bank out there who kindly is trying to help us. She says it’s not impossible but it could take some time…. I think this is our best bet. Recruiters are pointless obviously, so is applying online to jobs directly.
Thanks again!

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by Myasis Dragon » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 10:41 pm

My SWAG is that it will be much improved in 12 to 18 months.

Even the most incompetent of surrounding countries will have reached a level of vaccination to permit safe travel in the region in that time period.

The continued crackdown on Hong Kong by the thugs in Beijing will accelerate the exodus of MNC regional headquarters out of Hong Kong. Why put your APAC operations at risk when there is a higher level of security, a solid banking system, and even lower costs in Singapore as opposed to HK.

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Re: trying to relocate from UK

Post by malcontent » Thu, 15 Jul 2021 11:03 pm

My company was part of the first exodus that left HK for SG. This was in advance of the 1997 handover. As a result, my first two bosses were transplants from our former HK office, and several of these employees who moved from HK are still employed by my company to this day. Most all of them have stayed in SG, even after retiring. The vast majority did an express 2 year conversion to SG citizenship. I believe this express path was part of a package deal with the company move.

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