Singapore Expats

Will I get a work permit?

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skyescott
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Will I get a work permit?

Post by skyescott » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 6:18 pm

I am moving with my husband to Singapore in August. I am a UK national, have UK passport, am a part qualified chartered accountant, 25 years old and have no criminal record. Do you think i will have a problem getting a work permit in Singapore?
Any tips greatly appreciated :D

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Strong Eagle
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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 8:12 pm

Maybe yes, maybe no. Schools graduate lots of accountants here, and there are plenty of certified folks. A company obtains an employment for a foreigner only when they can demonstrate that they cannot find suitable local talent.

You don't mention a degree. That won't help, especially because of your age. OTOH, you may find some company willing to try for EP sponsorship because of skills you possess. Only way to find out is job hunt, and more importantly, build a network once you get here.

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Post by skyescott » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 8:36 pm

I have had a look on the monster website, but are there any local tips re job searches?

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michaeldistel
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Post by michaeldistel » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 10:24 pm

Hey Skyscott,

I'm a noobie to the form but I have been looking a lot into this topic because I'm waiting to see if I can get an Employment Pass. Work Permits are normally for low income groups like maids and construction workers, so you would want an Employment Pass (EP) not a Work Permit as you are a chartered accountant. You can find more information about EPs on the MOM website. www.mom.gov.sg

Will there be any a problem getting an EP? this is the question I have been asking myself for while now and I have hunted all over seeking information about how they process the forms and what I need to do to improve my chances.

Like Strong Eagle said it’s very hard to know as they keep the process very secret but there are some things I think we can be sure of.

1. I believe they use a points system; this is normally done in other counties and is a very good system. The only problem is that we don't know what gets points and they change the system a lot, depending on what the government wants at the time.

2. Skill Shortage, they tend to want people with skills that are not already in Singapore. Once again like Strong Eagle said there are a lot of accountants in Singapore but I have friends in two of the big four accounting firms here and from what they say there is a shortage of people. (Because of high turn over and lots leaving for Australia) With that said, I don't believe they like hiring foreigners because all four companies have strong Chinese workforce that mostly only speaking Chinese at work and they work crazy hours for little pay that most foreigners are not willing to do. They think most foreigners won't fit in and the truth is they are most won't. I'm not sure about your background but if you’re a lower level accountant you may find it hard.

3. Ethnic Group, the Singapore Government tries very hard to keep the same balance of Ethnic composition at about 78% Chinese, 14% Malay, 7% Indian and 1% others. From my very limited understanding once they reach the % on one Ethnic Group and limiting the EP they give out. Now this could only be for PR applications but I have a feeling it’s also used for EP as well.

4. Education is a very big thing in Singapore and if you don't have a degree you’re going to find it very hard unless you have some great skill that is really needed.

5. Income is important but the truth is its not as important as people think. I have read many posts talking about people with high incomes getting knocked back and people with lower incomes getting it in one week. I think the thing with income is that normally higher the income means you skills are more in demand and therefore more likely to get an EP.

6. Is it likely that you will stay in Singapore? I believe they think about this question as well. If it looks like you’re going live in Singapore for the rest of your life and have many kids here they are more likely to give you an EP.

With that all said, first just get a job, apply for your EP and try not to think about it to much. Don’t be like me and worry yourself sick because the truth is we just don’t know but if anyone knows anything I should worry about let me know. :D

Anyway I wish you all the best luck in getting you EP, your new life in Singapore. I hope you love the place as much as I do. :)

Cheers
Michael

skyescott
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Post by skyescott » Tue, 20 Jun 2006 11:01 pm

Thanks for the advice, that's really useful. Does make me a little nervous though, as, I don't have a "degree" as such, my qualification is CIMA which is more "professional qualification" than degree. I work as a financial accountant (mid level) at at US retail company here in the UK right now. As you said, i will apply and see what happens. Advice is greatly appreciated. :)

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michaeldistel
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Post by michaeldistel » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 12:03 am

No worries, I know how it feels.

It you want one more tip, find out if your US retail company has a office here in Singapore. If so try get a job there because then the company can justify employing you by saying you know in-depth knowledge about the company accounting system. I believe this will go along way but remember nothing is for sure, so don’t come after me if I’m wrong. ;)

Don't worry too much about not having your degree because I have heard of other people who got their EP without one.

Michael

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