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Relocation questions - Need to decide very fast

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Relocation questions - Need to decide very fast

Post by kojtl1000 » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 12:16 am


We are from Belgium and my wife just heard today that she has an opportunity at work to relocate to Singapore and work for India and Indonesia. However, this is all very new and far away for us. Since we do not know anything about Singapore and we need to make a decision very fast, I really lack the time to search te forum for some answers (however much I would enjoy that). But it really is a matter of days.
Since my wife is going to work over there, I will be joining her. I myself work in IT (Solution Architect = presales infrastructure IBM systems, storage, ...). However, I would not mind doing any other job if possible (f.e. work in restaurant, work in shop, ...).

- How do we go about on getting some sort of work permit for myself, if this is even possible coming on a joining visa with my wife?

- Since my wife will be travelling a lot to India, I will be alone for quite some time. Do you guys think I can entertain myself in Singapore? FYI, I really enjoy running (distances 10K, Half Marathon), road cycling, even going back to college. Are these things possible in Singapore? (sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but we really don't know what to expect from Singapore)

- What about the cost of living compared to f.e. Belgium? We will fall back on 1 wage (at least in the beginning).

- Any other advice that we should take into account is really welcome.

I really want to thank you in advance for your replies, because we are really pushed for time here.


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Post by aussiemeg » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 5:02 pm

Hi Koen

There is quite an active belgian, dutch and french community out here so you could fit in very easily and then there are a variety of clbs that do the sports you like and generally people are pretty friendly so you should be right. There are even groups for male trailing spouses like yourself so as not to be surrounded by women.

Cost of living as compared to Belgium...Taxes are lower :D You can get a work permit when you find a job just come out on a dependents pass.

Food cheap, accomodation equivalent to central brussels/antwerp or a bit more expensive, cars ridiculously expensive, travel cheap both local public transport and overseas. Experience of living in a foreign country in Asia is priceless


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Post by sierra2469alpha » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 5:17 pm

Hi Koen - appreciate you explaining you don't have time to do the research!

Some quick points for you, as a start, to back up Meg:

1. If your wife gets a P pass, then you can apply for a DP (Dependant's Pass). On a DP, YOU CAN work here, all you need is a letter of consent (LOC) from your potential employer and also the MoM (I think you need both - better people than me can explain this).

2. Yes, you will meet expats, and if you want, locals too. As Meg pointed out there are plenty of clubs, and local organisations, plus this forum, to help you meet people.

3. IT - one of the business I ran back in Australia was an IT consultancy - the IT&T market here, for good skills, is pretty vibrant, but don't expect agencies to help you that much - it's a lot more about networking with the right people. There are people on this forum who can help with that.

4. If you do get the chance, use the search function here - usual queries such as "living costs", "rental prices", etc. will, with only a few hours research, yield you with a LOT of information, and then you'll no doubt have additional questions, which you can post back here so we can assist you further!

HTH, Mr. P

[EDIT: typo]

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Post by kojtl1000 » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 7:01 pm

Thanks a lot guys for your reactions. In the meantime, I've been reading through the forum a little bit to extend the knowledge.

Any more thought from you guys will be appreciated.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 9:59 pm

LOC Letter of Consent clarification:

The employer has to file for a letter of consent for the Dependent Pass holder to enable his/her to work for them. The Letter of Consent of Employer centric so if you move to a different employer they will have to file for a letter of consent. The best part about the LOC is that you do not have to meet any of the EP qualification levels. But be advised that the odds of getting an expat salary level is very difficult as they employer will already know that you are following an EP holder so they know that they don't need to pay full rates...... :-|

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Post by mamamiya » Sat, 27 Sep 2008 11:06 am

In summary what to expect from singapore from a local.

It is a modern city with high level of comfort and security.

1) Great food both local and international. 24 x7 food paradise
2) Shopping (It is our National sport)
3) Nite life ...lots of pubs
4) Great travel around South East Asia
As for sport and outdoor, beside a few small gardens and a few indoor sport stadium, there is basically no outdoor life in Singapore.

College standard are not that high and the course available are more restricted to commerical, finance and computer as we are a IT and finance service hub for asia pacific.

But it is still a culture desert but our government are working hard to change that.....but will take a few years to show result :cool:

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Post by boffenl » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 3:19 pm

Working for a university here, just ranked number 33 in the world, so I'd say the education in pretty darned good. Esp at the graduate level! So come on get some education! :)

Sorry, is this gushing? But I find many Singaporeans don't realize the great university(ies) right in their backyard. Like people who attend major research one institutions in the US from their backyard and don't realize how great it is.

NUS was ranked 33rd in the world and 4th in Asia in the Times Higher Education Supplement-Quacquarelli Symonds (THES-QS) University Rankings 2007. NUS continued to fare well in the major disciplines. It is top in Asia for Life Sciences & Biomedicine and Social Sciences, taking the 12th and 20th spots respectively in the world ranking for these disciplines. NUS also emerged second among Asian universities for Technology and Arts & Humanities while ranked 10th and 21st in the world respectively. The University remained within the world’s top 25 for Natural Sciences.

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Post by kojtl1000 » Wed, 01 Oct 2008 2:13 pm

Just wanted to give you an update, since all of you have been so kind to post replies. My wife was offered the job in Singapore/India, but really it is to work in India. She would have to fly sunday evening to India, work over there all week and then fly back before the beginning of the weekend. So really, in best case she would be home only on the weekend, but then again, very limited as she would have to leave sunday evening again.
Job sites in India would be Chennai and Hosur. So very long flights and very tyring. No time to enjoy Singapore for my wife. I would be there all alone during the week.
So as it stands now, she is not really sure that she will accept the job opening on those terms.
Will keep you posted.


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