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Apply for PR while overseas

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
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Apply for PR while overseas

Postby littlegreenman » Sat, 28 Mar 2009 8:44 pm

Hi all,

I am the German husband of a Singapore Citizen. I have lived a for three years in Singapore and went to school there on a Student Pass while doing my degree in Singapore. Just before my graduation I married my girlfriend who is a Singaporean and shortly after we moved back to the UK. Having been here for two years now we are contemplating moving back to Singapore. However as the economy isn't very good at the moment I would like to find a job first and thus also apply for SPR before going back to Singapore.

Both my wife and me are graduates and have good incomes etc. so I am not doubting that I will get PR with her sponsoring me, however the actual problem we are facing is that we are in the UK, not Singapore. I know it is possible to apply for PR while outside Singapore and it even says that on the application form. I have done a lot of research however couldn't find many details about applying while overseas. While the few sources on this topic say you can apply at a high commission, no particular mention is made on the ICA/MFA websites and when I contacted the High Commission here in London they did not have a clue what I was talking about but told me that I had to send my application to the ICA in Singapore. Bottom line was that they had no clue at the high commission. This is pretty much rubbish as I certainly won't send my passport, our marriage certificate, our degrees, payslips etc as I might need them here as I have to travel frequently.

Thus I would be thankful if anybody who applied for PR while outside Singapore could share their experiences with me, whether you applied through the high commission, whether you had to go back to Singapore at any time throughout the application etc.

Many thanks in advance.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 28 Mar 2009 11:21 pm

Talk to saint. I believe he did the same thing. Course you need 5 posts before your PM function activates. I'll send him a PM to have him check in with you.

sms

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Postby littlegreenman » Sun, 29 Mar 2009 12:22 am

Thank you very much mate.

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Postby Saint » Sun, 29 Mar 2009 10:10 am

As SMS has mentioned, I was in the exact same situation, a Brit married to a Singaporean living in UK and decided to apply for PR.

The Overseas Mission in London were quite helpful as I was able to visit their office with the filled out PR application form, all original documents and photocopies. They were then able to get one of the Diplomatic staff to verify and sign the photocopies of the original docs as being authentic. There is a small charge but it's worth it as you don't have to send any original docs with the application to Singapore and you also know you have all the correct docs!

The Overseas Mission will then send off the PR application for you. That is about the extent of what they can do for you. They aren't able enquire how your application is progressing etc

If you need any further info just let us know!

btw, I'm now a PR and we've been very happily back in Singapore for 7 months :D

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Postby littlegreenman » Sun, 29 Mar 2009 7:38 pm

Thank you very much for your quick reply Saint.

A few questions:

What did you put as your current address in Singapore on the application form? I am tempted to put down my London address. I theoretically could put my in laws' address down but if an overseas address is possible as well that might make things much easier.

Further, what did you put down as your gross Salary? I am tempted to put down my current gross in Sterling however they put S$ on the form. What did you put, Sterling or converted S$?

Once you submitted your application, did you have to go back to Singapore for an interview at any point in time or did you have to go back to collect your entry permit?

I am aware that one has to apply within 30 days for the blue IC, so I would have to go to Singapore anyway, but I might have to return straight away as I am still doing an MSc at Birkbeck. How long did it take you to get your re-entry permit once you got the entry permit approved? Or do you get a re-entry permit straight away with your entry permit? I couldn't find much on that apart from renewal of the re-entry permit.

Many thanks for your help!

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Postby Saint » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 8:57 am

littlegreenman wrote:Thank you very much for your quick reply Saint.

A few questions:

What did you put as your current address in Singapore on the application form? I am tempted to put down my London address. I theoretically could put my in laws' address down but if an overseas address is possible as well that might make things much easier.

We put down our UK address as current address, didn't seem to be an issue.

Further, what did you put down as your gross Salary? I am tempted to put down my current gross in Sterling however they put S$ on the form. What did you put, Sterling or converted S$?

On the application form I put down my gross salary converted into S$. We both also provided a seperate letter with a 6 month breakdown of salary which included tax, NI, bonus, pension whether contributory or non-contributory. This was done on official Company headed paper and signed by an appropiate person. We did this as neither of us were able to produce Singapore Tax returns for the previous 3 years.

Once you submitted your application, did you have to go back to Singapore for an interview at any point in time or did you have to go back to collect your entry permit?

Didn't need an interview, just got the approval letter by post to my UK address in just less than 2 months. Now this where the fun starts!!

I am aware that one has to apply within 30 days for the blue IC, so I would have to go to Singapore anyway, but I might have to return straight away as I am still doing an MSc at Birkbeck. How long did it take you to get your re-entry permit once you got the entry permit approved? Or do you get a re-entry permit straight away with your entry permit? I couldn't find much on that apart from renewal of the re-entry permit.

As I mentioned, this is where the fun starts, as you correctly said, the approval letter will say you have to complete the PR process within 30 days which is ok if you are currently Singapore which is normally the case.

We emailed off to the ICA requesting an extension of the 30 days using the general ICA email address which was a complete and utter waste of time as they are so so slow to reply. However we found the direct email addresses of various PR dept staff and emailed them directly. A couple of days later we called them directly as well and they agreed to extend the deadline to 3 months.

We then made a trip to Singapore to complete the process. Arrived on a Friday morning, straight to Raffles Hospital at Bugis to do medical. Collected results following Tuesday at about 3pm and went straight to ICA. By 6pm I had completed all the formalities and had my passport stamped and REP issued. You have to come back in 7 days to collect your IC card but you can sign the collect form to allow someone else to collect on your behalf.


Many thanks for your help!

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Postby littlegreenman » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 3:42 pm

Thank you very much Saint and SMS. I am going to the high commission at Belgravia today and will let you guys know what happened. Hopefully we can meet up soon for a pint at Brewerkz. :D

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Postby littlegreenman » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:57 pm

Right, I think Alamak would be the right term for what happened.

I called them three times last week to ask them whether an appointment was needed. I was transferred between the visa section and the passport section and neither could tell me whether I needed an appointment. I sent an email over a week ago that nobody replied to...

When I went to the high commission today I was told that I DID need an appointment. :x They didn't believe me that I called three times and sent an email to enquire. So I wasted a whole day (I am a consultant paid by the hour, meaning GBP 300 lost income) for nothing. Not the best experience one could have. My appointment is on Wednesday next week. I guess I should have asked for a confirmation of the appointment to make sure I got it in writing... will keep you all updated.

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Postby Saint » Tue, 31 Mar 2009 8:32 am

Sory to hear that, I didn't need an appointment, they just said to come after 2pm and I went down to the basement and queued up at the counter.

Were you going along yesterday with the filled out PR form and all supporting documents just to be verified?

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Postby littlegreenman » Tue, 31 Mar 2009 2:00 pm

Hi Saint,

spot on, I literally just needed them to rubber stamp the application and forward it on to the ICA. I was told exactly the same that as long as I come between two and four pm I should have no problem.

As I told the lady at the counter, I appreciate the fact that an appointment is needed. However I called three times beforehand and wrote an email I never got a reply to. When I was called I was told walk in would be fine. That is pretty poor that nobody in the high commission seems to know what they are doing. Well, no use in being pissed with them because they wouldn't care anyway... so I will stay positive. :D

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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 6:51 pm

Hi all,

just to give a brief update if anyone will be in the same situation as me in the future:

I went back to the High Commission at 3pm yesterday for my appointment. Once I arrived I was told of that I was an hour late because my appointment was at 2pm. I had obviously triple checked after the previous weeks events and assured them it should have been three as this is what I was told. In the end there wasn't anyone there so I was lucky and they could process my application straight away.

I had made photocopies of all documents and put everything in order. So they happily took everything and certified all the copies at £1 each. They also made copies of the original letters regarding salary which were intended for them to keep, oh well.

Some important findings:

I had a UK address on the form, that was no problem. I put my salary down in sterling, no problem.

I had received a letter from my employer stating that I had been employed by them since... but it didn't state the individual salaries. Instead they wrote for details on my salary they should refer to my payslips and my P60. So I made a copy of my latest payslip which also has the annual income so far and my NI number. Further I made a copy of my P60s AND my National Insurance card. I also attached a copy of my job contract which shows my hourly wage and my job position. They happily accepted that without comment. So if you don't get 100% the letter you would like for your employer, don't worry. As long as you show your income on official docs which also have your tax/NI number on them and provide plenty it should get accepted and also hopefully approved.

Last but not least I was told at the end that I would be informed about the outcome by the high commission. I was very surprised to hear that but they told me that if it the application is submitted through an overseas mission, they will get notified of the outcome as well and subsequently will let you know.

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Postby littlegreenman » Wed, 22 Apr 2009 7:41 pm

Update: I received a letter from the high commission saying that my application has been forwarded to the ICA and that the processing time is 3 to 6 months.

Brief question Saint, how long did it take them to get back to you with the outcome and who did you get the letter from, ICA or High Commission?

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Postby Saint » Thu, 23 Apr 2009 8:39 am

littlegreenman wrote:Update: I received a letter from the high commission saying that my application has been forwarded to the ICA and that the processing time is 3 to 6 months.

Brief question Saint, how long did it take them to get back to you with the outcome and who did you get the letter from, ICA or High Commission?


From submitting the application at the Overseas Mission in London until the date of the approval letter took exactly 2 months. The letter then took another 10 days to arrive on the door mat. The letter is sent by the ICA but via the Overseas Mission.

The 3 to 6 month is the standard processing time the quote in all letters. If you want to found out about the progress of your aspplication don't bother asking the London Overseas Mission as they will not know and wont be able to find out for you. You have to go directly to the ICA PR department!

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Postby littlegreenman » Tue, 14 Jul 2009 4:53 pm

*Blowing the dust of this thread*

Hi all,

my application is still processing. My wife and me received our P60s for 08/09 and I wanted to submit a copy as the figures are neat and I think it can't hurt to provide our latest pay information. When I called the ICA call centre I was advised that I should fax them to the fax number of the PR centre shown on the ICA website. Having checked the website now I can't find a fax number for PR applications at all. Thus, does anyone (Mr Saint?) still have a contact as in fax number or email from your application? I remember Saint, you said you were in contact with several staff directly. Do you still have an email address? That would be a big help. Thanks.

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Postby Saint » Tue, 14 Jul 2009 5:10 pm

littlegreenman wrote:*Blowing the dust of this thread*

Hi all,

my application is still processing. My wife and me received our P60s for 08/09 and I wanted to submit a copy as the figures are neat and I think it can't hurt to provide our latest pay information. When I called the ICA call centre I was advised that I should fax them to the fax number of the PR centre shown on the ICA website. Having checked the website now I can't find a fax number for PR applications at all. Thus, does anyone (Mr Saint?) still have a contact as in fax number or email from your application? I remember Saint, you said you were in contact with several staff directly. Do you still have an email address? That would be a big help. Thanks.


Yes I still have the direct email addresses of a couple of staff working in the PR department. They are in my personal email account so I'll PM the address this evening.


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