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Working on visitor visa while EP is being processed

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JMS_SWE
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Working on visitor visa while EP is being processed

Postby JMS_SWE » Mon, 20 Apr 2009 4:16 pm

Hi ladies and gents,

First time poster, long time reader (a few months at least).
I've got a question that I'm trying to figure out the answer for but I end up getting lost over and over browsing throught the FAQ on the SG MoM-site.
Currently, I'm based in Sweden but I will be moving to Singapore sometime over the next couple of weeks as I'm being relocated by the company that I work for. It all boils down to the relation between the Visitor Visa and the Employment Pass.

1. From the info I've found I'm allowed to enter the country on a visitors visa and wait for the Employment Pass application to clear?

2. Am I allowed to work at all on my visitors visa while the EP application is being processed or is this a big no no?

3. What's your best guesstimate on how long the application processing takes? I've heard 5-6 weeks from a colleague compared to the 2-3 weeks I've seen on one of the MoM site (if my memory serves me correctly).

Thanks folks! Also, thanks for the great forum, I've had a lot of help browsing through the different sections regarding where to live, how much stuff costs etc etc.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 20 Apr 2009 4:37 pm

You can't work on a visitors visa.

It takes from 48 hours to a week or so (longer if your uni and other credentials are in question) to get approval for an EP. Your company should have it before sending you here.

You can start work with your approval letter. It takes under one half day to have the EP stamped into your passport and the card issued.

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Postby JMS_SWE » Mon, 20 Apr 2009 4:48 pm

Thanks Strong Eagle, that sounds reasonable. Just working out a few minor details before submitting the application.

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hexadecimal
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Postby hexadecimal » Mon, 20 Apr 2009 5:34 pm

my EP process has lasted less than 24 hours, I thought it is taking like 2 weeks but I figured out that my company was waiting for some reason, when they told me that they have made the application, less than 24 hours result was in my mail.

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Postby littlegreenman » Mon, 20 Apr 2009 6:04 pm

Hi there,

just a thought of mine: what if your company posts you to Singapore but you are still having your old contract, not a new one for employment in Singapore? I am sure you can enter and work temporarily from the Singapore office. As long as you still get paid in Sweden and pay your taxes there for two to three weeks there should not be anything wrong with that.

I did this a few times already, my company asked me to work from the Singapore office for two weeks. So I just used the normal visitor visa you get on arrival and put business trip as purpose of visit. As mentioned I was employed by my UK employer and it was officially a business trip. So if you are only there for a business trip for the first three to four weeks and you still have a contract and get paid in Sweden, you should be fine.

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Postby revhappy » Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:32 am

Hi Guys,

i have got an offer from a singapore company but to become a resident for tax purposes I need to be in singapore for 183 days in a calendar year that means I need to be there on 1st of July. How long will the EP processing take? In case there is a chance of it getting delayed can I go there on a visitor visa and EP processing done from singapore?

I wont work there while on visitor visa but just wait, is that possible?

Please advise...

Cheers,
Revhappy

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:57 am

First of all, you cannot work on a visitors visa. Secondly, your period of 183 days commences the day you enter Singapore even if it's on a social visit pass and you have to wait several weeks before getting your employment pass. So if possible get here before the first of july.

Now,

If you are here more than 60 days but less than 183 days you will be subject to non-resident tax rates of a flat 15% or the graduated rates (whichever results in the most tax).

However, you can bridge 2 years to arrive at the 183 days residency period. This means you would have to pay the 15% tax rate on the year you arrived but as soon as you pass the 183 days mark the following year you can apply for reassessment and the government will deposit the excess taxes after reassessment into your nominated bank account.

Might cause some inconvenience cashflow wise but at least you will get back the taxes at the high 15% rate.

littlegreenman,

aside from the fact that is illegal you should be able to get away with it, but be sure you don't p*ss anybody off as they might report you and then you would really be up the creek without the proverbial paddle. :wink:

The penchant for people trying to always split hairs always amazes me. :?

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Postby JMS_SWE » Thu, 18 Jun 2009 6:00 pm

Revhappy,
Interesting.. I didn't think of that at all. I land in Singapore on July 1st so I'm not sure if I'll fall within the 183 days or miss the cut-off by a day.
In that case I will remember to check out the reassessment rules. Thanks for the tip sundaymorningstaple.
Applied for my Employment Pass and will be staying on a visitors visa until it clears. I'm assuming I can't lease an apartment, get a cellphone plan or anything along those lines before my EP clears so I'm looking forward to a little vacation.

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Postby revhappy » Fri, 19 Jun 2009 8:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:First of all, you cannot work on a visitors visa. Secondly, your period of 183 days commences the day you enter Singapore even if it's on a social visit pass and you have to wait several weeks before getting your employment pass. So if possible get here before the first of july.

Now,

If you are here more than 60 days but less than 183 days you will be subject to non-resident tax rates of a flat 15% or the graduated rates (whichever results in the most tax).

However, you can bridge 2 years to arrive at the 183 days residency period. This means you would have to pay the 15% tax rate on the year you arrived but as soon as you pass the 183 days mark the following year you can apply for reassessment and the government will deposit the excess taxes after reassessment into your nominated bank account.

Might cause some inconvenience cashflow wise but at least you will get back the taxes at the high 15% rate.


Thanks SMS,

My employer mentioned that it takes 2 days to get the EP. Also they will just send me the letter and I have to carry it along my passport to Singapore and its only there that I have to submit documents. That sounds extremely efficient and too good to be true?javascript:emoticon(':shock:') I think they are applying online. They also said that its a mere formality and no one from their company so far has been rejected for EP. So they asked me not to worry about the outcome and start preparing for coming over.

Cheers,
Revhappy :shock:


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