Staying in Singapore with a tourist pass

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Dobb
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Staying in Singapore with a tourist pass

Post by Dobb » Fri, 22 May 2009 7:30 pm

Hello Expat!

I'm holding a student pass in Singapore, however, my Thai girlfriend wants to stay with me after she graduates in Thailand which is in June and will move to Singapore with me after a week or two, and hopefully gets into one of the local Unis here, possibly NUS or NTU.

Now, the thing that bothers me is that as tourist, we're allowed to stay up to 30 days and extension has to be made via sponsor if 90 days or a valid medical reason. I've tried to see if she can apply long term seeking employment pass from ICA and they recommended that actually, however, I am totally confused on its requirements, she is holding an American High School Diploma there.

Is she eligible to apply this LTSVP thing? Reason is because the unis or colleges will be able to accept students next year application period and she already made plans to stick with me here in Singapore.

Another way I heard is, not sure if it's legal or not, that she can go to Malaysia and stay a day or 5 days, and come to Singapore, thus renewing her pass. I actually met some people like that as my associate does that before applying for a student pass, however, he almost got caught but was off due to his status as a British passport holder. I am worried on getting caught.

Any suggestions? She'll stay until January or so when application for uni is open and that's almost half a year.

Please don't flame me if it's illegal! I didn't know. :oops:

Just for the record, I won't marry her, cause we're a same sex couple. I hope that doesn't strike a nerve to anyone reading this as I heard Singapore's really angsty on stuff like this.

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Post by durain » Fri, 22 May 2009 8:19 pm

she can pop over to malaysia and re-enter singapore again and get another visa, but she cant do it too often as immigration will know she is doing it for the purpose of extending her stay in singapore.

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Post by Dobb » Fri, 22 May 2009 8:29 pm

How often is often anyways? 3-4 times? Any ideas on "throwing off the suspicion"? Like fly to Australia or some other countries? I really hate to break this sort of system, I'm very conscious about not breaking the law but I can't help it when it comes to love. :oops:

That reminds me, my friend told me something about resetting the "clock" of amount of days you can stay by having 5 days away or a month away. If that is possible, I wouldn't mind doing it legitly, know what I'm saying?

Another thing would be getting extension via X-tension thingy site on ICA, but it works once only? Or multitude of times every entry?

However, if she was found out, she will never ever be granted entry into Singapore? Or a certain duration?

Thank you for the reply, I appreciate every assistance given, big or small.

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Post by durain » Fri, 22 May 2009 8:45 pm

going to malaysia probably works 2-3 times. no one knows how to "reset" the clock, otherwise people will work the systems and abuse it! and sometimes it is not the systems but the immigration office who will call the shot.

many years ago, i was caught with an expired visa but it was an honest mistake. at changi, i get 30 days (now it is 90 days for EU passport holder), then i went over to JB for a day trip and my 30 days visa was cancel out. coming back into singapore, i got a 1 week visa and i assumed i had a 30 days visa! as i said, it was an honest mistake and yes, i got pulled into a room but i was legit to be in singapore, so imigration extended my visa.

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Re: Staying in Singapore with a tourist pass

Post by littlegreenman » Fri, 22 May 2009 9:41 pm

Hi there,
Dobb wrote:...I've tried to see if she can apply long term seeking employment pass from ICA and they recommended that actually, however, I am totally confused on its requirements, she is holding an American High School Diploma there.
I doubt it. A high school diploma is not worth much and certainly won't get her an employment pass, especially during a recession. Also there is a minimum income needed to get an employment pass and I don't think she can earn the 30k annually needed for a Q1 with a high school diploma only.
Dobb wrote:Is she eligible to apply this LTSVP thing?
Not unless she is the dependant of a P1 or P2 employment pass holder.
Dobb wrote:Reason is because the unis or colleges will be able to accept students next year application period and she already made plans to stick with me here in Singapore.
I hope she has a contingency plan is it is very difficult to get into the local unis. Many Singaporeans don't get a seat in any of the big three. She still has the option to do an overseas degree at a private school though.
Dobb wrote:Another way I heard is, not sure if it's legal or not, that she can go to Malaysia and stay a day or 5 days, and come to Singapore, thus renewing her pass. I actually met some people like that as my associate does that before applying for a student pass, however, he almost got caught but was off due to his status as a British passport holder. I am worried on getting caught.
As long as she doesn't swim across the causeway but goes through immigration instead there is nothing illegal about it. Immigration might however only give her a 1 day visa or refuse entry at all if they suspect she is staying permanently in Singapore. There is nothing illegal about going back and forth between countries and you can't get caught for anything unless you overstay your visa, which doesn't have anything to do with going back and fourth between countries.

To be honest, you do not have many possibilities at the moment, so I would rather invest all resources to ensure she gets into one of the unis and then she will get her student pass and won't have any problems.

Good luck.

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Post by Dobb » Fri, 22 May 2009 10:10 pm

Durain, I suppose so, I do happen to hear this thing from the ICA themselves, but I was double checking, thanks anyways.


littlegreenman, your reply is very insightful. I'm already investing resources into getting her into the local Unis, gotta have contingencies always I suppose.

Depending on the course really, if it was business or hospitality, I think chances of getting in is really slim, since it's one of the "common" occupations about. She'll be getting into an English course and hopefully write screenplays or teach.

Thanks. However, what is the worst case scenario given if she was stopped? Are we talking about barred for entering a country for a period of time or ever? Etc.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 22 May 2009 11:16 pm

Dobb wrote:
Thanks. However, what is the worst case scenario given if she was stopped? Are we talking about barred for entering a country for a period of time or ever? Etc.
She could be let into the country with a 3 day visa (non-renewable) and then barred for a period of time from 6 months to permanent if it is obvious that she is running a visa scam just to stay in Singapore.

What you two are planning on doing is bordering on suicidal if you want to know the truth. It can only end badly.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Dee_Da_Man » Sat, 23 May 2009 6:05 am

I know several of my friends from EU countries and South Korea do
stay in Singapore without any visa by visiting Malaysia every once in awhile without facing any problem. But, that's because they are given
90-day pass instead of 30, so they would have to cross the border
at most 2-3 times a year.

Okay, now, please don't get offended by what I am about to write.
When it comes to giving out visas especially employment passes,
Singapore is very particular and discriminative.
A high school diploma won't get her anywhere even though
ICA would put it in such a nice way.
As you would know by now, there are thousands of Thai women
come in and out of the country for the known reason, and
I am just afraid she may face very unpleasant suspicion if she crosses
the border too often.

I would say... go look for a language course. It is probably the easiest
and fastest way to obtain a legal pass to stay in Singapore.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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Post by terrymc » Sat, 23 May 2009 8:05 am

Hi
I went trough the website of the Singapore immigration and I read that:

Foreigners seeking employment in Singapore may apply for a one-year (non-renewable) Visit Pass

You should visit the website
http://www.ica.gov.sg/page.aspx?pageid=172&secid=171

Hope it can help you

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 23 May 2009 11:35 am

terrymc wrote:Hi
I went trough the website of the Singapore immigration and I read that:

Foreigners seeking employment in Singapore may apply for a one-year (non-renewable) Visit Pass

You should visit the website
http://www.ica.gov.sg/page.aspx?pageid=172&secid=171

Hope it can help you
It would help if you, yourself, read the page first. Only those who have local degrees or diplomas and a very limited number of offshore schools degrees can apply.

Nothing from Thailand I'm afraid.....
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Dobb » Sat, 23 May 2009 5:58 pm

Language Course? What do you mean by that, Dee_Da_Man? You mean to take up the course for a student pass? I know alot of people doing that :o

We're talking about American High School Diploma, not the Thai grade. However,I doubt that changes anything, even though she got GPA 3.8 and AP English.

Any recommendation on these courses? It might at least buy some time before application starts.

No offense SundayMorningStaple, but what does that really mean? How can a foreigner apply for employment if one never step foot in SG to study these institutions? And how/who does it apply to? I'm really confused. I think it's easier for us to try to stick to Student pass :-|

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 23 May 2009 10:34 pm

Dobb wrote: No offense SundayMorningStaple, but what does that really mean? How can a foreigner apply for employment if one never step foot in SG to study these institutions? And how/who does it apply to? I'm really confused. I think it's easier for us to try to stick to Student pass :-|
Dobb, no offense taken. You obviously didn't bother to go to the link and read the page did you. Had you done so, you would have realized that the EPEC is only available for a select group of academic achievers.

Singapore's Universities are allowed to accept up to 20% of total enrollment as foreigners. That's a lot of potential high-earners who can also top up the gene-pool here (which it needs badly) that when they graduate, the government it trying to help by giving the the opportunity to spend up to a year here after getting their degrees, to hopefully eventually convince them to sink roots here. And yes, student pass is easier as was mooted by another poster. Any method is easier than trying the visa run with can only end in disaster.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Dee_Da_Man » Sun, 24 May 2009 6:45 am

Dobb wrote:Language Course? What do you mean by that, Dee_Da_Man? You mean to take up the course for a student pass? I know alot of people doing that :o
Good morning Dobb. She has done fantastic in her high school man. 3.8!
I am sure Singapore will welcome her as a student, but unfortunately
not as a worker yet until she obtains her degree. If I am not wrong,
application deadlines for the big threes were long time ago, and she would
have to wait until next year, unless she doesn't mind one of those
private universities. Meanwhile, considering her fantastic performance and
the fact that she even finished her AP English, it will be more or less a waste
of time, but as I mentioned, signing up for a English language course is
the easiest and fastest method of ensuring her legal residence in Singapore.
One of those institutions would be NUS Extension, located @ the parkmall, Dhoby Ghaut. I was told by one of instructors there that lots
of talented students from other South East Asian countries who could speak
English like a native were enrolled in those English language courses just
to earn some time in Singapore. Now, bear in mind, those English language
courses are most of tiems absurdly pricey.

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Post by wcs » Tue, 26 May 2009 5:52 am

It used to be that you would only get a 14 day visa if you entered singapore by land, and 30 days if your flew in. That almost caught me out the first time I came back from Malaysia by bus.

A few years ago that changed to 90 days visas for my Australian Passport, and probably some other developed countries from the sound of things.

Frequent visa runs for a young girl on a thai passport is not a great idea. Others come here for less savory purposes than love. As such there is some "grey" metric about how long you need to stay out of the country before you attempt to return if you don't want problems with ICA.

Try for a student visa, probably language school is the easiest, and she does not have to just be here to learn english, she could be learning another language she likes.

Whilst she is here, she can go visit the local unis and make contact with lecturers and admin staff of the department she wants to study in. She still has to go through the application process, but if you have the grades and are genuinely excited about studying what they teach, being a known face helps a lot to get through the selection process.

There are some scholarships for high achieving foreign students to study in Singapore at a local uni. Just you are bonded for 5 years after graduation. Which may not be a bad thing in your case! ;)

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