Staying in Singapore while traveling Asia

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klaudia
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Staying in Singapore while traveling Asia

Post by klaudia » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 6:40 pm

Could you please help me out,
we are planning to travel around Asia for the next year. Fortunate enough to have jobs we can do online. We love Singapore and would like to stay for a month in July. This is no problem, we are from Hungary, can get entry visa stamped on arrival.

Question is:

We'd like to stay for a month in Singapore, then go to Bali for a month then back to Singapore for a month, then to Australia for three months, again back to Singapore then to China, Japan and so on. Can I buy a plane ticket from Singapore to Bali and back? Or final destination should be in Europe, since we don't have EP or EPEC...

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klaudia
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Post by klaudia » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 6:43 pm

If I get an EPEC, can I leave the country and go back again, does it work like a re-entry visa?

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Post by littlegreenman » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 6:56 pm

klaudia wrote:If I get an EPEC, can I leave the country and go back again, does it work like a re-entry visa?
Hi Klaudia,

Theoretically you are not allowed to do your work (regardless whether it is online or in an office) in Singapore without an Employment Pass/PR or anything such. Having said that, of course it is possible without getting noticed.

If you apply for an EPEC that does only give you the right to stay in the country for a year to look for a job. What you will get is a long term social visit pass (LTSVP) which is multiple entry and should make life easier for you than hopping back and fourth on a tourist visa and also exempts you from the requirement of a confirmed onward ticket (which wouldn't have to be to Europe or a home country but just anywhere out of Singapore). In the old days I doubt you would have had much of a problem hopping in and out on a tourist visas but nowadays they might have suspicions after the 2nd or third time you enter for a month...

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Post by klaudia » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:10 pm

Thank you so much! I think the EPEC would be perfect for us, but does that give anything to the dependents? I mean, if my husband get it, can he sponsor me and our three year old daughter?
Your help is greatly appreciated!

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:21 pm

littlegreenman wrote:
Theoretically you are not allowed to do your work (regardless whether it is online or in an office) in Singapore without an Employment Pass/PR or anything such. Having said that, of course it is possible without getting noticed...
Not true, sorry LittleGreenMan. If the source of the funds never touches Singapore soil then there is no issue whatsoever. How do you think people come to Singapore on business while being tax resident elsewhere? One of the businesses I own is based overseas, and no money lands here. No issue from MoM.

Upon entry to Singapore they will want evidence of a return ticket. These days, airlines will hold an open ticket for up to 366 days. However, if you show that you have an onward ticket (book this before you come) then you will not have an issue.

Klaudia, the only issue you may have is the length of stay given you are from Hungary. I am not sure, so please do check with the relevant Singapore Embassy or their online site, as to the length of a tourist visa you may be issued.

Yes, you can buy tickets online through any number of airlines to anywhere you like.

China: be careful - I got caught in China once with an almost expiring visa (silly me!). Getting visas for China usually means a lot of time in queues, but I'll give you a tip: get you China visa in Sydney - their consulate is close to the city and very efficient. Usually they will turn it around in 3 days, but you can pay extra to get it expedited.

HTH to clear things up for you Klaudia. Sounds like a nice trip. I hope you and your family enjoy it. Post back if we can help with anything else.

Mr. P

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:24 pm

littlegreenman wrote:Theoretically you are not allowed to do your work (regardless whether it is online or in an office) in Singapore without an Employment Pass/PR or anything such. Having said that, of course it is possible without getting noticed.
That is incorrect. You create no financial footprint in Singapore and you provide no services in Singapore; hence you should do just fine a regular social visit (tourist) visa.

Ooops.... answered by sierra2469alpha already... OK... here is confirmation... and what he said about length of visa.... be sure to check both length and whether you can get VOA for where you are going. Almost everywhere wants at least 6 months validity from the time you plan to exit a country.

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Post by klaudia » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:30 pm

We can stay for a month. We've been there couple of times already:)
My only concern is that they'll think we're trying to illegally immigrate to Singapore.
If I have a ticket coming home from Singapore at the end of my year trip, am I OK? Or I can still not buy a ticket like Singapore-Bali-Singapore. Shall I buy the tickets all together, so the last leg would be back to Europe?

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Post by littlegreenman » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:49 pm

klaudia wrote: If I have a ticket coming home from Singapore at the end of my year trip, am I OK? Or I can still not buy a ticket like Singapore-Bali-Singapore. Shall I buy the tickets all together, so the last leg would be back to Europe?
Well from my own experience a one way ticket anywhere will do. So go for the cheapest you can get (SIN to KL or Bali) one way (not even a need to book return).
Strong Eagle wrote:That is incorrect. You create no financial footprint in Singapore and you provide no services in Singapore; hence you should do just fine a regular social visit (tourist) visa.
Err... if she remits the proceeds to Singapore (eg by credit card when paying groceries), would this change the scenario?

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Post by klaudia » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:53 pm

If I get a one way ticket from Singapore to Bali, isn't that the same problem? I cannot have a one way ticket to Bali, can I, same thing, 30 days on arrival.. They wouldn't let me in, I guess, the same is Malaysia, 90 days on arrival..

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Post by klaudia » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 7:55 pm

Sorry, my bad.
You meant, buy a return ticket to Bali and back and purchase an extra ticket from Singapore to Malaysia? Do they sell me a return ticket from Singapore at all?

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Post by littlegreenman » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 8:15 pm

klaudia wrote:Sorry, my bad.
You meant, buy a return ticket to Bali and back and purchase an extra ticket from Singapore to Malaysia? Do they sell me a return ticket from Singapore at all?
Nope. See this is what I did before. Buy a cheap felxible one way ticket to say Timbuktu. Before you go into Singapore you fix it to a date 30 days from your date of entrty. Then you leave for... say Thailand and change the departure date for the one way ticket to 30 days from when you plan to get back to Singapore. Then you go back to Singapore again and change the one way ticket before you leave for let's say Tokyo, to 30 days from when you get back to Singapore again. If you have a fully flexible ticket you can do that without problem. After a year when you are about to go home you just refund and get all your money back. I did that a few years ago and it worked like a charm... just that the ticket was a MAS ticket bought from Qantas. Qantas said MAS has to refund, MAS said Qantas has to refund so I never saw the USD 150 again. But if you buy it directly from the airline it is for, you shouldn't have that problem.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 8:31 pm

littlegreenman wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:That is incorrect. You create no financial footprint in Singapore and you provide no services in Singapore; hence you should do just fine a regular social visit (tourist) visa.
Err... if she remits the proceeds to Singapore (eg by credit card when paying groceries), would this change the scenario?
No, I don't think so, LGM. So long as the earnings are made offshore from Singapore (and tax is paid), bringing cash in is not a problem, let alone using a credit card, subject to the S$30,000 reporting limit.
Last edited by Strong Eagle on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 8:44 pm

Klaudia - Sorry that someone here is confusing you.

Please see my previous post. To be SAFE, show them that you have a flight OUTBOUND from SIN...an e-ticket will suffice. Also please ensure you have at least 6 months validity on ALL your passports for the countries you are looking at (for ALL people), and ensure you have at least 3 blank pages on ALL passports. Ensure you have a booked hotel, and sufficent monies available to support your time in our wonderful country.

Flights: Yes, you can have a one way ticket to Bali or wherever! Guam is nice this time of year!

@LittleGreenMan - No wrong again - remittance to credit card companies where the card is based outside of SIN is not subject to local tax, subject to the local currency allowances as Strong Eagle pointed out - which is $SGD 30K. Again, how many companies work in and out of different economies without paying tax - these guys have no financial loss or gain to Singapore.

Mr. P

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Post by littlegreenman » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 9:11 pm

sierra2469alpha wrote:
@LittleGreenMan - No wrong again - remittance to credit card companies where the card is based outside of SIN is not subject to local tax, subject to the local currency allowances as Strong Eagle pointed out - which is $SGD 30K. Again, how many companies work in and out of different economies without paying tax - these guys have no financial loss or gain to Singapore.

Mr. P
Sorry guys I am not convinced. Let me check what IRAS has to say.

Regarding my version of the confirmed onward ticket: I was trying to make the point that this way she is flexible and can choose to alter their plans at little or no cost.
Last edited by littlegreenman on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by littlegreenman » Thu, 11 Jun 2009 9:20 pm

Come to think about it, guys sorry but I disagree. Rule is: you pay taxes where you live. In this case she will be out of Hungary for a year. For simplicity let's say one tax year (keeping in mind that Singapore observers like many other countries it has dual taxation agreements with the half year mark as the deciding factor). So if she is in Singapore for half a year she is a non-resident at home and theoretically doesn't have to pay income tax there as you pay taxes where you live (unless Singapore and Hungary don't have a dual taxation agreement). She then has to pay the tax in Singapore accordingly if she stays in Singapore for more than 60 days.

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1192
You will be taxed on income earned for the period you worked in Singapore even if your employer is not a resident in Singapore, or your income is not paid in Singapore. This also applies if your employer sends you here for training.

...

+If you work in Singapore for 60 days or less in a calendar year, you will be exempt from tax on your earnings here.
+If you work in Singapore for 61 to 182 days in a calendar year, your income will be taxed at 15% or resident rates for individuals, whichever gives the higher tax.
+If you work in Singapore for 183 days or more in a calendar year, your income will be taxed at resident rates for individuals.
And that is if you are employed by a foreign employer. Pls note tax resident is not equal to resident as in immigration status. Of course she would get away with not paying taxes in Singapore I guess but if you strictly follow the IRAS guide this is what should happen in theory.

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