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Employment Pass Issues. Please advice

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Employment Pass Issues. Please advice

Postby work411 » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 10:08 am

Hello All,

I had recently been offered a very good position from one of the top universities in Singapore in June of 2009. I was on a Dependent Pass as my husband has an EP working for a multinational company in SG. HR first applied for the LOC and to our surprise it got rejected within a week. There was no reason given, but the only thing we could think of was that my husband's EP was for 1 year and my work contract was for 2 yrs.

My company HR went onto apply for an employment pass for me and then the nightmare began. I was asked for all kinds of personalized letter and documents to verify my training in college (never mind that i have 10 year work history). HR was told that documents are being sent to a vetting agency. After about 1 month they rejected the application reason given was salary and qualification (both of which are significantly higher than the requirement at MOM).

Then another weird thing. The same day that my application was rejected, HR informed me that the officer from MOM had told them that if they changed my title, they would be able to process the EP. That was done 3 weeks ago and again it was rejected!!

The whole process took about 2 months and was terribly frustrating and confusing. The position was for a therapist. My work and degrees are from the US, education is at one of the top universities there. Salary offered was quite high as well.

All this questioning led my HR to also doubt me, saying the real reason for rejection 'could be something else'!

I could not understand why MOM would suggest a recourse and then go ahead and deny that as well!!

My questions (if you're still with me after this long story) are;

1. I know an appeal is useless, it will only lead to another denial. But a local friend of mine suggested to write to MOM (a different division) and describe what transpired, my disappointment etc, and it may get you a response- Do you think that would be effective or would work against me? Should I try to meet with an officer (I was told that unless I have the appeal form with me, they will not see me)

2. Since things in SG are so connected, does this rejection also lower chances of getting future EP's? (Btw, I also have no information on my application since all was done by HR and they hold the paperwork, I have no details)

3. If my husband were to apply for a PR later, would this history also affect us in some ways?

I know none of you hold a crystal ball, but I would appreciate any feedback based on past experiences or just being familiar with the MOM process to add some suggestions.

Thank You.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 10:43 am

ftopic62911.html

While I don't know if this matters or not, I will have to ask. While you have indicated which country your degree is from, you have not indicated where you are from.

In the past couple of years, Singapore has been inundated with foreign nationals trying all kinds of ruses to gain employment here. Most often, but not always, these people are from other Asian or South Asian countries or from the subcontinent. It's because of the higher precedence of forged or outright faked documents that MOM has resorted to using Vetting agencies to verify educational qualifications (experience only counts for a little bit unless the EP applied for is a P1 EP). I lost 2 employee late last year because of unverified/forged documents - and they had been working on S passes for the past 5 or 6 months with me.

So, if there seems to be as vetting problem it could be for a number of reasons. While the university degree might be valid and not suspect, it may be that it is not on the list of approved universities (or even the course may not be approved). Just because a Uni is cited, it doesn't mean that all courses of study at that uni are approved, it may be only a single course of study is approved from that uni. It may be that the position designation has a different set of "primary" qualifications. Changing the "level" of the position may utilize a different set of educational qualifications which may be less stringent "in their eyes".

Nobody knows exactly how MOM marks the criteria submitted to them for EP applications and rightly so. If they did that, then the CV's would be tailor made to the positions so that acceptance was assured. This is why MOM WILL NOT give out their reasons for rejections.
1. I know an appeal is useless, it will only lead to another denial. But a local friend of mine suggested to write to MOM (a different division) and describe what transpired, my disappointment etc, and it may get you a response- Do you think that would be effective or would work against me? Should I try to meet with an officer (I was told that unless I have the appeal form with me, they will not see me)

If you haven't filed an appeal then don't bother to try to write to somebody else as you will just get a reply to file an appeal first.

2. Since things in SG are so connected, does this rejection also lower chances of getting future EP's? (Btw, I also have no information on my application since all was done by HR and they hold the paperwork, I have no details)

NO. Unless the reason for rejection was for forged documents or untrue statements. Only you know the answer to this.


3. If my husband were to apply for a PR later, would this history also affect us in some ways?

NO. Has absolutely nothing to do with you husband


It's frustrating I know, but you have to look at it from the Government's side of this little red dot that already has too many people on it and more trying to get in every day by one method or another.

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Postby work411 » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 11:00 am

Thank you so much for your detailed response. Responding to your question I am of south asian origin, with a US nationality. My husband who currently has an EP has the same background (that is how I have a DP right now)

I myself was wondering about this with the first rejection, but then I had the HR email (with the MOM officer cc-ed in it) stating that MOM has rejected your application on the title, but they can process it if the title is altered. Since this was after all the documentation and vetting agency steps, I wasn't sure if that mark was passed. Still am baffled by why they would suggest something, only to deny it later! Wouldnt it be simple to issue a denial and be done with it?? Especially is if is based on suspicion of degrees etc.


Thanks for all your help.



sundaymorningstaple wrote:http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic62911.html

While I don't know if this matters or not, I will have to ask. While you have indicated which country your degree is from, you have not indicated where you are from.

In the past couple of years, Singapore has been inundated with foreign nationals trying all kinds of ruses to gain employment here. Most often, but not always, these people are from other Asian or South Asian countries or from the subcontinent. It's because of the higher precedence of forged or outright faked documents that MOM has resorted to using Vetting agencies to verify educational qualifications (experience only counts for a little bit unless the EP applied for is a P1 EP). I lost 2 employee late last year because of unverified/forged documents - and they had been working on S passes for the past 5 or 6 months with me.

So, if there seems to be as vetting problem it could be for a number of reasons. While the university degree might be valid and not suspect, it may be that it is not on the list of approved universities (or even the course may not be approved). Just because a Uni is cited, it doesn't mean that all courses of study at that uni are approved, it may be only a single course of study is approved from that uni. It may be that the position designation has a different set of "primary" qualifications. Changing the "level" of the position may utilize a different set of educational qualifications which may be less stringent "in their eyes".

Nobody knows exactly how MOM marks the criteria submitted to them for EP applications and rightly so. If they did that, then the CV's would be tailor made to the positions so that acceptance was assured. This is why MOM WILL NOT give out their reasons for rejections.
1. I know an appeal is useless, it will only lead to another denial. But a local friend of mine suggested to write to MOM (a different division) and describe what transpired, my disappointment etc, and it may get you a response- Do you think that would be effective or would work against me? Should I try to meet with an officer (I was told that unless I have the appeal form with me, they will not see me)

If you haven't filed an appeal then don't bother to try to write to somebody else as you will just get a reply to file an appeal first.

2. Since things in SG are so connected, does this rejection also lower chances of getting future EP's? (Btw, I also have no information on my application since all was done by HR and they hold the paperwork, I have no details)

NO. Unless the reason for rejection was for forged documents or untrue statements. Only you know the answer to this.


3. If my husband were to apply for a PR later, would this history also affect us in some ways?

NO. Has absolutely nothing to do with you husband


It's frustrating I know, but you have to look at it from the Government's side of this little red dot that already has too many people on it and more trying to get in every day by one method or another.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:32 pm

work411 wrote:I myself was wondering about this with the first rejection, but then I had the HR email (with the MOM officer cc-ed in it) stating that MOM has rejected your application on the title, but they can process it if the title is altered. Since this was after all the documentation and vetting agency steps, I wasn't sure if that mark was passed. Still am baffled by why they would suggest something, only to deny it later! Wouldnt it be simple to issue a denial and be done with it?? Especially is if is based on suspicion of degrees etc.


There may well be the problem. What did MOM tell HR to put as the Title? I willing to bet they didn't indicate anything, but they said try using a different title....

If that is correct, the apparently the 2nd Title was also not a go'er either, hence the 2nd rejection. Appeal might work but something is missing and I'm not sure what it is. Did HR approach MOM to find out what "Title" would be acceptable?

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Postby work411 » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:36 pm

Actually in the email HR was quite specific. Saying that this is the title the MOM has suggested instead of the one they had originally applied with. That is why I was so confused. I even thought, now that the suggestion is coming from them, it is b/c its something that could be approved. And yet they rejected with the same "salary and qualification" reason. I am really not sure what's going on...Should I talk to an officer? Would that get me anywhere?? Someone suggested that the HR here may also be at fault? Could that be true?

-Also should I try to get an EPEC. I just feel that this denial maybe held against other future applications..

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
work411 wrote:I myself was wondering about this with the first rejection, but then I had the HR email (with the MOM officer cc-ed in it) stating that MOM has rejected your application on the title, but they can process it if the title is altered. Since this was after all the documentation and vetting agency steps, I wasn't sure if that mark was passed. Still am baffled by why they would suggest something, only to deny it later! Wouldnt it be simple to issue a denial and be done with it?? Especially is if is based on suspicion of degrees etc.


There may well be the problem. What did MOM tell HR to put as the Title? I willing to bet they didn't indicate anything, but they said try using a different title....

If that is correct, the apparently the 2nd Title was also not a go'er either, hence the 2nd rejection. Appeal might work but something is missing and I'm not sure what it is. Did HR approach MOM to find out what "Title" would be acceptable?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 3:24 pm

Yeah, it wouldn't hurt to trot down there in person and request an audience with an officer in one of their little rooms. If nothing else it might be able to shed some light on why even if it doesn't solve your problem. There is still something missing from the equation but I don't see it. There is something with the position that is causing something to trigger within MOM. Course you could always go back to the potential employer and tell them to up your salary to over 7K/mo and then apply for a P1 EP. No, qualifications necessary there.

There is always a very good possibility that the HR is at fault. It wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last.

There is one other possibility that I have over looked and it's very basic. I should have thought about it first of all as it is a major stumbling block quite often in today employment pass obstacle course. That, of course, is the ability to find local to fill the given position. If there are sufficient number of suitably qualified locals to do the job, MOM will not give an employment pass for that position. This may well be the reason and that would also explain WHY MOM suggested changing the title. But it would have also taken some common sense on the part of HR to change the job description as well as that is the key to getting approval. If your qualification are okay then it's the position that too easy to fill locally OR HR did not do a good enough writeup as to why in was so necessary to hire a foreigner to fill the position when there are local available that can fill it. It's sounding more and more like this all the time.

At the end of the day, unless you are from an undesirable country/nationality, the rejection for a given position will not jeopardize future positions. I've seen people rejected for two different positions and accepted for the third a number of times. Some of them have been on this forum as well.

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Postby work411 » Wed, 19 Aug 2009 5:03 pm

First of, I just HAVE to say, you've been absolutely wonderful with all the information provided and with such explicit details! So thank you!!!!

I think I will try speaking with an officer, after collecting the paperwork from HR-They have been a little vague with me so far, for example after MOM told them to change title and reapply, they first told me that it was a new application and later said that it was the same application in process. When I had called MOM directly, they said they could not see anything under my name beyond the first rejection and there was no activity since then.

Then HR seemed quite firm that the "real reason was probably something else" even though i asked them then why would MOM officer ask to reapply under a different title? Why would they do that with someone they don't consider authentic in some ways??-

One point that you raised, I had not thought of. I know they changed the title, but I'm not sure if they changed the description. I guess I can only know all that once I request the paperwork..I'm really keen on solving this mystery!! :)




sundaymorningstaple wrote:Yeah, it wouldn't hurt to trot down there in person and request an audience with an officer in one of their little rooms. If nothing else it might be able to shed some light on why even if it doesn't solve your problem. There is still something missing from the equation but I don't see it. There is something with the position that is causing something to trigger within MOM. Course you could always go back to the potential employer and tell them to up your salary to over 7K/mo and then apply for a P1 EP. No, qualifications necessary there.

There is always a very good possibility that the HR is at fault. It wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last.

There is one other possibility that I have over looked and it's very basic. I should have thought about it first of all as it is a major stumbling block quite often in today employment pass obstacle course. That, of course, is the ability to find local to fill the given position. If there are sufficient number of suitably qualified locals to do the job, MOM will not give an employment pass for that position. This may well be the reason and that would also explain WHY MOM suggested changing the title. But it would have also taken some common sense on the part of HR to change the job description as well as that is the key to getting approval. If your qualification are okay then it's the position that too easy to fill locally OR HR did not do a good enough writeup as to why in was so necessary to hire a foreigner to fill the position when there are local available that can fill it. It's sounding more and more like this all the time.

At the end of the day, unless you are from an undesirable country/nationality, the rejection for a given position will not jeopardize future positions. I've seen people rejected for two different positions and accepted for the third a number of times. Some of them have been on this forum as well.

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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 3:44 am

Hi work411,

SMS gave you pretty much all the advise one could give and he is one of our best (dang it now his ego is going to explode). One thing I would like to add though is that if your husband applies for PR you would be included in the application and as soon as it is approved you can take any job you want. This process takes some time though and is not guaranteed to be approved straight away these days and processing time is minimum of three months.

Good luck! You will get there in the end.

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Postby work411 » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 9:11 am

Hi there!

Yes, we were thinking that the next step would be PR application, however since its not been 6 mos yet, I think we were advised to wait a little longer before applying-

As an update, thanks to all the advice from SMS, I had a discussion with my employer who has now spoken to HR. They have agreed to have me look at the application and paperwork sent in, which will give me a sense of what happened before I go in to meet with the MOM officer. They are also supporting me for an appeal (which i have refused for now) and indicated that they will also look into it further.

I just want to get to the real reason as to what went wrong because something just doesnt fit!

Once again, thanks all for all your feed back :)




littlegreenman wrote:Hi work411,

SMS gave you pretty much all the advise one could give and he is one of our best (dang it now his ego is going to explode). One thing I would like to add though is that if your husband applies for PR you would be included in the application and as soon as it is approved you can take any job you want. This process takes some time though and is not guaranteed to be approved straight away these days and processing time is minimum of three months.

Good luck! You will get there in the end.

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Postby candk » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 12:32 pm

It doesn't hurt to go see the officers in person. I've been there 3 times already (nothing to boast about since it only means things are not going so well for me either..) but they are surprisingly curteous and very helpful.

I am kinda in a similar situation. My employment pass apeal has been dragging on for over 2 months now - it's actually going through 2nd appeal. When my first appeal was rejected, I asked my HR person if MOM gave her any reason as to why. She said "no. MOM was very vague." I went to see the officer and they told me MOM requested documents (simple one too! they asked for detailed job description) which my HR person failed to provide within one week. The officer even printed out copy of the letter they had sent to HR and it specifically states that MOM will reject my application if documentation is not submitted within one week. So yeah, HR person makes mistakes and they don't tell you about it.

Anywhoo, go talk to the officer. It gets the process moving and if not, it will at least give you some peace of mind. My brother-in-law is a PR now but when he was applying for EP way back when, he also had to wait close to 3 months and it was only when he went and spoke to the officers that his employment pass was miraculously approved! So give it a try and try to go early in the morning to avoid long lines.

Good luck!

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Postby cho555 » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 1:41 pm

HI, i got my bad news today..my EP application is rejected.
I dont know the exact reason since my company is the one who taking care all the process.
They said they would like to try to appeal, but looking at what work411 posted above, is it really true appeal is useless??

Im so confused now..next week i hav to go back to my country bcoz my tourist visa will be xpired.

PS. Im a freshgrad with no xperience, could that be the reason why my application got rejected?

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Postby work411 » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 1:48 pm

Hey CandK-

Thanks so much for this- I am going to see an officer, (and you're right I have talked to one over the phone they are very courteous and charming!). My only concern is, that it was mentioned that they would not see me, unless I have an appeal form in hand. Is that true? If you went to see them without one, then I will too.

Btw here is an update- Sundaymorningstaple hope you're looking)-


HR provided me with a copy of the online application they filled and right away I saw this one thing which maybe an issue.

In there, my total number of past work exp is listed as 10years, but in the section below where it says ," total number of work exp relevant to the position listed it says" "O" :? !! (which should have been 10!)

And even to me that is absurd, because if i have no exp for the position why the heck should I be hired??!!

This also explains why they never asked for any of my previous work documentation and the officer said that they are trying to establish how much of my exp is related with the current position..Anyway, dont know if that could be the glitch, altho in my eyes it really seems big!

My employer does want to appeal now, but they have left it upto me. I just want to first find out a clear reason.

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Postby candk » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 2:23 pm

Do you have either an application number or FIN number (if they assigned you)? You need to give that number to the officers and they will be able to pull up and look up everything on their computer.

Go to the registration desk (1st floor) and they will give you a number if you tell them you are here to see the officers in room 10 and 11. Then you go in to see the officers when your number is called (2nd floor). They open at 8 am and if you go early early, the wait is less than 10 min.

Try to explain to them what happened to you and what you think went wrong. They will hear you out and maybe shed some light on what went wrong and clarify some misunderstandings.

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Postby work411 » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 2:29 pm

Oh GREAT!! Thanks for this tip, will definitely follow it up!
Yes I do have a fin number-

candk wrote:Do you have either an application number or FIN number (if they assigned you)? You need to give that number to the officers and they will be able to pull up and look up everything on their computer.

Go to the registration desk (1st floor) and they will give you a number if you tell them you are here to see the officers in room 10 and 11. Then you go in to see the officers when your number is called (2nd floor). They open at 8 am and if you go early early, the wait is less than 10 min.

Try to explain to them what happened to you and what you think went wrong. They will hear you out and maybe shed some light on what went wrong and clarify some misunderstandings.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 20 Aug 2009 3:30 pm

cho555 wrote:PS. Im a freshgrad with no xperience, could that be the reason why my application got rejected?


Almost guaranteed that's the reason. What have you got to offer any employer here that 5,000 local fresh grads don't have?

sms


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