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The dreaded employment pass issue…………..

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Mike_Naylor
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The dreaded employment pass issue…………..

Postby Mike_Naylor » Mon, 19 Oct 2009 10:38 pm

Hi,

I’ve recently been offered a job with a blue chip Singapore company. I’ve also been told that the employment pass issue is a formality, and there will be no real issues about it.

I’ve been having a quick read of the MOM website. I’m not sure I share the HR managers confidence.

I have two real questions.

On the website, it states that you must present original copies of all education certificates. Now, I’m 39 years of age, and finished University almost 20 years ago, let alone school!

I do of course have the original copy of my degree hanging up on my wall, so that’s not an issue. And as the only education requirement in the advert was the degree I have, I’m hoping this will be sufficient.

I categorically do not have my school certificates any more. GCSE or A-Level. My last recollection of owning them, was handing them over to my proud mother sometime in the 1980s……………..

When they state education documents, can I hope that they just mean my degree? If it comes down to having to pay (it’s quite expensive) to get re-issues of documents, that will take 6 weeks to arrive, that I got 20+ years ago, which have no real bearing on any job I’ve had in the last decade, I’m not sure I have the will power to go along with all of that.

Just wondering if anyone has recently done the same thing, and whether certificates for their “highest”

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 19 Oct 2009 11:45 pm

Frankly, if you are going to be earning over a base of 7K/mo SGD then I don't think you will have any problems getting a visa. As long as all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted on the application forms. It's mostly the S, Q & P2 guys that are having the problems (along with those levels applying for PR as well. Course it can all go belly up as we are in uncharted territory. The economy is starting to pick up but the hue & cry of the locals over foreigner taking their jobs it finally scaring the Government into doing something about it.

If they want to see your sheepskin, get a notarized copy of it or bring it along. Testimonials? Well, it's a habit in Asia to collect those sorts of things. But yeah, they're not much more than a typed confirmation that you worked there for x years, earned x dollars/pounds, and left in good standings and didn't steal the company's property, intellectual or otherwise. :wink:

Your last/highest educational certs should be sufficient. If you are being offered over 7K/mo you aren't even required to have a degree if you have the experience as a P1 Visa is based more on experience than education.

If they want it, well, I guess only you can make that determination.

sms

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Postby Mike_Naylor » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 1:35 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Frankly, if you are going to be earning over a base of 7K/mo SGD then I don't think you will have any problems getting a visa. As long as all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted on the application forms. It's mostly the S, Q & P2 guys that are having the problems (along with those levels applying for PR as well. Course it can all go belly up as we are in uncharted territory. The economy is starting to pick up but the hue & cry of the locals over foreigner taking their jobs it finally scaring the Government into doing something about it.

If they want to see your sheepskin, get a notarized copy of it or bring it along. Testimonials? Well, it's a habit in Asia to collect those sorts of things. But yeah, they're not much more than a typed confirmation that you worked there for x years, earned x dollars/pounds, and left in good standings and didn't steal the company's property, intellectual or otherwise. :wink:

Your last/highest educational certs should be sufficient. If you are being offered over 7K/mo you aren't even required to have a degree if you have the experience as a P1 Visa is based more on experience than education.

If they want it, well, I guess only you can make that determination.

sms


Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Doubt I will be earning anything close to 7k. I imagine if you are paying big amounts to the economy, the application process will be something like "wow 7k, accepted, don't worry about education"?!

Think my salary will be about $3'000-4000 a month, so I guess I'm a Q1? - well, that's what they will be asking for. Whether I get it is probably a different argument.

Permanent residency - can't see this being an issue (famous last words). I don't envisage staying past say 24-36 months.

Notarized copy - that would involve me applying to (and paying) different exam boards to get something to copy won't it? Although, you say that they'd probably just want my highest qualification certicate - which I have. So I'd be happy with that.

References - no real issue. CV is pretty straightforward. No sackings, or anything to explain.

One issue, that I only just realised today. I started University studying Economics and Sociology. My classification was changed to Economics with Cultural Studies, when I graduated. Cultural Studies basically was just the hip new term for Socilogy/Social Sciences. It still is. Pretty much the same course. Cultural Studies is probably more advanced in fact.

Anyway, I put on the form, Economics with Sociology on the basis that Sociology is the globally used term. Cultural Studies is a UK thing.

Anyway, are the MOM going to kick up a fuss as my app and degree have different wording? Or are they going to realise that it's basically one and the same degree.

FINALLY. The company I have been dealing with have been very proactive. I sent a few speculative e-mails, but from then on, they've arranged for me to interview in the UK with the company chairman!? He happened to be in London at the time, and requested to meet me. (after I hinted that I wasn't prepared to fly over to Singapore).

Kind of thinking, what's the catch.........My only real comment on anything is the market. UK/Europe, the real players in the industry (I work for basically the most respected companies in the game). Singapore - only 1 physics publisher in the entire country. And, with all due respect, it's pretty near the bottom of the pile in terms of reputation.

My only other theory is that UK titles are decades ahead of even the top chinese titles. Which are in turn, decades ahead of Singapore ones. It's a very secretive industry, where business methods are welll kept secrets. The smaller regional, Asian companies often (always) kept out of the loop.
Always a number of steps behind.

Are they just wanting affordable access to someone who's worked on a top title?

Although, I'm pretty modest in my appraisals of my own intelligence, and qualifications (mediocre in both), I do know a lot of things, they probably don't.

Plus, asian publishers, as a rule of thumb, struggle greatly to break out of asia, and into bigger markets. Through a combination of working cultures, and poor communication with western writers.

That's all I can pin it on. I've had a lot of training in a lot of things that local applicants won't even know exist, let alone have experience in. And, I'm a pretty useful communicator/networker, in regards to western authors.

That, or sheer luck

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Postby kroqster » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 5:01 pm

Does anyone know how much hassle it is from the employers perspective to hire an expat who has no work visa... (ie the employer has to sponsor or organise an employment pass)?

thanks

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Postby ksl » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 5:23 pm

kroqster wrote:Does anyone know how much hassle it is from the employers perspective to hire an expat who has no work visa... (ie the employer has to sponsor or organise an employment pass)?

thanks


You may wish to look at employing and expats spouse, you can apply online and get an answer within 7 days. Dependant pass holders and LTVP holders are allowed to work.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal ... yment.html

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 5:44 pm

Mike_Naylor wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Doubt I will be earning anything close to 7k. I imagine if you are paying big amounts to the economy, the application process will be something like "wow 7k, accepted, don't worry about education"?!

Think my salary will be about $3'000-4000 a month, so I guess I'm a Q1? - well, that's what they will be asking for. Whether I get it is probably a different argument.


Permanent residency - can't see this being an issue (famous last words). I don't envisage staying past say 24-36 months.



Just a note, 3.5 and above is a P2 pass. The difference from the Q1 is number of years of experience. You still gotta show them your education documents. Though I wish I was on a P1 pass too. :D

Anyway, if I'm wrong, here ya go: http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal/en/communities/work_pass/employment_pass/about_the_pass.html

Notarized copy - that would involve me applying to (and paying) different exam boards to get something to copy won't it? Although, you say that they'd probably just want my highest qualification certicate - which I have. So I'd be happy with that.

References - no real issue. CV is pretty straightforward. No sackings, or anything to explain.

One issue, that I only just realised today. I started University studying Economics and Sociology. My classification was changed to Economics with Cultural Studies, when I graduated. Cultural Studies basically was just the hip new term for Socilogy/Social Sciences. It still is. Pretty much the same course. Cultural Studies is probably more advanced in fact.

Anyway, I put on the form, Economics with Sociology on the basis that Sociology is the globally used term. Cultural Studies is a UK thing.

Anyway, are the MOM going to kick up a fuss as my app and degree have different wording? Or are they going to realise that it's basically one and the same degree.


I don't think the MOM is gonna fuss about that; the good thing about the government here is that they're pretty flexible when it comes to such things. For me, I'm a software engineer. I have a degree in chemistry. A year after that, I got my degree in computer engineering. That is weird to a lot of people.

And I guess, welcome to Singapore.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 6:02 pm

kroqster wrote:Does anyone know how much hassle it is from the employers perspective to hire an expat who has no work visa... (ie the employer has to sponsor or organise an employment pass)?

thanks


Every employer in Singapore who hires a foreigner has to go through the same hassle. From an employers perspective, it's a moot point if they want the individual.

And ksl, LTVP holder cannot work. It's only 5 something so I know it's not the Barons yet! :wink:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 6:07 pm

Mike_Naylor,

It's a possibility that they are wanting a westerner to give face to the company (a very Asian concept but one you will get used to). This is a very real possibility and could also explain why they are being pro-active as your asking price is not in the stratosphere so they should be able to milk it for some additional value (especially if you have worked on a few "titles". Just a guess on my part if the company doesn't currently have any western employees yet.

sms

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Postby Mike_Naylor » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 7:51 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Mike_Naylor,

It's a possibility that they are wanting a westerner to give face to the company (a very Asian concept but one you will get used to). This is a very real possibility and could also explain why they are being pro-active as your asking price is not in the stratosphere so they should be able to milk it for some additional value (especially if you have worked on a few "titles". Just a guess on my part if the company doesn't currently have any western employees yet.

sms


Hi,

I think you are probably right. Scientific publishing is very snobby anyway. Asian companies aren't really trusted (at the minute) with important articles. There business model is basically based on publishing the stuff other people reject.

Looking at their website, they are just implementing industry standards. As in, things we did 5 years ago, and have moved on from. I really concentrated on the sort of "progressive/forward thinking" aspect in my application. Stuff we do to make journals more respected - rather than just day to day stuff.

Science publishing works on an interenational scoring system called "impact factors". The higher the impact factor on your journal, the better you are. UK, very high IF. Asia, very low.

I thought straight away, that they may have had their head turned by the journal I work on, and not actually how good I am at the job!

But in reality, unless there are some other expats already working there (doubt it), I doubt they have many experienced people in the art of boosting brand reputation.

In truth, it's a bit culturally biased, the whole impact factor thing. If you act like an American/UK journal, and network like an American, you generally get a high IF. Asian journals are at the other end of the scale, in the way they operate.

cheers!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 9:27 pm

Mike, the reason I make the assumption is that since 1994 I have worked for local SME (2) and in both cases I was the only Non-Asian in the company. I was trotted out always for any visiting clients, etc. Still am. It's something you just get used to. Once you understand the Asian psych is okay but it's off-putting to a lot of people and some just never get used to being trotted out like someone's prize bull at every opportunity. Hell, I was dragged along to lots of "meetings" with my former boss when visiting MNC where he was going to be meeting another westerner. Actually my former boss was Chinese Schooled so his English was always a work in progress so actually needed me along as an interpreter as well as a presenter.

As long as you understand and can compartmentalize you'll be right.

sms

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Postby kroqster » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:00 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
kroqster wrote:Does anyone know how much hassle it is from the employers perspective to hire an expat who has no work visa... (ie the employer has to sponsor or organise an employment pass)?

thanks


Every employer in Singapore who hires a foreigner has to go through the same hassle. From an employers perspective, it's a moot point if they want the individual.

And ksl, LTVP holder cannot work. It's only 5 something so I know it's not the Barons yet! :wink:


thanks. so its no more hassle to hire an expat without any work visa than it is to hire one who has a PEP for example? its not more costly? the employer doesn't have to justify hiring the "no employment pass expat"? there is no immigration admin the employer must undertake? they dont have to make any guarantees?

it makes no difference to an employer if the candidate can or can not legally work in singapore (ie if they cant, its no problem to make it so they can?)

thanks

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Postby Mike_Naylor » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 1:47 am

kroqster wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
kroqster wrote:Does anyone know how much hassle it is from the employers perspective to hire an expat who has no work visa... (ie the employer has to sponsor or organise an employment pass)?

thanks


Every employer in Singapore who hires a foreigner has to go through the same hassle. From an employers perspective, it's a moot point if they want the individual.

And ksl, LTVP holder cannot work. It's only 5 something so I know it's not the Barons yet! :wink:


thanks. so its no more hassle to hire an expat without any work visa than it is to hire one who has a PEP for example? its not more costly? the employer doesn't have to justify hiring the "no employment pass expat"? there is no immigration admin the employer must undertake? they dont have to make any guarantees?

it makes no difference to an employer if the candidate can or can not legally work in singapore (ie if they cant, its no problem to make it so they can?)

thanks



From the experience I have had, looking for jobs, and in particular, having several long chats with the HR manager of the company I'm potentially joining:

If you have a degree, 3-4 years experience, in a field where you possibly have an advantage over local applicants - as in, for my job, there is only one scientific publisher in all of Singapore, so the market of experienced publishers isn't exactly too hot - they will make an effort to bring you over.

And I'm not talking being super-qualified, and a real high flyer. I have a pretty mid level job to be honest. But they still let me interview in the UK, and offered me a job without even stepping foot in the country. They even set up meetings to meet the company chairman etc, in London.

In my opinion (I'm no expert I should add) - if the country you're coming from, offers them something they don't already have in the industry with local applicants, they will make the effort to get a permit for you.

If you're doing a job, and your experience and knowledge doesn't really differ from what the local guys are offering (as in, say IT is pretty standardised all over the world these days) they won't bother.

The guy I was chatting to was telling me that although it doesn't take a lot of extra effort to sort out permits, initially - it's a responsibility they don't want.

Even if they get a permit, they are responsible for you. If it turns out they've hired an ex pat, with say a fake degree, or fake experience, then it lands solely on them.

It's hassle they don't want, unless it's worth it.

Mr S, the guy I was chatting to was telling me that local HR directors/managers know the local market very well. They know all the grades, experience, companies on CVs. They know what fits.

Hiring foreign people is a risk, and a hassle. They only do it, as a last resort. Not only do they not know your market, and experience as well. But you may well just quit and head back after 3 months, if you don't settle.

As I said, the impression I got was that recruitment of expats is a big hassle. And they don't want to needlessly cause hassle.

If you're working in a standardised industry, where there are locals available, with the same background, they will always take on the local.

I got a bit lucky as Scientific Publishing in Asia, compared to where I'm working now is probably seen as a career step down. Not a perk.

There will be more asian physics publishers trying to break into Europe than the other way around.

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Postby Mike_Naylor » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 2:13 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Mike, the reason I make the assumption is that since 1994 I have worked for local SME (2) and in both cases I was the only Non-Asian in the company. I was trotted out always for any visiting clients, etc. Still am. It's something you just get used to. Once you understand the Asian psych is okay but it's off-putting to a lot of people and some just never get used to being trotted out like someone's prize bull at every opportunity. Hell, I was dragged along to lots of "meetings" with my former boss when visiting MNC where he was going to be meeting another westerner. Actually my former boss was Chinese Schooled so his English was always a work in progress so actually needed me along as an interpreter as well as a presenter.

As long as you understand and can compartmentalize you'll be right.

sms



SMS, I think you're bang on to be honest. I was very surprised when I had the chairman e-mailing me, asking to speak to me. You know, to me, that's a company that probably doesn't get many western applicants.

As I said, the whole industry is very snobby, and heads are turned by what you work on and who you work with. Plus, it's really not a perk to be working in Academic Publishing in Asia - Kind of like quitting The New York Times, to work on some village gazette. The traffic is all the other way.

Most grads in the field head over to Europe. Not the other way. Funnily there are 2 Singaporeans working at my company!

As I said, it's all about networking. Conferences, meetings, trade shows. Striking up relationships with people. In hindsight, I can probably see what's going on.

Even if my entire job desciption was dealing with western authors, I can probably see why they'd be interested. I deal with a lot of asian publishing companies (big ones as well) and I can't describe how much they struggle dealing with western authors. In fact, most big chinese companies, simply pay American/UK companies to publish it all for them.

You know - Chinese Astronomical Journal - one of the biggest titles in the world. Owned by the biggest publishing company in China. Not published in China though. We do it for them over here, for a fee. Why? 90% of the submissions are American, and they can't adapat.

Anyway, I'm not that bothered about being paraded about to be honest. I spend most of my time authors clients in the UK already. At least they'll appcreciate it a bit!

Plan. As I said, not really a huge career move. Not really a huge perk working over there at all, career wise. I just see it as a good oppurtunity to do something different. A bit of an adventure. See a bit of the world, and get paid for it.

This is probably what I'll do. Wait for the offer, and see the small print of what;s going to be happening - confirmation on contracted hours, salary, holiday. See what happens with the permit - if it's all smooth and simple-ish (see above about certificates and the like), I'll head over with a smile on my face. If not, I'll maybe have a further think.

One further question actually - They offer you a job. They send you a contract. You fax/PDF them the visa stufff. I'm assuming they just then get on with getting you a visa, and notify you when it's all sorted?

My question being, I'm hoping they don't expect me to hand in my notice, and fly out to Singapore, on the basis that I may or may not get a visato start?

You know, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd even be with handing in notice, until I actually had the visa.

cheers

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Postby aargon » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 3:15 am

Mike

If there is any remote possibility of you not getting your visa, then I would certainly refrain from handing in your notice until its confirmed.

I recently accepted an offer in Singapore, signed the contract and returned to my potential employer. My first reasonable thought was not to hand in my resignation until I had confirmed there was no issue with my EP. Similar to some of your statements, my concern was not having things like my university degree certificates etc to prove my background.

In the end it all worked out fine, and I was issued the EP within a week, but seriously, if you`re not 100% sure regarding the visa issue, then I would tell this to your prospective employer, and if they are reasonable people, then it shouldnt be a problem for them to wait a little longer if they are requiring your services urgently.

Good luck. :)

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Postby jpatokal » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 4:35 pm

Just FYI, EP can be applied for up to three months before your arrival, and having the In-Principle Approval letter is in no way binding on you. So it would make a lot of sense to get the EP application process going ASAP and only hand in your notice once you've gotten your IPA.
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