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Harder to get EP approval?

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amarettoSour
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Harder to get EP approval?

Post by amarettoSour » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:59 pm

Hi All,

So I recently received a job offer and my employer have submitted my EP application. It was rejected today even though I have qualification from a recognized institution and I meet the salary requirement.

I've been reading around the forum that it's been harder to get the pass approved, but I thought I wouldn't have a problem since my university is a pretty well known / prestigious one from the US.. so exactly how hard has it been to get approved anyway?

My HR did find an error in my initial application. For my qualification I put "Diploma" instead of Bachelor's Degree... stupid mistake, but back in the US when you say you have a diploma from a university it obviously means bachelor's degree so I didn't even think twice. could this be the reason? they have called MOM and was allowed to resubmit my application, but i'm getting very nervous about this.

Thank you!

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Re: Harder to get EP approval?

Post by Mike_Naylor » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:25 am

amarettoSour wrote:Hi All,

So I recently received a job offer and my employer have submitted my EP application. It was rejected today even though I have qualification from a recognized institution and I meet the salary requirement.

I've been reading around the forum that it's been harder to get the pass approved, but I thought I wouldn't have a problem since my university is a pretty well known / prestigious one from the US.. so exactly how hard has it been to get approved anyway?

My HR did find an error in my initial application. For my qualification I put "Diploma" instead of Bachelor's Degree... stupid mistake, but back in the US when you say you have a diploma from a university it obviously means bachelor's degree so I didn't even think twice. could this be the reason? they have called MOM and was allowed to resubmit my application, but i'm getting very nervous about this.

Thank you!

Hi,

I'm going through the same process, and have been enquiring on the subject, with the HR director.

1: The diploma thing may be an issue. I'm not sure how stringently they check, but "diploma" certainly in the UK, is a much lesser qualification than a degree. A diploma over here is like just doing a night school course for a few months. Huge difference between "diploma in computing" and "degree".

I've been told, to make sure I make it clear my degree is BA Hons, as even the "honours" bit is important to them over there. As it means I did a 4 year course, and wrote a thesis. They value things like that.

So, if you haven't wrote down your degree, very accurately, that may well be an issue. By saying diploma, they may not think you even have a degree - which is obviously fail-able

2: Unless you are senior, and earning a lot of money, it really depends what you are doing. Getting a job offer from a company doesn't mean that the government want you working there. Companies can't hire who they want. They have to get the OK from the government.

Only a certain percentage of staff in a job market can be expat, as far as I'm aware. The government forces companies to give a certain number of jobs to local grads.

If the government thinks your job offer is unnessesary, and the company hasn't given them a decent excuse on why they need to hire a foreigner, they are well within their rights to reject it.

Basically, some industries are very standardised - IT, Finance, Marketing - they won't hand out permits to expats, if there are lots of locals there to do it. No matter how bad the company wants you.

I wouldn't be that surprised if it was the former. But at the same time, just because a company wants you - it doesn't mean that the government want you there

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Re: Harder to get EP approval?

Post by Mike_Naylor » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:36 am

amarettoSour wrote:Hi All,

So I recently received a job offer and my employer have submitted my EP application. It was rejected today even though I have qualification from a recognized institution and I meet the salary requirement.

I've been reading around the forum that it's been harder to get the pass approved, but I thought I wouldn't have a problem since my university is a pretty well known / prestigious one from the US.. so exactly how hard has it been to get approved anyway?

My HR did find an error in my initial application. For my qualification I put "Diploma" instead of Bachelor's Degree... stupid mistake, but back in the US when you say you have a diploma from a university it obviously means bachelor's degree so I didn't even think twice. could this be the reason? they have called MOM and was allowed to resubmit my application, but i'm getting very nervous about this.

Thank you!
PS.

To quote the HR guy I've been dealing with:

"They don't like frivalous EP applications".

By that he means, a company offering jobs to an expat, without really taking time to find the same person in the local market.

Listen, if companies could hire who they wanted - as in, the best qualified person for the job - all companies would be 70-80% expat.

Singapores a small place. The world is huge.

The best unis are in the west.

The biggest companies in the fields aren't in a country of 5 million.

The best applicants won't be living there. They'll be somewhere else in the 5 billion population.

You know, they have to protect the locals. And that's what they do. If a market is flooded with westeners, they will put their foot down.

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Post by amarettoSour » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 9:16 am

well.. i interviewed with three different places and was offered a job by all three of them, so I would hope that my job/skills are somewhat on demand. they probably would have preferred to hire locals as well if there are any, right? i'm not a westerner like some of you, but I did live in the US for awhile.

plus it is listed in (or similar to) one of those lists of jobs that are expected to be on demand in Singapore within the next couple years.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:16 pm

amarettoSour wrote:well.. i interviewed with three different places and was offered a job by all three of them, so I would hope that my job/skills are somewhat on demand. they probably would have preferred to hire locals as well if there are any, right? i'm not a westerner like some of you, but I did live in the US for awhile.

Actually, no. A lot of companies prefer to hire foreigners, especially those on EP's & S passes as they only have to pay a $50 levy (S Passes only) No levies for EP holders and no Employers CPF payments to make. The lower EP's like S, Q, & P2 passes often do not have any perks attached like housing as well and if applicant is Asian then often they will work for less than the average local with the same qualifications. Also, in tight times, they are not a likely to jump ship as it's a gamble whether the next company can convince MOM that they HAVE to have a foreigner. Also, foreigners cannot just "walk off the job" like locals tend to do in certain industries. Please do not make the mistake of thinking you are unique or non-replaceable. That's would be a fatal mistake and also bad for your ego if things don't go your way.


plus it is listed in (or similar to) one of those lists of jobs that are expected to be on demand in Singapore within the next couple years.

A couple of years is a long time. A lot can change in a couple of months. Most companies don't hire with the expectation of possibly needing you in a couple of years. Too big of an impact on their bottom line having you do nothing while waiting for job to become in demand.


But I wish you luck. Oh, I like your nick. I haven't had one of those in probably 15 years. Had forgotten how good they are! :wink:
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 amarettoSour » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:45 pm

sundaymorningstaple, thanks for the insight! one of the companies interested in hiring me made it sound like hiring a foreigner is such a hard thing to do and they would have been better off hiring a local, yet they still offered me a job on the spot. that's why i rejected that offer... among other things *rolls eyes

do you have any comments on how much harder it's been lately to get that EP approval? I know from reading other posts you have a lot of experience =)

PS: no amaretto sour in 15 years is blasphemy! i demand you get it next time you go out :P

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:59 pm

Since around the beginning of September (I went on home leave at the time) I noticed that we (via email to my office and general observations here) were starting to get a lot of rejections (especially for S passes) and lower EP's. Also noticed the most regional types applying for PR were getting automatic rejection letters with the admonishment to reapply in 2 years. Upon my return from the US at the end of Sept, I was talking with my supplier of S pass applicants and he was confirming my suspicions as he's having a devil of a time as well. Seems the government is starting to listen to it's citizens a bit. How long will it last? If the economy continues to show signs of improvement, I reckon by the 1st Quarter of next year we'll start seeing a ramping up of employment and therefore a loosening up on Employment Pass applications as the industries pick up speed again.

Of course, this is all personal conjecture but based on what I am seeing and feeling as an HR manager with 200+ staff of which 50% are foreigners from WP's to P2's.

sms
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 amarettoSour » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 5:43 pm

thanks sms, no need to explain yourself. i fully trust you on the statistics you've given ;)

I would only qualify for the lower EP's, so this makes me even more nervous =( would it matter that I graduated from a good school? I only have a year of experience so far, so my qualification is quite literally my only leverage.

thanks again for the help =D

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Post by Mike_Naylor » Fri, 23 Oct 2009 1:57 am

amarettoSour wrote:well.. i interviewed with three different places and was offered a job by all three of them, so I would hope that my job/skills are somewhat on demand. they probably would have preferred to hire locals as well if there are any, right? i'm not a westerner like some of you, but I did live in the US for awhile.

plus it is listed in (or similar to) one of those lists of jobs that are expected to be on demand in Singapore within the next couple years.
I'm not an expert, but the impression I got from the HR guy was that, if they can find a reason to turn down an EP, they will.

You may be very well qualified, and your skills may be of demand, but the same rule still applies - if it's a job the MOM feels there are enough local grads with the same skills/background, they may well turn it down.

There are a few niche trades, where they find it pretty easy to convince the MOM that they need an expat - well, again, what they tell me. Normally involving local education weaknesses - English/grammar being one of them.

Of it's a field they are strtong in - maths, science, finance, IT, electronics - it will be a lot harder

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Post by Mike_Naylor » Fri, 23 Oct 2009 2:02 am

amarettoSour wrote:thanks sms, no need to explain yourself. i fully trust you on the statistics you've given ;)

I would only qualify for the lower EP's, so this makes me even more nervous =( would it matter that I graduated from a good school? I only have a year of experience so far, so my qualification is quite literally my only leverage.

thanks again for the help =D
Not trying to bring you down, but the HR director I have been speaking to, told me, standards for a good application for a lower EP pass= Degree and 4 years experience in a specific field.

He was quite specific on the 4-5 years experience.

That's only one industry though

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Post by ksl » Fri, 23 Oct 2009 3:01 am

amarettoSour wrote:sundaymorningstaple, thanks for the insight! one of the companies interested in hiring me made it sound like hiring a foreigner is such a hard thing to do and they would have been better off hiring a local, yet they still offered me a job on the spot. that's why i rejected that offer... among other things *rolls eyes

do you have any comments on how much harder it's been lately to get that EP approval? I know from reading other posts you have a lot of experience =)

PS: no amaretto sour in 15 years is blasphemy! i demand you get it next time you go out :P
If you want to work in Singapore, you need to stand out in the crowd, what can you deliver, can you make more revenue, more jobs. get straight to the point, give me a year or two and i will produce this result, your HR can only produce your documents. If you don't make the grade why should they carry you, you need to make significant change and document your own progress otherwise that will be taken away from you?


There are not many qualified leaders of business in Singapore that have practical experience in various fields, that is their weakness, they have a network which is mostly outsourced, that is the Chinese way, and they rely on the expatriates to deliver in the international environment the puppet on a string, the benefits can be two fold, though one needs to agree a win win situation, otherwise you are not respected as the person of importance if you cannot deliver the goods.

Lets look at it another way, you come to work for me, and what do i need, mainly it would be someone to relieve the stress of one worker and show an increase of revenue based on motivational factors.
Only those that have done the same job would understand what is involved to reach the goals required. Time and motion is a very important area of efficiencies, which must be fair to both employer and employee,
Those bosses that have done it would know, those that have inherited the business wouldn't have a clue unless they have been employed in the same work.

Having the capability to do everything in every field, is a unique skill set, and you get no degree for doing it, and a degree doesn't mean you can do it either.

EP is very difficult today, than it was last year, you have to prove what you are capable of, and if you cannot deliver then i would think you have no chance, it's not about applying for a job in Singapore, it's about making a difference, that locals cannot do.....try imagination and creativity, but enusre you produce!

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Re: Harder to get EP approval?

Post by jpatokal » Fri, 23 Oct 2009 11:12 pm

Mike_Naylor wrote:Only a certain percentage of staff in a job market can be expat, as far as I'm aware. The government forces companies to give a certain number of jobs to local grads.
This is not quite correct. While there are quotas in place for WP/S-Pass, there are no quotas (that we know of) for EPs, and AFAIK applications are judged on their individual merits.
Basically, some industries are very standardised - IT, Finance, Marketing - they won't hand out permits to expats, if there are lots of locals there to do it. No matter how bad the company wants you.
I'm also going to disagree on this -- there are lots of expats in IT and finance, and not a few in marketing as well. In fact, the first two of those are well represented on the Strategic Skills List of people the gov't actively wants to come to Sg:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal ... _List.html
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Post by amarettoSour » Fri, 30 Oct 2009 6:00 pm

just to update anyone who may be going through the same thing as I do:

my HR dept has been notified by MOM that the processing time has been extended to two months instead of the original 3 weeks. i'm guessing this is because they needed to verify my education/qualification since that's the only thing that changed from previous application. i have no access to EPOL as I have no FIN number, so I don't know what the current status say =(

has anyone gone through the "vetting" process? in your experience how long does it usually take?

thank you all!

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Post by econoMIC » Fri, 30 Oct 2009 7:04 pm

amarettoSour wrote:...has anyone gone through the "vetting" process? in your experience how long does it usually take?...
The search function is your friend. It was mentioned a few times already that the processing time depends more on the issuing institution (uni, college...), ie how quickly they get back to the vetting agency.
a.k.a. littlegreenman

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Post by amarettoSour » Fri, 30 Oct 2009 7:33 pm

yes, i'm aware of that it has been brought up before and i know it has been said that it depends on the university. i was just looking for a general timeline based on someone's experience here on the board, if any.

also do you think it's a good sign when they review your education qualification? if they want to reject my application they would have done so right away, right? my qualification is legit so i'm not scared of the vetting process but i guess i'm just nervous as anyone else would be if they were put in my position :oops:

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