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Please advice: company refuses to cancel IPA

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Pekto
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Please advice: company refuses to cancel IPA

Postby Pekto » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 12:08 am

Dear All,

Kindly please advice. Here's the situation I'm in.

Company A offered me a job as Systems and Application Engineer which I graciously accepted. After giving my YES, they invited me over and had me log on to MOM using their singpass account to apply for my IPA. They then had me sign a contract and literally told me to go and to just give them update once I've figured out for myself what to do next and what needs to be accomplished to complete the processing of my pass. That was after ordering me to report for work the next day without pay pending the issuance of my actual pass supposedly to get the hang of things before I could officially start. Naturally, I objected saying I'd rather not start without my pass as I don't want violating anything as I'm not legally allowed to start working without a pass. Then all things got nasty. Their behavior changed from "friendly" to complete belligerence.

I got so upset by their behavior that as soon as I got home I fired them an email saying I will not be pursuing my employment with them anymore and that they can cancel my application for IPA.

A couple of days later, I had another job offer (which I accepted) from another company who then went on to apply for IPA. Turned out though that the IPA request submitted by Company A had been approved and it had not been canceled. Thus company B is now unable to put in an IPA application for me.

I then went on to do all sorts of begging and appealing to have company A cancel my IPA but to no avail. I emailed, called, and even went down to their office to beg but they refused to talk to me and shooed me away saying they'll cancel it when they have time probably next year. I did more begging and practically begged them on my knees but it seemed they didn't have any intention of canceling my IPA.

I went to MOM to appeal and spoke with an officer in the appeals/complaint division. I presented my case as best as I could, but the MOM offficer was completely apathetic and told me flatly that there's nothing he or I can do if the company refused to cancel the IPA. I asked if I had any other option and he told me I can try talking to company A again or I can just wait for the IPA to expire. I told him that the IPA doesn't expire until March 15 2011 but I got shrugged off.


My question is:
1. Can I go back to MOM and re-appeal? If I do, is there any chance I can get an officer who would actually offer to help and cancel my IPA, or is it MOM's official ruling/stand to refuse manual cancellation and leave applicants completely at the mercy of employers.

2. Is it true that it is possible/allowable to apply for another IPA if the current/approved IPA is not in the same pass category as the new IPA being applied for? For example, I can apply for IPA for E-PASS even if I have a current IPA as long as the current one is for S-PASS? I've read some people claim this on the net but I'm not sure if it's true.

My visit pass is nearing expiration and I'm now feeling so low and defeated.

Thank you so much in advance for your advice and/or opinions.

Yours Thankfully,
Pekto

Pekto
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Postby Pekto » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 1:26 am

BTW, the contract that I signed did not stipulate any bond. The contract says "either party can terminate the employment by giving the other party 3 days notice in writing during the 3-month probationary period".

Also, btw, If the company continues to refuse canceling the IPA, is it possible to demand from MOM that company A take me back since they are effectively locking me down with their IPA. If they refuse to let go of me then shouldn't they be at least required to employ me?

I'm not sure if it's just a design flaw at MOM or a subtle way to torment and send back foreigners but either way MOM officers should come up with a better excuse/alibi than saying they cant do anything if the company refused to cancel without any valid reason. I realized that government ministries here in SG are fully autonomous bodies who practically answer to no one. So how can a government agency who is the ultimate authority in deciding matters involving labor and employment can claim being unable to cancel/revoke a mere IPA?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 6:59 am

You can get it canceled if you go down there, but you still need a good reason. Getting it canceled isn't a problem. You also need to file for tax clearance via IRAS as well (IR-21). You haven't said why you want to leave the company, nor have you indicated how long you have been with the company.

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Postby Pekto » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 4:31 pm

Hi SMS,

Thanks for the reply.

I did personally go down to MOM as I've indicated in my post. I went back there again today to "re-appeal". The first time I went there, the "appeal" officer told me there's nothing he or I could do if the company refused to cancel. I gave it another shot today and this time they took my complaint after presenting them a copy of the email thread showing how I've been begging the company to cancel the IPA. But I was told it can take up to 2 weeks to review my case. Still no guarantee that it is ever going to be canceled.

I think I also did indicate the reason I left the company and how long I've been with them. I indicated that I left the company before I could even start. The reason I decided not to proceed with my employment was because I was appalled by their behavior. They wanted me to start working (without pay) pending the issuance of my actual pass, I refused it and their behavior toward me completely changed, they were suddenly belligerent.

I don't have any previous experience working here in SG. It is my first time to seek employment here so I know nothing about the tax clearance and things.

Thanks much.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You can get it canceled if you go down there, but you still need a good reason. Getting it canceled isn't a problem. You also need to file for tax clearance via IRAS as well (IR-21). You haven't said why you want to leave the company, nor have you indicated how long you have been with the company.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 5:09 pm

Something doesn't smell right. If you told the MOM officer that they (the company) wanted you to start working before you had the pass approval, it should have raised a flag like waving a red handkerchief in front of an angry bull.

The fact that this time they took your appeal case and told you they would get back to you in around 2 weeks sounds like you are on the right track. Unfortunately, I understand your dilemma, but I'm afraid I don't know a way to short circuit the process. As your Employment Pass has not yet been issued, you are still on a SVP I would assume. If you haven't yet had any extensions, you might be able to extend it. Otherwise, you are going to have to leave Singapore for around 5 days before returning to wait for the results of your request to MOM. It sucks, but some employers are black sheep here and there's not too much can be done about it.

sms

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Postby Pekto » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 5:47 pm

Yep, it's not much to hang on to but I guess their having taken my appeal is a start. I've just lost 2 other opportunities though as the other company trying to apply for an IPA for me decided they couldn't wait any longer and retracted their offer today. I got another offer from another company this morning who, when told about my IPA issue, said they are sorry they'd have to withdraw the offer as "IPA issues takes a long time to resolve" and they needed the position filled ASAP.

My visit pass extention (via x-tend) expires this 25th so I'm headed home. Everything I invested time, money, and effort on is headed down the drain due to plain cruelty.

Thanks SMS for your inputs, really appreciate it..

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Something doesn't smell right. If you told the MOM officer that they (the company) wanted you to start working before you had the pass approval, it should have raised a flag like waving a red handkerchief in front of an angry bull.

The fact that this time they took your appeal case and told you they would get back to you in around 2 weeks sounds like you are on the right track. Unfortunately, I understand your dilemma, but I'm afraid I don't know a way to short circuit the process. As your Employment Pass has not yet been issued, you are still on a SVP I would assume. If you haven't yet had any extensions, you might be able to extend it. Otherwise, you are going to have to leave Singapore for around 5 days before returning to wait for the results of your request to MOM. It sucks, but some employers are black sheep here and there's not too much can be done about it.

sms

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Postby carteki » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 5:00 pm

Pekto wrote:Everything I invested time, money, and effort on is headed down the drain due to plain cruelty.


While it looks like that, be glad that you decided to get out early and cut your losses while you were still ahead and take it as one of life's little lessons - that unfortunately usually cost you something in return.


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