Singapore Expats Forum

Entry Options for Employment

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
adyoung2
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Entry Options for Employment

Postby adyoung2 » Mon, 10 Jan 2011 6:13 am

Hi all,
Having been a "guest" viewer of this forum for some time, I've finally got around to registering as to post and reply to various topics. I must say the knowledge base of a few key participants is excellent, thus I hope I can receive some feedback with regards to my queries as follows.

As the topic subject suggests, I'm evaluating the various options for entry into Singapore for employment purposes. This is the culmination of numerous personal and professional visits to the country, all of which have left me with a positive opinion of the place. Anyway, to the topic at hand - Entry Options, of which I've identified three potential schemes:

1. In-principle PR - Okay I know that the SG government is tightening the requirements for PR applications, and the In-principle PR has always been a very challenging and demanding route.
2. Personalised Employment Pass - Seems like a good alternative to the above with 5 year validity, albeit somewhat restricted by the 6 months max without work rule.
3. EPEC - Not my first choice as it does not allow work without further EP application upon job offer, but does offer 1 year entry.

Have I missed any? Are there elements or restrictions pertaining to these schemes that I should be aware of? Recommendations?

A bit about myself, as to best evaluate eligibility:
Canadian citizen, BASc in engineering with distinction, 8 years work experience both in Canada and the UK, currently employed with a major MNC in the aerospace indsutry. I'm eligible for the PEP given a >S$7k wage here in Canada, but I wouldn't say I've done anything "outstanding" which appears to be the criteria of the in-principle PR.

I appreciate all input - especially from "Sundaymorningstaple". You in particular seem to know your stuff about immigration procedures in Singapore.

Cheers all.

adyoung2
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Postby adyoung2 » Mon, 10 Jan 2011 6:45 am

I should add to the above that I'm considering those schemes that allow me to come to Singapore without a prior job offer. As one can understand, searching for a job 15000km and 13 timezones away has its complications!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 10 Jan 2011 7:02 am

Will get back to you in a couple of hours. It's 7 am here and I'm on the way out the door, will be in the office at 9 so will try to get back to you soonest.

sms

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Re: Entry Options for Employment

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 10 Jan 2011 9:26 am

adyoung2 wrote:Hi all,
Having been a "guest" viewer of this forum for some time, I've finally got around to registering as to post and reply to various topics. I must say the knowledge base of a few key participants is excellent, thus I hope I can receive some feedback with regards to my queries as follows.

As the topic subject suggests, I'm evaluating the various options for entry into Singapore for employment purposes. This is the culmination of numerous personal and professional visits to the country, all of which have left me with a positive opinion of the place. Anyway, to the topic at hand - Entry Options, of which I've identified three potential schemes:

1. In-principle PR - Okay I know that the SG government is tightening the requirements for PR applications, and the In-principle PR has always been a very challenging and demanding route.

You are correct. This route is currently taking something like 8 to 14 months to receive a determination. This is only good if you have a long term desire as opposed to a short term necessity.

2. Personalised Employment Pass - Seems like a good alternative to the above with 5 year validity, albeit somewhat restricted by the 6 months max without work rule.

The only problem with this pass is it's a one time only type of deal. Should you not gain employment within the 1st 6 months, pfft! is gone and you cannot reapply for it later. But it's a relatively good way if you are secure in your abilities to get employment and are serious about settling down here and taking up Permanent Residence here. I generally don't advise this route if one can qualify for an P1 employment pass (same requirements - income wise). Many who obtain a P1 employment pass also receive a letter inviting them to take up the PEP. Again, once it runs out 5 years, you will need to get a P1 employment pass if you haven't already taken up PR. We don't know what going to happen at that point as it's not been 5 years since the PEP scheme was implemented so we haven't seen one full cycle yet to get an idea how MOM is going to handle it

Frankly, I have a feeling that anybody who spends the whole 5 years on the PEP might find it difficult getting a Employment Visa at that point, because the whole PEP thing was to create opportunities for desirable individuals to take up PR. We'll just have to wait & see I suppose.


3. EPEC - Not my first choice as it does not allow work without further EP application upon job offer, but does offer 1 year entry.

Actually, the EPEC does not offer 1 year entry. It offers UP TO 1 year entry. We've seen cases recently where an LTVP application was rejected even though the person had a valid EPEC. We also seen them getting only 3 or 6 months LTVPs. So it's not really a guarantee, but if you are coming from a western country the odds are it would be for 12 months.


Have I missed any? Are there elements or restrictions pertaining to these schemes that I should be aware of? Recommendations?

A bit about myself, as to best evaluate eligibility:
Canadian citizen, BASc in engineering with distinction, 8 years work experience both in Canada and the UK, currently employed with a major MNC in the aerospace indsutry. I'm eligible for the PEP given a >S$7k wage here in Canada, but I wouldn't say I've done anything "outstanding" which appears to be the criteria of the in-principle PR.

To me, you have decent qualifications, and as long as your degree/school can be found in the list of verified institutions on the EPEC list or you pass muster for the P1 guidelines and can find a employer, I really don't see a problem with 8 years engineering experience in the Aero industry. Frankly, I'd try to do some networking and find a position before coming over here and wait until the employer gets an AIP (Approval in Principle) before coming over. Or, if you have the wherewithal, make a 3 month exploratory trip over here (you should be able to get a 90 visa on entry if you request it).

I appreciate all input - especially from "Sundaymorningstaple". You in particular seem to know your stuff about immigration procedures in Singapore.

Cheers all.


sms

adyoung2
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Postby adyoung2 » Mon, 10 Jan 2011 7:41 pm

Sundaymorningstaple,

I appreciate your detailed response and opinions. A couple further points came to mind after reading your post:

1. For the In-principle route, I've been following a number of threads on this forum, and to me it would seem that the ICA's selection criteria extend quite a ways beyond that which the documentation would suggest. To be honest, the "minimum criteria" if I recall is an age under 45, tertiary qualifications, and currently not working in Singapore. In the case of the average Canadian (or American, or Brit, etc) this is very simple to meet. Surely though, they must scrutinise an applicant a bit more than that. If not, I'll pay the S$1500 now, sit back for 14 months at my current job and happily transition some time in 2012! Of course I know things aren't this easy as I went through a similar process with the UK Home Office back in 2003 when I applied for (and got) entry clearance under the now-defunct Highliy Skilled Migrant Programme. To your point, I'm not in a massive rush, I've put end-2011 or early 2012 as a desired timeframe. By the way, I have got all the forms from the SMC chaps who work as agents for the ICA, and again - nothing too demanding per se.

2. Looks like the EPEC is even less attractive than I initially thought! But yes, my university does appear on the MOM list when I used the self-evaluation tool, so all clear there.

3. You've highlighted a very real concern with the PEP. I'll need to take a look at the P1 approach. Indeed I've begun my job search there in Singapore, so perhaps I should work that a bit more prior to jumping onto the PEP scheme. Again, I'm not in a desperate rush here, and the idea of a longer term visit to evaluate employment opportunities and hopefully sit a few interviews would be very prudent indeed.

Finally, my intent is long term PR, not just the "short term expat" move. My girlfriend is Singaporean, and no convincing in the world would get her to move to Canada (picture cold winters, snow, and -20degC)... Plus, I like it better there!

Cheers, and thanks again for your insights.


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