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Ok, here is my case (very complicated)

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Ok, here is my case (very complicated)

Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 11:30 am

Well, I can't believe that I actually reached this point where I will need an advice from the people here. But here I am.

So, I finally got a job offer in less then 24 hours between sending my resume and being offered the job. The problem is that they wanted me to start immediately to get to know the work and yesterday I started BUT of course, they even haven't applied for EP yet. They tried to apply yesterday but the MOM site was down all day so they should wait until Monday.

Well, the real problem is that they want me to work in their office until my EP (or S Pass) is issued (if ever) basically for free, but according to them it wouldn't be any problem AND they are really convinced that it would take no more than 7 working days.

Since I am an avid forum reader though, I am quite aware this is not the case and most applicants wait for 2 months or more and finally they got rejected. I told them this and they acknowledged that they had not been aware of this detail but still they said I have nothing to worry because the most important thing for me was to look after the job (of course) and they will take care of the rest. Well, if I hadn't read this forum before, maybe I would have believed them but I am afraid that this is not the case and I really don't know what to do.

Another thing is that in this company don't work singaporeans, but ONLY russians except for the accountant lady who is a pure singaporean. Their confidence about the MOM shit comes from their background because as they said, so far every single application for EP they submitted to MOM has been approved "automatically" for 10 minutes, even for the last of their workers who was hired in october last year. I believe them actually. But I don't believe this would be the case with me. First, I don't have a degree, second, I am not a russian (if this has any relevance to the case at all) and third, this is now, after the elections.

Ok, the next thing is that I am currently on leave from my company back home and I should be back on Tuesday next week so my situation is totally f*cked up. I can't quit my company if I am not sure that I will be given the EP here. Do you know how many days after the EP application submission I will know how long it would take for MOM to decide for the outcome? Because if I know that I should wait for 2 months or something, I must definitely go back to my country and wait there. I can't stay 2 months in Singapore in a hotel even if I take non paid leave with no money, waiting for a dubious result.

And is it possible that since this company is actually founded by russians, to increase my chances to get the EP or so speed up the process? By the way, it's a small company with only 7 people working there including the singaporean. Please, it's a total mess for me and I urgently need an advice what to do. Any kind of input would be highly appreciated.
Last edited by bobypf on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 6:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Ok, here is my case (very complicated)

Postby Ibpl » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 12:44 pm

bobypf wrote:Well, I can't believe that I actually reached this point where I will need an advice from the people here. But here I am. So, I finally got a job offer in less then 24 hours between sending my resume and being offered the job. The problem is that they wanted me to start immediately to get to know the work and yesterday I started BUT of course, they even haven't applied for EP yet. They tried to apply yesterday but the MOM site was down all day so they should wait until Monday. Well, the real problem is that they want me to work in their office until my EP (or S Pass) is issued (if ever) basically for free, but according to them it wouldn't be any problem AND they are really convinced that it would take no more than 7 working days. Since I am an avid forum reader, I am quite aware this is not the case and most applicants wait for 2 months or more and finally they got rejected. I told them this and they acknowledged that they had not been aware of this detail but still they said I have nothing to worry because the most important thing for me was to look after the job (of course) and they will take care of the rest. Well, if I hadn't read this forum before, maybe I would have believed them but I am afraid that this is not the case and I really don't know what to do. Another thing is that in this company don't work singaporeans, but ONLY russians except for the accountant lady who is a pure singaporean. Their confidence about the MOM shit comes from their background because as they said, so far every single application for EP they submitted to MOM has been approved "automatically" for 10 minutes, even for the last of their workers who was hired in october last year. I believe them actually. But I don't believe this would be the case with me. First, I don't have a degree, second, I am not a russian (if this has any relevance to the case at all) and third, this is now, after the elections. Ok, the next thing is that I am currently on leave from my company back home and I should be back on Tuesday next week so my situation is totally f*cked up. I can't quit my company if I am not sure that I will be given the EP here. Do you know how many days after the EP application submission I will know how long it would take for MOM to decide for the outcome? Because if I know that I should wait for 2 months or something, I must definitely go back to my country and wait there. I can't stay 2 months in Singapore in a hotel even if I take non paid leave with no money, waiting for a dubious result. And is it possible that since this company is actually founded by russians, to increase my chances to get the EP or so speed up the process? By the way, it's a small company with only 7 people working there including the singaporean. Please, it's a total mess for me and I urgently need an advice what to do. Any kind of input would be highly appreciated.


Don't believe Russians :). What line is the company in?

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Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 12:56 pm

IT. And it looks not bad actually.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 12:59 pm

Couple of points to note......

1. If they only have 1 Singaporean (PRs?) then they will not have any quota for S pass holders to start with as you would need at least two local/PR's to have any quota there.

2. Without a degree, unless you have over 5 years specifically in that field, you are not likely to get a Q or P2 Pass as they require a degree. That only leaves the P1 pass for which you don't need a degree but you DO need an basic salary of at least 8K/mo.

Sounds like you have stepped into a pile of brown smelly stuff. Personally, if you work ONE DAY without a proper Employment Visa, you are in violation of the law and I really don't think you want to be in that position. Also, they are doing something very illegal and you don't want to burn any bridges at home either.

I'm afraid, personally, I'd give it a miss. But that's only my POV.

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Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 1:21 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Couple of points to note......

1. If they only have 1 Singaporean (PRs?) then they will not have any quota for S pass holders to start with as you would need at least two local/PR's to have any quota there.

2. Without a degree, unless you have over 5 years specifically in that field, you are not likely to get a Q or P2 Pass as they require a degree. That only leaves the P1 pass for which you don't need a degree but you DO need an basic salary of at least 8K/mo.

Sounds like you have stepped into a pile of brown smelly stuff. Personally, if you work ONE DAY without a proper Employment Visa, you are in violation of the law and I really don't think you want to be in that position. Also, they are doing something very illegal and you don't want to burn any bridges at home either.

I'm afraid, personally, I'd give it a miss. But that's only my POV.


Thanks a lot for this clarification. Ok, let me put some more details about the case then.

1. I started working there for free so I'm not sure that this violates any laws. They said they would find a way to compensate me eventually. The thing is that they are absolutely confident that it would take no more than 7 days for MOM to give me the EP and they are also confident it's only a matter of formalities.

2. Yes, there is only one singapoeran in the whole company - the accountant lady who does the HR as well. I don't know about this quota stuff but if the thing you say is true, how have they managed to hire all the people there? Because they are 6 russians (including the 2 managers) + the singaporean. And they said the last russian was hired last october or something without any problems.

3. I have 10 years and 6 months experience exactly in this field which as I recall they call it "relevant experience".

4. For the salary thing... well, they offered me 2.5 K for the first 6 months which would be my probation period and after this they would increase it. As I know, the only option for me would be the S pass. The interesting thing is that in the EP application they wrote 2.8 K salary but I'm not sure why.

Well, SMS, I'd appreciate your further comments. (And my beer invitation is still valid by the way).

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 2:21 pm

bobypf wrote:1. I started working there for free so I'm not sure that this violates any laws.

Yes it does. Even for voluntary job you need the MOM's approval.

They said they would find a way to compensate me eventually. The thing is that they are absolutely confident that it would take no more than 7 days for MOM to give me the EP and they are also confident it's only a matter of formalities.

2. Yes, there is only one singapoeran in the whole company - the accountant lady who does the HR as well. I don't know about this quota stuff but if the thing you say is true, how have they managed to hire all the people there? Because they are 6 russians (including the 2 managers) + the singaporean. And they said the last russian was hired last october or something without any problems.

Not sure but ie. they might'ev had more Singaporeans/PRs earlier.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 3:55 pm

bobypf wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Couple of points to note......

1. If they only have 1 Singaporean (PRs?) then they will not have any quota for S pass holders to start with as you would need at least two local/PR's to have any quota there.

2. Without a degree, unless you have over 5 years specifically in that field, you are not likely to get a Q or P2 Pass as they require a degree. That only leaves the P1 pass for which you don't need a degree but you DO need an basic salary of at least 8K/mo.

Sounds like you have stepped into a pile of brown smelly stuff. Personally, if you work ONE DAY without a proper Employment Visa, you are in violation of the law and I really don't think you want to be in that position. Also, they are doing something very illegal and you don't want to burn any bridges at home either.

I'm afraid, personally, I'd give it a miss. But that's only my POV.


Thanks a lot for this clarification. Ok, let me put some more details about the case then.

1. I started working there for free so I'm not sure that this violates any laws. They said they would find a way to compensate me eventually. The thing is that they are absolutely confident that it would take no more than 7 days for MOM to give me the EP and they are also confident it's only a matter of formalities.

The laws state you are not allowed to work in Singapore. Full Stop. Work is work, regardless of whether you get remuneration or not. If it's not a charitable organization, you will have even bigger problems as they will then , once they find out there is an working visa application in, they will assume that there would be a delayed payment for the "free time". Which if you think about it, is probably true. I'm reading 'tween the lines here, so how'm I doin'?

2. Yes, there is only one singapoeran in the whole company - the accountant lady who does the HR as well. I don't know about this quota stuff but if the thing you say is true, how have they managed to hire all the people there? Because they are 6 russians (including the 2 managers) + the singaporean. And they said the last russian was hired last october or something without any problems.

If the other staff are not Citizens/PRs, then they are probably on EP's EP's (Q, P2 & P1 Employment Passes) are not subject to quotas, only WP & S pass holders are. There is another possibility as well, it a phenomenon called phantom workers. This is where they have the names & IC's of elderly non-working Singaporeans on their books receiving minimum amount of salary - enough to be considered in Quotas - but are not actually receiving anything at all except the CPF for the phantom salaryies. The actual amounts are going into one of the directors pockets. The only way to confirm this is by looking at the CPF receipts and the end of the month to see how many bodies are contributing CPF (only Singaporeans & PR contribute)

3. I have 10 years and 6 months experience exactly in this field which as I recall they call it "relevant experience".

Okay. Now we are talking turkey. That type of experience may lend enough weight for them to override the normal degree qualification. Five years minimum and sufficient specialist experience will be considered "on a case to case" basis. So, if, in addition to your experience, you are also conversant in Russian, etc., etc. then you may have your in right there.

4. For the salary thing... well, they offered me 2.5 K for the first 6 months which would be my probation period and after this they would increase it. As I know, the only option for me would be the S pass. The interesting thing is that in the EP application they wrote 2.8 K salary but I'm not sure why.

They are trying to pull the wool over MOM's eyes. They know that the new salary minimums for a Q pass have been raised to 2.8K/mo w.e.f. 1 July and they also know you cannot get an S pass because they don't have sufficient Citizen/PR's working there (again, I am assuming they don't). By making it 2.8K/mo, if you get the Q pass, and this is where the wool comes in, you are going to be required to remit back, in cash, to the employer the 300/mo difference. But you will pay income taxes on that 300 at the end of the year as it will be reported as income on your tax return. If they don't get the Q pass, and have ticked the "will you consider an S pass if not suitable for an EP" You will be rejected if no other PR's in the company, If one of the Ruskies is a PR, then you may get an S pass at the rate of 2800/mo which HAS TO BE PAID via GIRO into your bank account, but again, the employer is going to require you to pay back, in cash, 300/mo. If you go to work for them with this type of arrangement, both you and the employer are defrauding the MOM and both will get into trouble if caught. They will be blacklisted and you will be deported.

Well, SMS, I'd appreciate your further comments. (And my beer invitation is still valid by the way).

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Postby putnam » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 5:46 pm

Sounds like you are desperate, but since you have a job, it's not wise to take a risk of quitting your job. Plus a notice period is required when you quit a job. Anyway you need to go back to your country and work for the duration of the notice period.

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Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 7:48 pm

I don't know what to say but I don't know what would I do without your clarifications. Now I finally started getting the picture but let me add more details.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Thanks a lot for this clarification. Ok, let me put some more details about the case then.

1. I started working there for free so I'm not sure that this violates any laws. They said they would find a way to compensate me eventually. The thing is that they are absolutely confident that it would take no more than 7 days for MOM to give me the EP and they are also confident it's only a matter of formalities.

The laws state you are not allowed to work in Singapore. Full Stop. Work is work, regardless of whether you get remuneration or not. If it's not a charitable organization, you will have even bigger problems as they will then , once they find out there is an working visa application in, they will assume that there would be a delayed payment for the "free time". Which if you think about it, is probably true. I'm reading 'tween the lines here, so how'm I doin'?

I got this. I don't think there would be any way for someone to find out that I'm working because they can always tell I'm a client or a friend but anyway, I understood.

2. Yes, there is only one singapoeran in the whole company - the accountant lady who does the HR as well. I don't know about this quota stuff but if the thing you say is true, how have they managed to hire all the people there? Because they are 6 russians (including the 2 managers) + the singaporean. And they said the last russian was hired last october or something without any problems.

If the other staff are not Citizens/PRs, then they are probably on EP's EP's (Q, P2 & P1 Employment Passes) are not subject to quotas, only WP & S pass holders are. There is another possibility as well, it a phenomenon called phantom workers. This is where they have the names & IC's of elderly non-working Singaporeans on their books receiving minimum amount of salary - enough to be considered in Quotas - but are not actually receiving anything at all except the CPF for the phantom salaries. The actual amounts are going into one of the directors pockets. The only way to confirm this is by looking at the CPF receipts and the end of the month to see how many bodies are contributing CPF (only Singaporeans & PR contribute)

I am 99% sure all of the workers are on EP because I'm quite sure their salaries are above 2.8 K and they all have degrees. No S passes there. And one of the managers told me he's on PEP but he's not a PR and I am pretty sure the case with the other manager is the same but I will find out this for sure on Monday. Also, they started the company 3 years ago. So as it seems, my chance is only for a Q pass. Very good to know this.

3. I have 10 years and 6 months experience exactly in this field which as I recall they call it "relevant experience".

Okay. Now we are talking turkey. That type of experience may lend enough weight for them to override the normal degree qualification. Five years minimum and sufficient specialist experience will be considered "on a case to case" basis. So, if, in addition to your experience, you are also conversant in Russian, etc., etc. then you may have your in right there.

Yes, I'm pretty sure they will count on my Russian, because I put in my resume that I know "some Russian". Also, in my diploma there is Russian present as a studied language so it's even documented as a proof for MOM.

4. For the salary thing... well, they offered me 2.5 K for the first 6 months which would be my probation period and after this they would increase it. As I know, the only option for me would be the S pass. The interesting thing is that in the EP application they wrote 2.8 K salary but I'm not sure why.

They are trying to pull the wool over MOM's eyes. They know that the new salary minimums for a Q pass have been raised to 2.8K/mo w.e.f. 1 July and they also know you cannot get an S pass because they don't have sufficient Citizen/PR's working there (again, I am assuming they don't). By making it 2.8K/mo, if you get the Q pass, and this is where the wool comes in, you are going to be required to remit back, in cash, to the employer the 300/mo difference. But you will pay income taxes on that 300 at the end of the year as it will be reported as income on your tax return. If they don't get the Q pass, and have ticked the "will you consider an S pass if not suitable for an EP" You will be rejected if no other PR's in the company, If one of the Ruskies is a PR, then you may get an S pass at the rate of 2800/mo which HAS TO BE PAID via GIRO into your bank account, but again, the employer is going to require you to pay back, in cash, 300/mo. If you go to work for them with this type of arrangement, both you and the employer are defrauding the MOM and both will get into trouble if caught. They will be blacklisted and you will be deported.


Now this is tricky. As I reached to the conclusion that I would be eligible for a Q pass only because of the lack of quota, does that mean that I should still expect this arrangement from them - to remit them the 300 back every month - which they will have paid me via bank?


And again, one of my questions was left unanswered. If we assume that they will file my application online on Monday, how long it would take to know how long would be the waiting period for the outcome? Because even if they don't want me to go back to my country, if this period is more than a week or so, I MUST go back and wait there. I can't stay here in Singapore without money and in a hotel anymore even if I manage to extend my current leave or something.

Again, thank you a lot for your comments, they are priceless.
Last edited by bobypf on Sat, 02 Jul 2011 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 8:03 pm

Couldn't read.

Can you do paragraphs man?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 8:17 pm

It can take a couple of hours or a couple of weeks. A lot will depend on whether your qualifications can be taken a face value. As you do not have a degree, your academic credentials are what usually takes the time to be vetted by overseas vetting teams. However, without credentials, pre se, they might have to try to contact previous employers for confirmations. OR, they might figure with your history and the fact that you are European and not from the subcontinent you might be suitable and give it up for you.

But as to how long.....

How long is a piece of string?

Unfortunately I don't have a crystal ball or magic 8 ball for that one.

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Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 8:57 pm

JR8 wrote:Couldn't read.

Can you do paragraphs man?


Sorry, man. I agree. But I just couldn't arrange my thoughts. They were too messy.

Edit: Ok, I put a little order in it.
Last edited by bobypf on Sat, 02 Jul 2011 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 9:11 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:It can take a couple of hours or a couple of weeks. A lot will depend on whether your qualifications can be taken a face value. As you do not have a degree, your academic credentials are what usually takes the time to be vetted by overseas vetting teams. However, without credentials, pre se, they might have to try to contact previous employers for confirmations. OR, they might figure with your history and the fact that you are European and not from the subcontinent you might be suitable and give it up for you.

But as to how long.....

How long is a piece of string?

Unfortunately I don't have a crystal ball or magic 8 ball for that one.


Hehe! I know, I know, man. I was just asking is there something like estimated time for processing when you log in to your already filed case online. Because I've heard that people are told that they have to wait for 2 months or something. I was just curious where they know this from and is it specified somewhere. Because I need to know what to do with my current job and my stay in Singapore. That's all.

Hmm... and something else I forgot to ask before. They also told me that I will have 10 working days leave per year or 2 weeks with the weekends. I've heard that the minimum leave in Singapore is 14 working days. Are they trying to play me fool with this?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 10:34 pm

The waiting times? Most by anecdotal evidence collected right here on this forum. That's how we get a lot of our information (and from people like me - I'm an HR & Finance Manager for a 200 man SME) with half of my work force made up of foreigners from WP to EPs.

The minimum annual leave according to The Employment Act (Cap 50) is 7 days annual leave. So if you are getting 10 and apparently working a 5 days week you are about average in Singapore. Most companies will increase that by one day per year of service up to a maximum of either 14 or 21 days. The financial industries however, have it much better.

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Postby bobypf » Sat, 02 Jul 2011 11:45 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The minimum annual leave according to The Employment Act (Cap 50) is 7 days annual leave. So if you are getting 10 and apparently working a 5 days week you are about average in Singapore. Most companies will increase that by one day per year of service up to a maximum of either 14 or 21 days. The financial industries however, have it much better.


I see. Well, comparing these 10 days with my current 28 back in my country sounds ridiculous but I'm here because of the experience so I guess I can live with it. At least for a certain period.


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