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Long-time resident moving back to Singapore

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
samuelt
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Long-time resident moving back to Singapore

Postby samuelt » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:24 am

Hi SMS, MS etc,

Would like to seek your recommendation on what to do. I'm a graduate student at an ivy league university in the U.S. due to finish next year and would like to return to Singapore to work. I was born in Singapore to Malaysian parents on an employment pass (they became PR and then citizens after I left for the U.S.) and went to local schools from kindergarten until A levels at one of the two most well-known JCs. I was accepted to law school in Singapore, but my parents decided to broaden my education by sending me to a top 10 liberal arts college in the U.S. where I graduated summa cum laude. I was on a student pass from P1 until JC2 before I left for the U.S. In total I lived in Singapore for 19 years. I did not do N.S. as I was on a student pass almost all of my life. During college, I spent 60 days (the maximum for Malaysians) in Singapore during summers on a SVP.

On paper, I may look quite promising, but I have no commercial job experience other than my research assistanship at graduate school which pays about USD2K per month, just enough to cover my living expenses. I'm hoping to graduate and then hop onto a plane back to Singapore even without a job lined up. Consequently, I'm not sure what kind of immigration status I should apply for. Some of my Malaysian peers who stayed back in Singapore were offered PR while in University, but since I left, I didn't have that opportunity. Psychologically, I'm Singaporean, not Malaysian, and most of my friends and family are in Singapore. Ideally, I would like to apply for PR straight away, but I realize that might not be feasible. Is there a best route for people like me?

I presume Singapore wouldn't mind me because I've lived there most of my life and am perfectly integrated, while my siblings and parents are singapore citizens. However, reading some posts about the impact of the recent elections on EP and PR applications, I'm starting to have some doubts. I would appreciate some comments or ideas.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:31 am

At any stage during your schooling in SG were you offered to take PR ?

Did your parents apply PR without you ?

When did you parents apply PRship.

When did you left for US ?
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Postby samuelt » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 11:23 am

At any stage during your schooling in SG were you offered to take PR ?
No. In fact my grand uncle, a Singaporean, was apparently my sponsor/garantor for my student pass at P1. When I got into secondary school, the school just transferred my student pass from primary to secondary and same thing for JC. When my student pass expired, I was on SVP for a short while and then left for the U.S.

Did your parents apply PR without you ?
Yes, after I left for the U.S. at 19.

When did you parents apply PRship.
About 5 years ago. They have been citizens for about 2 years and lived in Singapore in total for about 26 years

When did you left for US
About 5 years ago

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Postby Mad Scientist » Mon, 11 Jul 2011 5:27 pm

You cannot apply for LTSVP as you are above 21 hence your parents are not able to sponsor you for this pass
The only route is to look for job and apply employment pass.
www.mom.gov.sg
If you are now a US citizen then you can stay here for 90 days on SVP. If you are Malaysian , well , you know the answer for that too.
PEP is another route you can consider under MOM
LPR has now closed and SMC is not taking anymore application.
Without experience , you will be hard press to find a job here.
Work in the US and gain more experience will be my best advise. DO not give up your day job , apply for EP or PEP once you have enough work experience then make the move
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Postby Saint » Tue, 12 Jul 2011 9:04 am

PEP currently isn't an option as an overseas applicant has to be earning S$8k plus. Also it appears that overseas PEP applications are a lot harder to get accepted, if at all these days.

The OP could go the EPEC route and then apply for a LTVP which will give you up to a year to find a job.

What will obviously go against you is how your parents and you circumnavigated the applying for PR so you wouldn't have to do NS.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 12 Jul 2011 9:36 am

Saint wrote:What will obviously go against you is how your parents and you circumnavigated the applying for PR so you wouldn't have to do NS.


I wanted to say that shortly after he posted initially, but refrained from doing so. However, at the end of the day, that very thing is what is going to keep him from getting and EP or PR in all probability unless he's one of the top brain surgeons in the world.

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Postby Saint » Tue, 12 Jul 2011 1:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Saint wrote:What will obviously go against you is how your parents and you circumnavigated the applying for PR so you wouldn't have to do NS.


I wanted to say that shortly after he posted initially, but refrained from doing so. However, at the end of the day, that very thing is what is going to keep him from getting and EP or PR in all probability unless he's one of the top brain surgeons in the world.


Why else would parents wait 20 years before applying for PR!!

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Postby Mad Scientist » Tue, 12 Jul 2011 3:15 pm

Before 2005 , this is perfectly alright. OP did not circumvent as it is within the ICA guideline back then. Only after when the piano man debacle incident did all those guidelines were revised to the new guidelines that we are all now aware of.
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Postby samuelt » Fri, 15 Jul 2011 8:51 am

Thanks MS, SMS, Saint

MS are you saying that ICA won't be vindictive because it was within their guidelines during my time?

Saint, SMS, I just asked my parents why they didn't become Singapore PR for so long. Turns out they were US Permanent Residents for a long time and my father used to spend months working in the U.S. in part to maintain his US green card. He couldn't be PR in two places. However as time went on, he hit the top US tax rate and taxes were an increasing burden (he is a top banker now) so US PR just wasn't worth the cost. By the time he gave it up, I was a teenager in secondary school and he decided to hold off applying for Singapore PR just for a few more years until I left. I suppose if ICA were vindictive, they would have denied my father's PR and citizenship, but apparently all were approved very quickly.

Looks like I will try to stay here after graduating until I get a job that pays S$8K. Judging from stats from the undergraduate recruitment office, it shouldn't be a problem. However, is the S$8K base salary or does bonus count?

Unemployment is 10% now in the U.S. and there is severe underemployment so I'd even feel guilty about taking away a job from an American who needs it. Singapore's unemployment is 1.9% so I presume they need me and I fit their perfect demographic profile. I'd point out to Saint and SMS that my parents paid full foreigner school fees and medical costs throughout my time in Singapore, so I didn't partake in the benefits given to citizens and PRs. I suppose the worst thought is that if I have to go back to Malaysia, it will be ages before I get a job that pays S$8K...

For the record, my dad tells me not to worry and that he can call in some favours if necessary to get me a S$8k job in a Singapore bank. But I've gotten where I am on my own and would be embarassed to be a shoe in for some favours and certainly don't want to work for a bank.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:04 am

samuelt wrote:Thanks MS, SMS, Saint

MS are you saying that ICA won't be vindictive because it was within their guidelines during my time?



what I said is your parent follow the guideline hence you did not flout the law. I am not sure about the "vindictive" term at all as you did as what was prescribed before hence in my view you should be alright but I would stress again , get a job and some work experience before coming over will be the best advise.
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Postby taxico » Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:51 pm

Mad Scientist wrote:but I would stress again , get a job and some work experience before coming over will be the best advise.


if he's not an american/legal alien (which i don't think he is) or a singaporean (FTA carrots) it might be difficult to get the paperwork sorted out even after he aces an interview in the US.

good luck, thread starter! i hope you get what you want, because at this time i don't see you bringing the pre-requisites to the table yet (hence mad's advice to work first and come to singapore later).
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Postby samuelt » Mon, 18 Jul 2011 9:15 am

Taxico, judging from other Singaporeans here who graduated from my Uni, its not a breeze to get a job with a H1 Visa, but not very difficult either in spite of the recession. My Uni has a placement office and a lot of the top US companies recruit on campus.

It's true that I don't have any commercial work experience, but Singapore didn't spend $500K educating me over the past 5-6 years either so I am a bargain "immigrant" for them. There are a few Singaporean scholars here and its amazing how much their bonds are. I'm quite confident of getting home eventually... I hope its just a matter of time.

Edit: Just checked my Uni's career services website and the average 1st year compensation reported by undergraduates was about USD60K. No data for graudate students, but may be higher. Does anyone know if ICA looks at total compensation i.e., salary and bonus or just base salary?

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Postby JayCee » Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:11 am

samuelt wrote:For the record, my dad tells me not to worry and that he can call in some favours if necessary to get me a S$8k job in a Singapore bank. But I've gotten where I am on my own and would be embarassed to be a shoe in for some favours and certainly don't want to work for a bank.


Ah, the meritocracy of Singapore :D
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Postby taxico » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 12:00 pm

samuelt wrote:Taxico, judging from other Singaporeans here who graduated from my Uni, its not a breeze to get a job with a H1 Visa, but not very difficult either in spite of the recession.

It's true that I don't have any commercial work experience, but Singapore didn't spend $500K educating me over the past 5-6 years either so I am a bargain "immigrant" for them.

There are a few Singaporean scholars here and its amazing how much their bonds are.

I'm quite confident of getting home eventually... I hope its just a matter of time.


the companies who are willing to go through hoops to employ a foreigner will do so regardless of nationality. and then there are those who won't.

i'm unsure how many of all american employers know that singaporeans have priority access (?) to a working visa in the US. to them, singapore is in china. say whaaat?

whatever the situation, working visas are in super duper high demand and there's a giant backlog of applications waiting to go through the system but not enough visas to go around.

any person taking a scholarship does it with his/her eyes wide open but i think the scholarship covers any guarantees/bonds too...

you call singapore home but the singapore government may think differently.

as you think you may be an invaluable asset to singapore, perhaps the easiest way is to try and see what the outcome is.

good luck!
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Postby samuelt » Tue, 19 Jul 2011 5:39 pm

I'm not so arrogant to think I'm an "invaluable asset". I just think I fit the demographic profile of whom they want and I have, humbly, something to offer.

Actually, there are quite a few Singapore scholars I've met here and around who would probably have gotten financial aid out of american universities given their stats, but chose to accept a Singapore bonded scholarship because at 19 yrs old, they didn't know any better and it was supposed to be prestigious but now limits their options. Given the number of unhappy ones, they didn't have their eyes fully wide open at 19.

Singapore is the only home I've known. However, there are many people prevented from going home all round the world due to wars, famine etc, so I suppose I'm better off given I have a chance to go home.

For SMS' book of stats, there is one Malaysian guy I know who was a Singapore PR from young, then did NS. At 21, he went to University in the U.S. and then worked here for 3 years on a H1. Meanwhile, his PR came up for renewal and because he wasn't working in Singapore, they took it away! Subsequently, he lost his job in the U.S. and has had to return home. Now he shuttles back and forth between his family in Singapore (still PR) and Malaysia looking for a job in Singapore, so he can get an employment pass. Sad but true. Doing NS doesn't help you hold on to PR.


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