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Plan of action upon arrival

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Plan of action upon arrival

Postby conversant » Sat, 15 Oct 2011 4:50 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm landing on Wed., 16 Oct. to pursue employment and/or educational opportunities. I would like advice on what my plan of action should be, please? Thank you.

ICA checkpoint at airport:
Since I have a U.S. passport, do I just tell them that I need to see if I find things suitable, and hence, I need to spend a little bit more time (a couple of months) than the usual day or so I have been spending in transit for the last 20 years when I pass through here?

Return date:
Since I'm not sure of when I'll return (hopefully, I won't have to since something should materialize -- fingers crossed!), I have only a one-way ticket. I have never had them check it, but I was always able to put down the next day's date as that for my departure since I used to be in transit.

Accommodation:
Besides staying in a hostel, is there another (even less expensive) option for 2-3 months.

Banking:
Not having a residency status (student, EP) yet, would I be able to open a local bank account?

Job-hunting:
I've posted on all the job boards but I understand that being there in-person is the best way since they want to see you face-to-face, at least for the final interview. Will my being here serve as an advantage despite having to list myself as a 'foreigner'?
Do I just walk into agencies? If so, where is a conglomeration of those?If I do things online only, it may be sort of the same thing as I have been doing thus far with no response.
I used to work for a major state university in the U.S. in I.T. for over a decade and my high school and undergraduate degree is from the U.S.
Does speaking fluent American English give you any hand up (about American English becoming the standard in Singapore?

What pass to apply for?
I have already been accepted into a full-time MBA program here and that is my fallback option if nothing materializes work-wise. I'm thinking that I can delay signing the student contract until the beginning of Dec. since the term starts in Jan. When I sign the contract is when I'll apply for a student pass. If I get a job before then -- let's say within a month's time -- then, I'll just have the employer get me an EP and I'll go to school part-time. Is there any hole in my hypothesis?

Thank you for your time and effort!

P.S.: I have browsed through this forum for previous experiences.

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Re: Plan of action upon arrival

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 15 Oct 2011 6:41 pm

conversant wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm landing on Wed., 16 Oct. to pursue employment and/or educational opportunities. I would like advice on what my plan of action should be, please? Thank you.

ICA checkpoint at airport:
Since I have a U.S. passport, do I just tell them that I need to see if I find things suitable, and hence, I need to spend a little bit more time (a couple of months) than the usual day or so I have been spending in transit for the last 20 years when I pass through here?

As you are from a country that has Singapore listed on it Visa Waiver Program, just request 90 days from the Officer when you give him/her your passport. IF the ask, just tell them that you will be exploring opportunities here. You don't need to go into details as 90 days is not unusual for Americans, Australians, Canadians & Brits.

Return date:
Since I'm not sure of when I'll return (hopefully, I won't have to since something should materialize -- fingers crossed!), I have only a one-way ticket. I have never had them check it, but I was always able to put down the next day's date as that for my departure since I used to be in transit.

Accommodation:
Besides staying in a hostel, is there another (even less expensive) option for 2-3 months.

Without any type of "residency" visa, no. Legally.


Banking:
Not having a residency status (student, EP) yet, would I be able to open a local bank account?

Do a search of the forum. I remember recently (last week or so) it seems to me there is at least one bank that will do so.

Job-hunting:
I've posted on all the job boards but I understand that being there in-person is the best way since they want to see you face-to-face, at least for the final interview. Will my being here serve as an advantage despite having to list myself as a 'foreigner'?
Do I just walk into agencies? If so, where is a conglomeration of those?If I do things online only, it may be sort of the same thing as I have been doing thus far with no response.

A search on google will give you the locations of most of the recruiters, you will probably still be told to submit online and they will contact you should that find something suitable. Having said that, on you submissions, be sure to let the know you are in Singapore and please get a local number so they can contact you. Once you are here, the better agencies (all are debatable - which is why I no longer work in that industry here in Singapore).

I used to work for a major state university in the U.S. in I.T. for over a decade and my high school and undergraduate degree is from the U.S.
Does speaking fluent American English give you any hand up (about American English becoming the standard in Singapore?

No.

What pass to apply for?

This will depend on the employer as they have to apply for the EP and MOM will give them whatever flavor EP that they want. You don't have any say in it, with the exception of one question the employer need to check before submitting the application online. That is, will you accept an S pass if you are found ineligible for an EP. If that is not checked before submission, then, if the EP is rejected, the employer is forbidden to reapply for you for an S pass. Of course, you may not want to be considered for an S pass as well, but it's something you have to consider when the application is being submitted, so it's something to be aware of.

I have already been accepted into a full-time MBA program here and that is my fallback option if nothing materializes work-wise. I'm thinking that I can delay signing the student contract until the beginning of Dec. since the term starts in Jan. When I sign the contract is when I'll apply for a student pass. If I get a job before then -- let's say within a month's time -- then, I'll just have the employer get me an EP and I'll go to school part-time. Is there any hole in my hypothesis?

No.

Thank you for your time and effort!

P.S.: I have browsed through this forum for previous experiences.


sms

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Follow-up

Postby conversant » Sat, 15 Oct 2011 8:51 pm

Thank you for reading through that, sms, and thank you for your response.

Just wanted to post a follow-up so everyone in this situation benefits.

The reason I had asked the question about foreigners being able to open bank accounts once again is that any search reveals many 'Cannot' responses and a couple of 'Can' responses. Makes one wonder what the determining factor is. Also, some responses were from several years ago and the situation / regulations / policies may have changed.

Here's one of the positive one's that is relatively recent:

http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic73441.html
(Read the response 'Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:35 pm')

Does anyone else want to weigh in with their experiences or opinions?

Another follow-up question, please?:
What if I apply for the student pass and, as a coincidence, get a job right after? Does that make me 'look bad' to the ICA or MOM? Or, is it a simple matter of their cancelling the student pass and processing the EP?

Thank you. :)

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 15 Oct 2011 10:33 pm

Pretty sure Citibank has an option for US Citizens that doesn't require any passes. I would suggest opening an account in the US first though (you can do this entirely online, min deposit $100); I don't know if it's required, but it will make things extremely smooth.

I started with POSB/DBS when I first got here. (Only requirement: IPA letter saying I was approved for a pass). However the service is terrible, and there are a lot of quirks that annoyed me for various reasons. I wound up switching to Citibank for a few reasons, one of which was the ability to xfer money from my SG account to a US account for no charge instantly.

re: The post on 12/14/2010 you mentioned- He still needed an IPA letter, which means you've been approved for a pass (and have a job). That is what I used to open my DBS/POSB acct.

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Postby conversant » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 1:03 am

zzm9980 wrote:re: The post on 12/14/2010 you mentioned- He still needed an IPA letter, which means you've been approved for a pass (and have a job). That is what I used to open my DBS/POSB acct.


True! And, thanks for pointing that out. :)

Any other takers for opinions or experiences for the original post, please?

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Bank account for foreigners - research update, current info.

Postby conversant » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 1:20 am

I just clicked on the DBS advertisement right at the top of this thread, right here on singaporeexpats.com, and went to the DBS Savings Plus - For all foreigners and it states:
"Visit any DBS branch with your passport and relevant immigration or work passes issued by the Government of Singapore."

So, for those not on some type of pass yet, it's a no-go.:(

But, for those for who qualify, it helps to know that there's no opening deposit and only a S$2 monthly fee for balances below 5,000.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 8:08 am

Recruiters are pretty worthless. You would be better off compiling a list of MNC's with offices in Singapore, then going to each respective website to see what jobs are available. You will have a difficult time trying to hook up with a local firm.

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Postby conversant » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 1:22 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Recruiters are pretty worthless. You would be better off compiling a list of MNC's with offices in Singapore, then going to each respective website to see what jobs are available. You will have a difficult time trying to hook up with a local firm.


Thank you for your response, Strong Eagle! I would like to ask a couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind.

Do you mean recruiters are not as much help unless you are a PR or citizen? (Come to think of it, most of the ads on recruiters' Web sites say 'Only SPR or citizen need apply'.) I ask since they do recruit, as that is the business they are in!:) I am just trying to understand your statement since you have years of experience with them and am also trying to know if one should not deal with recruiters at all. Is this what you're saying?

I have also done what you have suggested about compiling a list of MNC's and applying to them individually from abroad. Just hoping that being in Singapore will give me an added advantage since they'll be able to deal with me locally / face to face, if need be.


And, while we're at it, what about jobs in government agencies such as the
Land Transport Authority (leaving out the sensitive ones such as the MoD, that require you to be a citizen)? Is it worth pursuing those?

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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 4:04 pm

conversant wrote: And, while we're at it, what about jobs in government agencies such as the
Land Transport Authority (leaving out the sensitive ones such as the MoD, that require you to be a citizen)? Is it worth pursuing those?


What makes you think LTA is less sensitive ? I had to go through a lot of clearence before even I was allowed to sit in a meeting there ..

Well, Govt agencies predominantly contract to the 2 largest Singapore IT service providers, who employ Singaporeans only, for such projects.

You can try, as, from what I know, all govt agencies do recruit foreigners for specific specialty area, though IT is NOT One of them ..

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Postby conversant » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 4:18 pm

ecureilx wrote:You can try, as, from what I know, all govt agencies do recruit foreigners for specific specialty area, though IT is NOT One of them ..


This one sentence will save me a lot of time. Now I know which rabbit not to chase!:) Thank you for your response.

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Postby beppi » Mon, 17 Oct 2011 3:53 am

1. I was under the impression (possibly wrong, SMS or somebody else will clarify) that an EP holder isn't allowed to do other work, which includes part-time studies. If so, your plan of doing an MBA at the side will not work.

2. DBS/POSB requires a recommendation letter from an existing customer (who has no responsibilities out of this) for a foreigner wanting to open an account. Just ask any of your friends to write it.
Last time I wrote one, my friend didn't receive it before his departure to Singapore, so he walked into a DBS/POSB branch empty-handed and still got an account after some discussion. So it is possible!

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 17 Oct 2011 9:43 am

beppi wrote:1. I was under the impression (possibly wrong, SMS or somebody else will clarify) that an EP holder isn't allowed to do other work, which includes part-time studies. If so, your plan of doing an MBA at the side will not work.


Masters students, can work, as long as they get their EP. I know that for a fact ..

Studies is NOT WORKING :D :D

Actually, to think of it, anybody can study, EP, SVP, or or student pass, or even maid permit/WP ..

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:11 am

Sorry beppi, but ecureilx is correct. Studying isn't consider working (that is something for which you receive remuneration of some sort for (be it cash or barter).

Edited due to slow fingers.
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby carteki » Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:11 am

As a non-resident (ie no right to live in SG) you CAN open an OFFSHORE account with any of the banks. The fact that you're physically present in Singapore at the time is immaterial. You will probably need an overseas address and proof of residence and a sum to deposit.

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:15 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Sorry beppi, but ecureilx is correct. Studying is consider working (that is something for which you receive remuneration of some sort for (be it cash or barter).


Have you had your morning coffee ?? :D :D


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