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Unique Relocation Situation Help!

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JoannaNYC
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Unique Relocation Situation Help!

Postby JoannaNYC » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:42 am

Hi-

I am 22 years old and moving to Singapore with my significant other.  We are facing some obstacles in terms of my visa etc. because of our unique situation.  We are a lesbian couple and my partner is a Singaporian citizen.  We met a few years ago when she was here working and now is being transferred home.  I have agreed to go with her but, I don't qualify for a lot of visas because I made very little money at the non-profit I worked for here.  We also aren't eligible for the spouse visa because we can't be legally married there. 

We are staying for three years tops over in Singapore then coming back to the US.  I was going to go as a regular tourist visa and leave and enter the country several times but, I'm not sure if there is a limit to how many times I can enter and leave the country?  Does anyone know of another visa that doesn't have insane earnings requirements that I can look into?  I really need some help.

Thanks You
J.N.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 9:19 am

It's not unique at all, but it is problematic. Do a search of the forum using the search function just below the profile button at the upper right side of this page. It's be discussed numerous times here already.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 9:35 am

If your partner wasn't Singaporean, you would get a LTVP. In order to do that, you'd need to be from a country that would recognize your partnership legally and has an embassy that would endorse a statement to that effect.

You might be screwed though if she's Singaporean. I'm curious to see if anyone else knows a way. Maybe take a class and get a student visa? :???:

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Postby JoannaNYC » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 9:52 am

I would have to be a full-time student to qualify and I don't have any desire to get a higher degree.

Can I live on a tourist visa? We are only staying for 3 years. I've heard people stay on tourist visas for longer. I can leave and come back every few months. We do a lot of travel for her work.
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Postby nutnut » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:10 am

You "can" officially leave and return every 3 months, however, it is illegal to live in Singapore in this manner, the short term visit pass is meant for exactly that, short term visit/vacation. There is every chance that during those 3 years you will be stopped and disallowed entry to Singapore, also, if you are found doing this you may well face much worse consequences in regards to jail time/fines and deportation.

I would be VERY careful how you do that!

Just a note, my father visited Singapore recently, he went out on holiday a few times and was questioned fervently when returning on his 3rd trip. They will notice and they will take action if they suspect foul play, it is international border control you are talking about here, it's not something to play around with!

Mad Scientist may be along to give you further legal advise on this, MS certainly knows a lot more than most on similar matters.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:24 am

That might work 2, maybe three times at the most. Probably before then you would have already raised the eyebrows of Immigration. Then you might be banned from entering for 6 months or longer. They frown upon people trying to circumvent the law here. Your partner should have been able to tell you about the strictness of Singapore.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 11:10 am

Emphasis mine:

Mandatory Caning Sentences: Singapore has a mandatory caning sentence for vandalism offenses. Authorities in Singapore may also impose caning for immigration violations and other offenses. Singaporean authorities do impose these sentences on foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_t ... _penalties

This isn't relevant for what you're talking about doing (going in and out), but may be if you think to just come in and stay the whole three years :p

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 11:16 am

Also, what kind of work do you do? Have you really ruled out any type of employment related pass? The current situation for getting a pass isn't too hot right now, but you have a slight advantage over most being from the US, and if you have some kind of relevant experience.

Also, look into applying for a PEP. This would give you at least six months here to find a job, and then allow you to work. The main criteria for you is that you need to have made at least S$8000 per month, which is about USD$6300 (pre-tax) at your last job. They don't factor in local cost of living, so being from NYC where salaries and COL are very inflated, you're more likely to qualify. (That's like a shift-leader at Starbucks in NYC, right? :P)

http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... fault.aspx

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Postby JoannaNYC » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 7:20 pm

A work visa or PEP would never apply to me. I don't know many people even in NYC making that kind of money, especially a Starbucks Barista and me who has worked for a non-profit.

I was seeing a lot of other gay couples are doing Long Term Social Visitors Pass as an option. Has anyone done that successfully and is willing to explain the process?

I am aware of how strict and archaic Singapore is and I have gone there before. I'm very determined and will do whatever I need to do to be with the person I love. Any guidance from someone who has done this or knows an immigration lawyer that can help would be appreciated.
J.N.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 7:58 pm

JoannaNYC wrote:I was seeing a lot of other gay couples are doing Long Term Social Visitors Pass as an option. Has anyone done that successfully and is willing to explain the process?


There are a lot of old posts about it. Unfortunately for you, in I think almost all cases both of the couple were foreigners, and they were able to demonstrate that the relationship was legally recognized where they were from. I don't ever recall anything where one of the two were Singaporean.

I even know of one couple where one of the two was Dutch, and was able to get paperwork that the relationship was legal based on the couple's time together in (only) Singapore. Not 100% sure how she pulled it off, but her partner was from SE Asia and not working, and has a pass. It's all on the whim of what your home country recognizes and what the embassy will sign.

I haven't kept up with the US on this, but isn't gay marriage still legal in Mass or Vermont or one of those states? I'd suggest getting married wherever you can, getting the official marriage certificate, getting it notarized by the Secretary of whichever State you go through (not always a simple procedure, and varies by state), and having your partner try apply for an LTVP based off that. No idea if it will work though, especially since she is Singaporean. And you better do this before Santorum becomes president, or you might suddenly find Singapore the more gay friendly nation :)

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Postby JoannaNYC » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:05 pm

Zz.
Last edited by JoannaNYC on Tue, 13 Mar 2012 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:11 pm

Your relationship has no legal standing in Singapore, so no. As far as MOM is concerned, she is a good friend of yours, and friends can't give friends immigration visas. :)

If her company is gay-friendly, perhaps their HR department has advice and has dealt with this before? Maybe change your mind on getting a higher degree just for your relationship?

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Postby JoannaNYC » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:14 pm

Zz.
Last edited by JoannaNYC on Tue, 13 Mar 2012 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JoannaNYC » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:16 pm

Wouldn't MOM see foreign couples as 'friends' as well? I don't get how that is different or easier.
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Postby JR8 » Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:33 pm

I think the issue is that one half is Singaporean; and this makes it far more complicated than two 'westerners' in a similar position. Considering that homosexuality is (in as many words) illegal for Singaporeans, there is going to be an inevitable clash over asking the SGn government to help facilitate such a relationship.

I reckon a student visa might be the only viable option for you, assuming you don't want to or can't work
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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