Singapore Expats Forum

Stupid newbie asking questions ;)

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
Aiyah!
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun, 22 Apr 2012

Stupid newbie asking questions ;)

Postby Aiyah! » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 7:45 am

Hi,

New for posting but long time lurking... I'm sure all of this stuff has been answered before, if so then please forgive me and just point me in the right direction! Thanks :mrgreen:

Just a brief run-down on my situation: I'm a UK citizen. My partner has joint Malaysian (Bumiputra) and British citizenship. He works in publishing in Malaysia and is MA educated in the UK at a Russell Group uni. I am currently at uni getting a humanities MA (UK uni, Russell Group) and will also take a PGCE teaching course since I want to go into teaching in state schools, and teach humanities at secondary level. Neither of us have done anything particularly "naughty". I've lived and worked in Malaysia and Indonesia before coming back to uni, including a several years in JB so I'm not worried about culture shock as much as practical issues relating to Singapore specifically. We are hoping to work and settle permenently in Singapore as our actual home.

* I noted from the MOE that they recruit foreign teachers directly into the Singaporean state school system. Has anyone been through this system? If so, is there anything in paticular they want beyond the usual PGCE qualifications? What kind of visa/permit are you issued with? On a related note, if I entered SG as a dependent, then applied, would I still go through the foreign teacher recruitment avenue, or would I be considered as a domestic/Singaporean applicant? Also, if you have any experiences you'd like to share of the general working life, I'd like to hear it - especially from the point of view of an ang moh in the state system.

* The JTC owned HDB flats seem a good, safe bet for new arrivals. Are they easy to get hold of in reality? What's the process like? Are the flats actually located out Jurong way, or are they scattered all over the island? I read that you can only take them for two years - is it possible to renew after that on a new contract, or do you have no option but to leave the JTC system? I checked the JTC website but they don't give much info. :???:

* I have scoured the MOM and ICA websites, but can't find anywhere a concrete list of requirements to meet before applying for PR or citizenship. What are the good rule of thumb timescales one should wait before applying for PR? :???:

More info - My partner would be either on a Q1 or P2 pass. I'm guessing I'd be on a Q1 (???) if I joined the MOE directly from abroad, or a Dependent's Pass with Letter of Consent for employment if I applied after arrival.

* What kind of rejection rate have people here experienced with PR applications? Does dual citizenship (Malaysia/UK) create any issues? Is the system actually race-blind, i.e. is there a possibility of one of us having more difficulty than the other? Are there any specific income requirements different to the Q1 or P2?

* In the long term, is citizenship worth going for if making a home there actually is working out OK?

* In terms of budget - we won't be shipping any furniture from the UK, but I do have a about a dozen storage boxes worth of books and personal effects I would ship over. Is doing this fairly easy, and could anyone give me a ball-park amount I'd be looking at to shift it?

* Also as a rough estimate, how much in terms of utilities/bills would we be looking at for a 3 Room JTC/HDB? We probabaly would install air con with moderate, but not crazy usage (mostly on dry mode, used in the evenings and at night) Neither of us drive so there's no car costs.

Thanks for your patience, guys :mrgreen:

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 8:53 am

Ok, I'd like to help, but I need to address the elephant in the room since you're post is gender-neutral and you refer to your male companion as "partner"... Are you female? If not, and you are a gay-couple, do a lot of searches on the forum for that topic. You will have an impossible time getting a dependent pass for the other, and a very difficult time getting LTVP at the income levels you're talking about. (More on that later).

Smaller elephant in the room: Are you married? If not, see above regarding DP. You'll have a slightly less difficult time with the LTVP as long as British High Council (embassy) are still endorsing letters to confirm a common law marriage. (Assuming you even meet that). I'd honestly recommend marriage before applying, it'll smooth everything out on the visa side of things.

To your actual questions:
Income levels determine everything in Singapore for foreigners: Which passes you get, how likely your DPs or LTVPs are to be approved, and later your chances for PR.

Don't even think about PR until you've been here long enough to have at least three tax statements unless you both get P1 passes.
Race is definitely factored, nothing in Singapore is race-blind. Your citizenship doesn't matter at all, just your race. Chinese Malaysians get favorable treatment to enhance their approval chances, not sure about Malay. Indians get negative treatment. Caucasians positive, but not quite as positive as a Chinese Malaysian.

I'm not quite sure what a "JTC" HDB is? Is this some special thing for this teaching program you speak of? Normally for an HDB you can only rent it until you're a PR. Then it is possible to buy resale units. You're long ways off though, so don't worry about that now.

The only thing I can offer that may be of assistance to your situation on employment. I know that the British Council pays English teachers very well. I know a local who makes almost enough that she would qualify for a P1. She also mentioned foreigners make even more, and they pay for relocation. Maybe you could investigate that. And on an episode of "House Hunters", some hispanic guy from the US got a really nice job with private condo paid for. That's all I can offer on this topic :D

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34794
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 9:39 am

JTC HDB are HDB flats owned by the Jurong Town Corporation and are leased out with restrictions. Most are out of the way and almost all have waiting lists to get into them. The program is known as SHiFT. HDB flats range from around 1500~1900/month inclusive of Service and Conservancy Charges. Currently there are no units available.

http://www.jtc.gov.sg/RealEstateSolutio ... ments.aspx

Therefore, I wouldn't depend on being able to get one of these flats unless you are already here and lodging somewhere that you can get out of on a month's notice. Even then, there is no idea of how long the waiting lists are. It's like trying to get your kids in a school that's not clear across the island.

Permit wise, you get an Employment Pass like anybody else who comes to this island to work. The level of Pass will be dependent on your salary & qualifications and not your ethnicity or nationality.

This is not the same however, when it come to applying for PR. As noted, Malaysian Chinese are the flavour of the month with any Chinese that may be an ABC, BBC or CBC. PRC's on the other hand are not particularly welcome at the moment. You ideally will have been here for two years before applying for PR with three years being better (3 tax Singapore tax assessments are requested with the application) however, If both qualify (unofficially) and desired Chinese, you could probably run with 2 years.

For EP's they are mostly race blind. However, they are tightening up the criteria so it means that a lot are being rejected that would not have been rejected in the past. This seems to be hitting across the board for EP's. PR applications, however, are being rejected a lot more often in the case of those from the subcontinent who have abused the system a lot more and also have upped the demographics to a point that the majority race finds unsatisfactory so are in the process of slowing down the intake for them unless they really have something that the country would like to keep.

Is citizenship worth it? Pros & Cons. I don't think the Pros outweigh the Cons or vice versa. It would be up to the individuals. Obviously if you are ethnic Chinese, assimilation would be a lot easier and you would feel very much at home. For someone like me? Well, I've been here donkey's years and I still don't feel at home. Each to there own, I guess.

Utilities for an HDB flat? Probably 200~250/month depending on Aircon usage. Actually, if just two adults with no children, probably less than 200 as your water bill will be very low.

Cannot help you with the shipping as I've been here almost 30 years.

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9810
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:10 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:JTC HDB are HDB flats owned by the Jurong Town Corporation and are leased out with restrictions. Most are out of the way and almost all have waiting lists to get into them. The program is known as SHiFT. HDB flats range from around 1500~1900/month inclusive of Service and Conservancy Charges. Currently there are no units available.

http://www.jtc.gov.sg/RealEstateSolutio ... ments.aspx


PSST .. JTC is getting out of the HDB rental business .. and leases are not being renewed upon expiry .. unlike before .. and the units supply is reducing ..

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34794
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 12:43 pm

Please post the link.

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9810
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 2:10 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Please post the link.


link none - years ago, I used to stay in JTC, Last year, when I went to get a new rental, was told the supply is cut. And the managing agents, EM Services, have told two of my friends renting under the EM Services rental scheme too that there will be no renewal.

Corresponds with the JTC site now perpetually showing no units for lease, even during their normal release for rental periods - 1st of the month and 15th of the month ...

Understood it as the post election effect of natives going vocal on the rental 'special' scheme for foreigners which was construed as subsidised rental (and it was cheaper than market rate, that's for sure .. ) and also natives noting the space in Toa Payoh and AMK and seeing it as space that should be given to locals under the HDB direct rental for low income earners.

Aiyah!
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun, 22 Apr 2012

Postby Aiyah! » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 7:32 pm

Sorry guys, can see in hindsight I wasn't very specific. Hope this helps clarify a bit:

zzm9980 wrote:Ok, I'd like to help, but I need to address the elephant in the room since you're post is gender-neutral and you refer to your male companion as "partner"... Are you female? If not, and you are a gay-couple, do a lot of searches on the forum for that topic.

Smaller elephant in the room: Are you married? If not, see above regarding DP. You'll have a slightly less difficult time with the LTVP as long as British High Council (embassy) are still endorsing letters to confirm a common law marriage. (Assuming you even meet that). I'd honestly recommend marriage before applying, it'll smooth everything out on the visa side of things.


I'm female, and my partner is male, no kids. We aren't married at present, but we will be before we make the move, as 1) We want to anyway at some point 2) We were aware it'd make life easier for us given different nationalities. Right now we are just trying to get everything in order and getting informed - we are probably looking at making the move in about 2-3 years, once I've completed my uni work and my partner has more experience in the industry.

Income levels determine everything in Singapore for foreigners: Which passes you get, how likely your DPs or LTVPs are to be approved, and later your chances for PR.

Don't even think about PR until you've been here long enough to have at least three tax statements unless you both get P1 passes.


Noted. The positions my partner would be applying for seem to offer about $3.8-$4k per month (Q1?), though we had to really dig to get figures as most jobs don't advertise a salary ("salary commensurate with qualifications"). He might (quite likely since he is due for promotion) also be a level higher by the time we actually seriously make moves to relocate which would put him round about $4.5k (P2?) as far as we can tell.

For state school positions, the MOE simply says foreign teachers will be receive salary commensurate with their qualifications, Teachers recruited domestcially get $2.5 to $3k for undergraduate qualified staff, so I would guess those with MAs would be around $3k to $3.5k. I think those recruited directly from abroad are slightly higher, but the MOE does not disclose the amount before you apply ("salary commensurate with qualifications" - seems to be something of a motto in Singaporean HR offices)

Both MA educated in the UK at Russell Group unis (UCL for me, Newcastle for Partner). I'm still at uni but obviously will have graduated at the time we hope to move.

Race is definitely factored, nothing in Singapore is race-blind. Your citizenship doesn't matter at all, just your race. Chinese Malaysians get favorable treatment to enhance their approval chances, not sure about Malay. Indians get negative treatment. Caucasians positive, but not quite as positive as a Chinese Malaysian.


Sundaymorningstaple wrote:Permit wise, you get an Employment Pass like anybody else who comes to this island to work. The level of Pass will be dependent on your salary & qualifications and not your ethnicity or nationality.

This is not the same however, when it come to applying for PR. As noted, Malaysian Chinese are the flavour of the month with any Chinese that may be an ABC, BBC or CBC. PRC's on the other hand are not particularly welcome at the moment. You ideally will have been here for two years before applying for PR with three years being better (3 tax Singapore tax assessments are requested with the application) however, If both qualify (unofficially) and desired Chinese, you could probably run with 2 years.


This is where our life gets interesting. As a UK citizen, obviously I don't have any documents giving an "official" race - but for all intents and purposes I'm of mixed European ancestry (predominantly Roma, British and Spanish - there is some Javanese ancestry as well, but it's historical and not in immediate family)

My partner is classed officially as Bumiputra on his MyKad (Malaysian ID) but is actually Eurasian with mixed Chinese, European and Indian ancestry. His family name is European, since his fathers side has the European ancestry.

SMS, what's ABC, BBC, CBC? I thought I knew most of the weird abbreviations in SG, but it seems I still have some way to go #-o

The only thing I can offer that may be of assistance to your situation on employment. I know that the British Council pays English teachers very well. I know a local who makes almost enough that she would qualify for a P1. She also mentioned foreigners make even more, and they pay for relocation. Maybe you could investigate that.


Thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely look into that. Fingers crossed their projects won't fall foul of the budgetary axe being wielded back in London.

And on an episode of "House Hunters", some hispanic guy from the US got a really nice job with private condo paid for. That's all I can offer on this topic :D


House Hunters - it's the new HDB - the one-stop-shop for all your housing needs :lol:

Sundaymorningstaple wrote:Is citizenship worth it? Pros & Cons. I don't think the Pros outweigh the Cons or vice versa. It would be up to the individuals. Obviously if you are ethnic Chinese, assimilation would be a lot easier and you would feel very much at home. For someone like me? Well, I've been here donkey's years and I still don't feel at home. Each to there own, I guess.


Yep, there's a load of "soft"/emotional/personal issues involved there, and certainly it's aiming so far in the future as to not be a real issue for us now, but I just wanted to get an overall picture really - still early days for us. I was mainly thinking of any practical advantages, like the changes to healthcare provision and stuff like that - and I was thinking also long term that if everything pans out OK of ensuring a bit of security in retirement and so on. (I.e. not getting kicked out if your pension doesn't meet some arbitrary income level, or mess up some ethnic quota target or *insert random policy change here*)

Aiyah!
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun, 22 Apr 2012

Postby Aiyah! » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 7:49 pm

ecureilx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Please post the link.


link none - years ago, I used to stay in JTC, Last year, when I went to get a new rental, was told the supply is cut. And the managing agents, EM Services, have told two of my friends renting under the EM Services rental scheme too that there will be no renewal.

Corresponds with the JTC site now perpetually showing no units for lease, even during their normal release for rental periods - 1st of the month and 15th of the month ...

Understood it as the post election effect of natives going vocal on the rental 'special' scheme for foreigners which was construed as subsidised rental (and it was cheaper than market rate, that's for sure .. ) and also natives noting the space in Toa Payoh and AMK and seeing it as space that should be given to locals under the HDB direct rental for low income earners.


I did not JTC website keeps showing nothing available and wondered if this is what was happening. If this is the case it's a real shame as the SHiFT was a decent programme, though given the recent climate not entirely unexpected.

So the JTC flats are/were in Toa Payoh and AMK? That's a pretty sweet location for the price. I was imagining Jurong West / Timbuktu.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 8:06 pm

Don't worry about documentation on your race. They'll just look at you. They can be pragmatic like that :) Caucasian will be an asset. I'm not sure on Malay. From what I gather, Malay gets a slight benefit. I sometimes detect hints of a small Singaporean guilt complex, kind of like Native Americans and the former slave trade can elicit in the US. I'm likely wrong though.

Abc, bbc, CBC == American, British, Canadian born Chinese

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34794
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 9:18 pm

ABC = American or Australian Born Chinese. Us Yanks tend to forget about our down under brothers! :cool:

Aiyah!
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun, 22 Apr 2012

Postby Aiyah! » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:59 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Don't worry about documentation on your race. They'll just look at you. They can be pragmatic like that :) Caucasian will be an asset. I'm not sure on Malay. From what I gather, Malay gets a slight benefit. I sometimes detect hints of a small Singaporean guilt complex, kind of like Native Americans and the former slave trade can elicit in the US. I'm likely wrong though.


LOL! I imagine gahmen just loves that comparison :twisted:

See your point though, will bear all in mind.


[/quote]Abc, bbc, CBC == American, British, Canadian born Chinese[/quote]

Ah, I was in the right ballpark then, I was thinking of the news networks
:lol:

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 9:32 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:ABC = American or Australian Born Chinese. Us Yanks tend to forget about our down under brothers! :cool:


Meh, they're covered by 'British' :twisted:

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9810
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 9:51 am

Aiyah! wrote:So the JTC flats are/were in Toa Payoh and AMK? That's a pretty sweet location for the price. I was imagining Jurong West / Timbuktu.


JTC apartments were spread all over, from Woodlands to Tampines to Jurong West to Bukit Merah and all over .. not any specific area, except the Toa Payoh blocks which were upgrading blocks so two whole blocks were rented through Shift / EM Service.

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby carteki » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 3:20 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Abc, bbc, CBC == American, British, Canadian born Chinese


Now what happens if the person in question is Taiwanese? ABT?

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34794
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 3:42 pm

Still Chinese, what!


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “PR, Citizenship, Passes & Visas for Foreigners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest