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Ridonkulous Experience Getting D Pass...

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colio
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Ridonkulous Experience Getting D Pass...

Postby colio » Sun, 10 Mar 2013 11:20 pm

Just had the most ridonkulous experience getting D passes for my wife & kids. Everyone has told me this is an easy process that should only have taken at max, 7 days but usually only 2-3 days.. but 4 weeks later, we are only just at the end of this process! In the meantime, my daughter has been unable to attend school (even though we have paid her full term at Stamford International America School) so I am literally paying a good deal over $S100 a day for nothing!

In brief, here is what happened..

Some months ago my company asked our local Singapore law firm whether they could assist me with my visa applications. They said sure, they do this all the time for many of their other clients. So the lawyer called me & told me what needed to be done.. he sent me all the forms & told me what details I needed to produce. For my own Employment Pass, the whole procedure took around 4 weeks before approval. I didn't think much of it at the time as people were saying it could take anywhere between 1-5 weeks. Since then, many of my expat friends have told me that it took no more than 1-2 weeks to get their employment passes using a local visa agency.

Anyway, after I got my E Pass, I then proceeded to apply for my wife & kids D passes. I did this about 2 weeks before I left Australia. Apart from the fact that the law firm submitted the forms 3 days after they received them, for which they gave no real explanation other than "we were busy", I didn't think too much of it believing the passes would be approved when we arrived in SG.

When we did arrive, I receive an email from my HR Dept saying that MOM sent the applications back because we had used the wrong forms Argh?!! What?? I couldn't believe it.. the law firm had sent us the wrong forms.. so just under 2 weeks wasted I asked the law firm what they were going to do & what was the fastest way we could get the application done. They told me they would contact MOM & see how to expedite. A day later they came back saying that they needed to apply for a PIN for EPOL & we needed to sign a letter allowing them to do this!! They said the PIN would take a few days to receive after which they would submit online & at the earliest MOM would take 7 days to revert. What??? You don't have a PIN already?? But you said you did this all the time, what are you actually doing??

Essentially it came out that the law firm was adding absolutely no value whatsoever apart from "checking" the forms that we signed. Bl**dy use that was since they sent us the wrong forms in the first place. And then all they were doing were submitting the forms manually themselves!! Arrghhhh!! Absolutely couldn't believe it.. it was nearly 2 weeks since we arrived which meant my daughter was out of school for those whole 2 weeks.

After asking the law firm how they represented their capabilities to our company, surprise surprise, the lawyer calls & advises that they would "bow out", that I could use a local agency & they wouldn't charge my company for the D pass application! Basically they were called out & didn't want to lose our company as a client. Great.. no use for me personally as we had wasted so much time & I was back at square one.

I contacted a local Visa agency & they said they could have approval in 2 days, 7 at the very worst. Their charges were 1/5th of what the law firm were going to charge me. So we decided to go with them.

But the craziness doesn't stop there.. we send scans of all our passports, birth certs for kids & marriage cert for wife to the agency. They call us & say, oh, we noticed that your wife's name on her marriage certificate is different from her passport. I'm thinking "derr" of course, as when she got married that was her maiden name! All Australian marriage certificates are like that. But the agent says, MOM will reject it, instead they want us to go to the Australian Embassy to get a letter that states that my wife is the same person on the marriage certificate. I'm like what???! I call other expat Aussie friends & ask them & they said that they never heard of this. I call the agent & they said, yes MOM changed their procedures several months ago & this is what is now needed. They said the embassy should give us a letter & that this should be pretty quick.

By this time I'm just desperate to get everything sorted, so I take the family & we go to the Embassy. We get there & ask for the letter.. the people at the embassy are shocked.. they've never ever been asked for this before.. they confirm all Australian marriage certs are like that! I say I'm shocked because if MOM changed their procedures months ago, am sure thousands of Aussies have come to Singapore since then & surely at least 1 person has asked for this if not 100's!! I call the agency & tell them what the embassy say, but they insist we need it! So we get a Stat dec done & stamped (which really isn't the embassy confirming anything but we this is a lengthy topic in itself) & send to the agent.

We think everything is fine until I get a call saying that my passport & my daughter's birth certs are different!! Basically on my recent passport I chose to also include my Chinese name (I'm Asian Australian) but in the past didn't use it for other documents.. in Australia this is optional. So to cut a long story a little shorter, off I march to the embassy again!!!!

Other smaller complexities & annoyances also involved in this long & ridonkulous experience but I have outlined the major things that happened.

Anyway, still haven't got the passes approved but the agent believes should be done by mid this week at the latest..

Ridonkulous huh??!!

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Postby bioshock » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 12:01 am

Dear Colio,


Looking at the thread, I suspect that the issue is that your wife's name on the marriage certificate and the passport is different, and that raised quite a few flags. Don't get too worried, it is just a matter of policy.

Do exactly what the authorities are telling you and it should be fine.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 8:46 am

bioshock, wasn't that a brilliant reply! We already know that. #-o

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Postby colio » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:14 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:bioshock, wasn't that a brilliant reply! We already know that. #-o


hahah.. thanks SMS.. & yes thanks Captain Obvious (bioshock) :)

Just FYI, every single marriage certificate in Australia is exactly the same.. no marriage certificate shows a wife's married name.. so how come no other Aussie had this issue? That was my implied question...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:57 am

I honestly don't know the answer to that one, but I would suspect that someone has recently scammed the ICA somehow and with egg on their faces, they are now resorting to this silliness of which one is just going to have to deal with. Another way to give FT a rough time to make it harder to come here?

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Postby bioshock » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 12:32 pm

Dear Colio,

Has anyone actually asked you to provide a Deed Poll to explain the change in name?

You may want to consider preparing the Deed Poll; both the original and as well as a notarized copy; just in case. You can get any public notary or lawyer to notarize it.

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Postby colio » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 1:08 pm

bioshock

I don't think you understand.. there is no need to have a deedpoll.. in Australia you can change names after you get married but you don't have to. Her passport already has her married name.

I have a statutory declaration signed & stamped by the Australian embassy so that should be enough, but again the question.. no one else in Australia has had to do this & every marriage certificate is exactly the same.

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Postby colio » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 1:10 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I honestly don't know the answer to that one, but I would suspect that someone has recently scammed the ICA somehow and with egg on their faces, they are now resorting to this silliness of which one is just going to have to deal with. Another way to give FT a rough time to make it harder to come here?


Hmm.. could be but not really a harder time to come to SG. Just another step really.. a big hassle but not insurmountable. We now have their passes fully approved.. thank goodness!

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Postby Mi Amigo » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 2:02 pm

Hi colio, glad to hear you got things straightened out in the end. I'm just curious as to why your company didn't (albeit via the expensive and useless lawyers) apply for your EP and DPs at the same time? That's what I had my employer do when I first came here, as I wanted to be sure that there wouldn't be any problem for the whole family to move here. Any particular reason why the DP applications were done afterwards?

btw, I love the word ridonkulous - I'd never heard of it until now, but I googled it and it seems it's used quite a lot on the internet these days.
Be careful what you wish for

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 2:42 pm

Mi Amigo, I did the same thing. When he first posted, I'm thinking, FT? WTF?

After googling Urban Dictionary, I learned sumtin' new! ;-)

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 3:27 pm

Yup, very common among us yuppies these day. Just like the word 'ginormous'.

http://www.urbandictionary.com

You're welcome.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 3:34 pm

ginormous as been around long enough that even gramps uses it. :cool:

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Postby movingtospore » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 9:11 pm

Welcome to Singapore, you have received your first taste of the ever-changing and somewhat mystifying but oh so strict rules.

colio
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Postby colio » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 9:15 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:Hi colio, glad to hear you got things straightened out in the end. I'm just curious as to why your company didn't (albeit via the expensive and useless lawyers) apply for your EP and DPs at the same time? That's what I had my employer do when I first came here, as I wanted to be sure that there wouldn't be any problem for the whole family to move here. Any particular reason why the DP applications were done afterwards?

btw, I love the word ridonkulous - I'd never heard of it until now, but I googled it and it seems it's used quite a lot on the internet these days.


Mi Amigo.. thanks..

Well, our ever so "useful" law firm told me that I couldn't do this.. that I had to get the E Pass first & then apply for the D pass.. the fact that you can apply for both at once is news to me.. another reason to be gnash my teeth at the law firm!!

And no problem about the new term.. thought it was already widely used.. maybe just back in Oz..

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Postby colio » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 9:17 pm

Seems that I misspelled it though.. I've always spelled it ridonkulous, but Urban dictionary says Redonkulous.. which is weird as the origin is the word ridiculous.. how ridonkulous, or redonkulous!! :P


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