Singapore Expats Forum

Employment pass temporary business visit SG + conviction?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

hellogoodbye
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri, 20 Dec 2013

Employment pass temporary business visit SG + conviction?

Postby hellogoodbye » Fri, 20 Dec 2013 6:12 am

Hi there, as you can see i'm a newbie over here :oops:

My current employer asked me to work in Singapore for a period of 4 weeks.
I just received the application from my employer and I started to fill everything in.

Actually, I didn't realize that I would need a visa for working in Singapore for a short period and for the same company as I work now for.

In part 8 they ask the question if I have ever been convicted in a court of law in any country.
Well I have, in 2010. I got caught in a store with the wrong people at the wrong time. I got convicted in Europe and did 60hrs of community service.

I am wondering, is there any chance I will get the Employment pass or is it not worth trying to apply for it? Of course all I want to be is honest, so if there is no chance I will get it I will not continue with the application.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by hellogoodbye on Wed, 22 Jan 2014 2:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34339
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 20 Dec 2013 6:55 am

While it's not "spent" and will still appear on your record, I wouldn't, as long as you are forthcoming about it, worry too much. Yes, it might bounce the visa application, but again, it might not. One thing is for sure, if you don't apply you will not get the visa. If you do apply, there is still the change you won't get the visa, but there is also a chance you might. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Example. I went bankrupt in 1973 after being wiped out of business by Hurrican Agnes and a divorce in the same year. (under the old laws in the US - bad news). Thereafter, once a year I would apply for an AMEX & VISA cards. Once a year I'd get a rejection letter from each of them. This went on until 1979. That year, I was issued both cards. Had I gave out after the first couple, three rejections, I'd have always have a problem with credit. But persistence pays off. You might have to lose a couple of times but eventually you will win again. Once is all it takes. Go for it.

hellogoodbye
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri, 20 Dec 2013

Postby hellogoodbye » Fri, 20 Dec 2013 6:25 pm

Thanks for your advice sundaymorningstaple. I understand your point.
I did not spend any time in Prison. I just wanted to calculate my chances since they need me there latest end of January 2014. So if it is impossible to get the EP I will just decline the offer. My employer does know about the conviction so they were aware that this might be a problem for the application.

I am guessing that once they see a form where there is filled in "yes" at the question about the conviction they'll start a long research and it will take much more longer than usually?

Does anybody know if I absolutely need the visa to work for the same company I work for right now. Maybe there is an exception because it is not long term and I am not planning to move there. It is support overseas for a period of 4 weeks.

Thanks!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34339
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 20 Dec 2013 10:47 pm

You will need a working visa in any case. That much I can confirm. The odds are if the VISA is applied for say for a three month maximum duration, it would probably not really be a problem. You will have more problem with the criteria than in a conviction that didn't result in Jail time. This should be spelt out at some point in the application. Good Luck.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34339
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:07 pm

Update to my last post.

You might be able to qualify for this:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... fault.aspx
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Sat, 21 Dec 2013 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Beeroclock
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu, 31 Oct 2013

Postby Beeroclock » Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:41 pm

Sms, I've seen people in similar situations using visit pass. I think if asked they would describe the activity as business meeting, training etc rather than "support work". Of course they would not be paid any income in Singapore. Is this really illegal? The visit pass does allow entry for business or professional purposes. Seems a grey area between business trip and work, but perhaps 4 weeks is a stretch.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10472
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 21 Dec 2013 1:04 am

Beeroclock wrote:Sms, I've seen people in similar situations using visit pass. I think if asked they would describe the activity as business meeting, training etc rather than "support work". Of course they would not be paid any income in Singapore. Is this really illegal? The visit pass does allow entry for business or professional purposes. Seems a grey area between business trip and work, but perhaps 4 weeks is a stretch.


It's not particularly legal and lots of business is conducted this way. I've seen this lots of times... a MNC brings in talent from another country to work with a special client, or flies in people for developing the next 5 year budget cycle, or flies in an infrastructure architect from the US for a big proposal or flies someone in to do damage control.

They get a bog standard 30 or 90 day visa, stay in a hotel, and do their work at corporate headquarters. This is actually incredibly common and one wonders how these companies would deal with it if every one to four week visit required the acquisition of a work permit. In a big company, on any given day, VP's fly in and out, tech people fly in and out, finance people fly in and out, global sales heads fly in and out.

And, I really don't get why the gahmen thinks a permit is needed. This is specialized, temporary work, so first of all, being able to quickly pick up that help in Singapore is next to impossible, second of all, it's not any kind of a permanent job, and third of all, there is no financial activity at all with respect to pay in Singapore.

hellogoodbye
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri, 20 Dec 2013

Postby hellogoodbye » Sat, 21 Dec 2013 1:17 am

Thank you for all your help!

I've called the Singapore embassy in Brussels today and the lady on the phone told me that I do not need a Visa to work in Singapore for 4 weeks. As long as I do not stay longer than 90 days there would be no problem.

I am a little scared to believe this, but on the other side it sounds quite logical what Strong Eagle is saying about it.
Maybe my employer does think I need the EP but actually it's not really necessary for this type of working in Singapore.

In my case I will fly over there and train a team in a store for 4 weeks. I will stay in a hotel and not in an apartment.
The store itself is located in Singapore but is an European company. I will not get paid in Singapore dollars but will get the same salary as I get over here. And since I am absolutely not planning to stay or live in Singapore I hope it will be possible without the EP.

Of course I will never be a 100% sure that I won't get any problems while working in the store or at the airport.

hellogoodbye
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri, 20 Dec 2013

Postby hellogoodbye » Sat, 21 Dec 2013 1:22 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Update to my last post.

You might be able to qualify for this:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Pages/default.aspx


Thank you! I tried to visit the link but I don't see any specific information. Just the main page of the MOM.

Beeroclock
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu, 31 Oct 2013

Postby Beeroclock » Sat, 21 Dec 2013 5:12 am

hellogoodbye wrote:Thank you for all your help!

I've called the Singapore embassy in Brussels today and the lady on the phone told me that I do not need a Visa to work in Singapore for 4 weeks. As long as I do not stay longer than 90 days there would be no problem.

I am a little scared to believe this, but on the other side it sounds quite logical what Strong Eagle is saying about it.
Maybe my employer does think I need the EP but actually it's not really necessary for this type of working in Singapore.

In my case I will fly over there and train a team in a store for 4 weeks. I will stay in a hotel and not in an apartment.
The store itself is located in Singapore but is an European company. I will not get paid in Singapore dollars but will get the same salary as I get over here. And since I am absolutely not planning to stay or live in Singapore I hope it will be possible without the EP.

Of course I will never be a 100% sure that I won't get any problems while working in the store or at the airport.

As per SE I've seen it many many times too. I would expect you should be fine but it will help substantially if you stop referring to it as "work" or "working in Singapore". This will be problematic. Much better to say You're coming here on a business visit for knowledge transfer and training purposes. You are not being paid wages or salary here and will be reimbursed for expenses etc by your overseas employer, right? This is happening 100's maybe even 1000's of times every day by very big companies on ordinary visit pass. I would be very surprised if any problem encountered if you describe your visit purpose carefully. If I were you I'd also get this properly cleared with your employer, make sure they agree with what you're doing based on your enquiries. At the end of the day they will get in big trouble too in the unlikely event there is a problem so it's better to make sure they agree at the start.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sat, 21 Dec 2013 9:24 am

I'm with Strong Eagle on this.

When I relocated from Tokyo to SG, I arrived on a regular SVP issued at Changi on arrival.

I started work the next day. During that first week my permanent work visa application was put together and submitted.

Colleagues would come over from other offices (NYC, London, Tokyo etc) to cover absent colleagues, or x-train new applications, and so on. I don't recall any talk of visas.

p.s. We had a whole bank of wired-up but empty/unused trading desks that served as a potential 'Disaster Recovery' location. Imagine the Tokyo office shutting due to an earthquake, and a dozen key traders need to relo immediately to SG. Step #1 - apply for visas? No, I don't think so!

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9247
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Tue, 24 Dec 2013 7:44 am

I checked with a friend of mine who used to work for a very big MNC and visited Singapore a few times (periods not exceeding few weeks) to solve productions problems, for discussions, meetings etc. As far as he remembers he entered as a business visitor and held some sort of green card. It was like 4-5y ago.

Actually MFA mentions that for such business trips a bit different procedure/documents are required (i.e.):
http://www.mfa.gov.sg/content/mfa/overs ... ments.html

For Business Travellers (attending business meeting/discussion/negotiation), the following are required:

Completed Form V39A (Letter of Introduction for Visa Application)
The Letter of Introduction must be completed by your local contact. The local contact must be a Singapore registered business entity. The person acting on behalf of the business entity must be either a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident
Computer printout of the Singapore registered entity's detailed business profile (showing the names of all directors/shareholders) from the Instant Information Service, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and printed within the last 3 months

If you are unable to provide a letter of introduction from a local contact, you
may approach your Embassy to issue you with a Letter of Introduction to
support your visa application

A letter from your employer to certify your employment status and the purpose of your trip to Singapore

hellogoodbye
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri, 20 Dec 2013

Postby hellogoodbye » Tue, 31 Dec 2013 4:06 am

Well, even though the embassy told me that I would not need the EP for the business trip, my employer did not wanted me to go without the visa. I can imagine they do not want to take the risk and the "grey area" between working and business or training related trips can cause big problems for me or my employer.

So, applying for the EP was the only option for me. I have been honest about my conviction on the forms and all I can do now is hoping that they would see this as a big problem.

Thanks for all the advice!

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:30 pm

hellogoodbye wrote:Well, even though the embassy told me that I would not need the EP for the business trip, my employer did not wanted me to go without the visa. I can imagine they do not want to take the risk and the "grey area" between working and business or training related trips can cause big problems for me or my employer.

So, applying for the EP was the only option for me. I have been honest about my conviction on the forms and all I can do now is hoping that they would see this as a big problem.

Thanks for all the advice!


The link in X9200's post above appears to refer to Business Visas for people from 'Assessment Level 1 and 2' [i.e. risk-on] countries. I have been unable to find a government website page that explains the requirements, if any, for business visitors from more everyday/stable countries, like say the EU/US/Aus-NZ. I.e. temporary business visits, that do not entail the subject being put onto local payroll. The idea of having to apply to MOM for a 'permanent' employee visa for a business trip it surely preposterous! What next, ten people visiting from the NYC and London offices for a conference, 'Do we have the Foreign Worker Quota, to get them all visas?'. Silly.

I can see that your employer perhaps 'doesn't want to take a risk', but I still can't see what business visa you are even eligible for!

bgd
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1203
Joined: Wed, 25 Jul 2007

Postby bgd » Tue, 31 Dec 2013 2:29 pm

Don’t know whether this is still the case but all our overseas colleagues visiting Sg required a visa. Not uncommon for their trips to be delayed because they didn’t provide the requested information in time.

This sort of thing is outsourced so that might influence things.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests