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My Chinese gf's company is tranfering her to Singapore?

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My Chinese gf's company is tranfering her to Singapore?

Postby whiteboy » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 12:56 am

First off, hello everyone my name is Robert. I'm new to this site.

My Chinese gf will be transferred from Beijing to Singapore for her work sometime this year and she wants me to come to Singapore to live there with her.

I have experience teaching English for almost 4 yrs in China. I also have experience as an app tester for Lionbridge (a partner of Microsoft). I used to live with her there in Beijing. I'm currently in the US now because I needed a break from the pollution. The pollution there was just way too terrible.

What I'm worried about is I don't have a college degree. I have done some research about Singapore and most people say that a college degree is needed, while some people say it is possible to teach at private language centers without one?

I taught at private English centers and kindergartens in China without a degree, but they would always help me out with my visa situation. I'm wondering if this is possible in Singapore? I have read that you can't get what is called (correct me if I'm wrong) the "S Pass" without a degree right? Are there ways around this?

Maybe I could do an app testing job...unless those require a degree as well?

I don't want to just be a bum at home, while my gf works. If I had no other options, maybe I could teach privately there? I know that would be illegal, but I'm trying to find a way to work legally there without a degree. She wants me to go there soon...not after 2 years until I have a degree.

Maybe if she got citizenship there and we got married, then more opportunities would open up for me?

Anyway, I don't know much about Singapore, but it seems like a fascinating and beautiful place to live.

I would appreciate help and suggestions from the Singapore expats/experts on here.

Best Regards,

Robert

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Re: My Chinese gf's company is tranfering her to Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:34 am

Hi Robert, welcome to the forum.
You don’t necessarily need a college degree to work in SG. Refer...
http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/ ... tions.aspx

‘Similarly, applicants who do not possess an acceptable qualification may not necessarily be rejected for Employment Pass. MOM will consider, on a case-by-case basis, applicants with proven track records and exceptional skills-set, but who may not have the qualifications required by the enhanced Employment Pass framework.’

Plenty of very successful people (Richard Branson, Bill Gates etc) never went to college and/or graduated. Likewise SG recognises there are non-standard avenues to success.

Yes many people with degrees will insist one is needed, but maybe this is in part to shore up their belief that their own 3+ years often wasted getting one/many was in some way more significant than it is. Anyway, I digress. But yes perhaps to be an educator they expect you to establish that you are educated, I don’t know. I would have though, that having EFL qualifications would perhaps be of greater use than a likely unrelated degree.

Check the above linked site re: requirements for various passes, including the S-Pass. And check the job-listings for jobs and their requirements in the Testing field.

I suspect teaching privately might not be an option, unless you set a fully-legit company. SG and ‘casual work’ especially by foreigners, do not go together.

Citizenship and marriage would probably alter things significantly, (doubly so if she started popping out male babies). If your GF had citizenship then you would be entitled to apply for an ‘LTVP+’, this is residency ‘+’ a right to work. Check out www.ica.gov.sg for more on how that works.

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Postby whiteboy » Thu, 23 Jan 2014 2:40 am

Hello JR, nice to meet you and thanks for the reply. Well, my gf and I plan to get married and we could do that in Singapore I guess, but I want to kind of live there for a little while to see if I even like it there. I'm sure I will like it. It seems like a very interesting place.

I will probably just go over there with a long term tourist visa. Is it possible to get a 1 year tourist visa for Singapore? I was able to get a year long tourist visa for China on two occasions no problem. I can also make sure I have a lot of money saved up before I go over there, because I hear it is kind of expensive there?

If I can't get a job at all without a degree and I fail to pass that one test, I guess I would have to get married with her much sooner. If we did get married, you mentioned that I would probably gain the privilege to work legally?

I read on this other forum about one foreigner wanting to marry another foreigner in Singapore and someone replied to her saying that she would only gain the right to work legally through marriage if her spouse was either from Malaysia or China? Is it easier for Chinese to gain citizenship and other things in Singapore than say someone from the US? I will research more on that link you sent me. So I guess even without a degree, I would possibly be able to work legally if I were married to a citizen there? I just wonder if it is easy for foreigners to get non-teaching jobs there? In China, it is really difficult to find work other than teaching English. I was lucky finding that app testing job.

My last question is a little off topic, so I apologize. My gf has an autistic child and she wants me to help her research into autistic schools/centers in Singapore. Is Singapore a good place for children with autism to get educated? I'm assuming it has to be better than Beijing. The autism programs in China are terrible and that is another reason she wants to leave Beijing. I will also research this in detail on my own. Just thought I would ask on here anyway.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 23 Jan 2014 9:16 am

Hi WB,

Wow, that’s a lot of interdependent-type macro issues that you raise. I’ll have a shot at answering some of them.

If you met your GF in China, and are now in separate countries, and now planning to move to a 3rd, that’s a hell of a lot of change for any family, never mind a ‘family unit’ just starting out. So yes I think you are perhaps most wise to try and get time in SG, to take a breath, and re-review your position (not ‘reconsider it’, but consider you, her and your planned for life together).

It is an interesting place, but it also very small. That’s one reason it is pretty expensive, there is huge demand on land, and that feeds up into the price of everything. Despite that, an awful lot of people want to come and live here. As a result the ability to effectively live here (‘12 months as a tourist’) whilst being economically unproductive isn’t going to fly. Note: the average tourist here stays just 2.5 days.

Also note that on a tourist visa you’d be restricted to staying in a hotel, and for 12 months, phew!!

‘If we did get married, you mentioned that I would probably gain the privilege to work legally?’ . That would be if she already has citizenship, and not if you both simply come here as (essentially) tourists and get married. That confers nil rights at all, or half the world would be trying it on.

re: the other forum. I don’t understand the point being paid, there are way too many possibilities as to what that writer actually was trying to say (if they were making a valid point at all).

SG does welcome new migrants, and there is a very complex, unpublished, and shifting set of criteria as to who might be favoured by the process. The observer can really only try and glean the criteria by reading reports of people who are going through the application process at the current time.

SG, US vs CN, and citizenship. That would depend entirely on the skills that you bring. And many other factors (age, education, etc etc)

I don’t know a single expat English teacher on this forum, AFAIK people here who are in local employment are all in the private sector.

re: Autism. This has been discussed before. Try searching via the search box (top right on this page) and see what you come up with.

Good luck!

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 23 Jan 2014 9:25 am

I think it needs to be underlined that SG favours people who will arrive and 'add to the economy'. You are proposing something that I think will be a real challenge.

- More standard scenarios tend to involve foreigners who already live here, wishing to marry locals.
- Two foreigners who both work here, getting married here.
etc

You won't get any form of residency/tenure just by flying here and getting married.

I'm not sure what others here think, but I'm wondering if it might be better you getting married in one of your home countries. Setting up initially there, then seeking to get an employment offer that would facilitate a move to SG.

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Postby AngMoG » Thu, 23 Jan 2014 9:34 am

Just to chime in on some of the issues raised here:
- Your gf can apply for citizenship after having been PR for a while. She could get PR after a few years (min. 3 normally), and then after her first renewal or so (another 5 years down the road) apply for citizenship. So you are looking at a time frame of about 8 years, maybe a bit less.
- Whether your gf is PR or citizen, you marrying her gives you the right to stay, but not necessarily to work. Spouses of citizens can be granted LTVP+ according to certain fuzzy criteria (see ICA website), which confers the right to work. But that's at the discretion of ICA.
- Unmarried, you will be able to stay here as a tourist while looking for work. You cannot do that for very long - you can legally extend your tourist visa, and leave the country for a few days to come back, but either can only be done a few times before ICA will stop you. How long is anyone's guess, as there are no hard criteria.
- You do not have to stay in a hotel, you can stay with your gf while you are here (if her landlord allows this - depends on what she is renting).

Re:jobs...
- English is an official language here in Singapore, so your competition is going to be tough, though there are also enough foreigners taking lessons.. At the very least, you should have TEFL or some comparable qualification I think.
- Software testing is a job with low skill requirements. This may make it a bit difficult to secure a work visa, as the MoM may consider that these jobs can be done by locals. I would think many testers would have at least a BSc, putting you a bit at a disadvantage.

Re:marriage
Don't rush the marriage. As JR8 pointed out, this move will put some stress on your relationship to begin with. My advice is, don't get married just because of the visa. That being said, getting married in Singapore is very easy and hassle-free.

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Postby PNGMK » Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:49 am

I'm going to be really blunt. There's plenty of Chinese floosies around without all the complication (and probably impossibilities) of what you're proposing.

My take is that you'd have more success if your gf used Singapore as a stepping stone to YOUR own country or just waited a short while until she has polished up her resume enough to get a job in your home country.

For some reason ICA is not keen on 'kept men' and that's basically what you'd be.

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Postby triste » Thu, 23 Jan 2014 5:11 pm

AngMoG wrote:Just to chime in on some of the issues raised here:
- Your gf can apply for citizenship after having been PR for a while. She could get PR after a few years (min. 3 normally), and then after her first renewal or so (another 5 years down the road) apply for citizenship. So you are looking at a time frame of about 8 years, maybe a bit less.
- Whether your gf is PR or citizen, you marrying her gives you the right to stay, but not necessarily to work. Spouses of citizens can be granted LTVP+ according to certain fuzzy criteria (see ICA website), which confers the right to work. But that's at the discretion of ICA.
- Unmarried, you will be able to stay here as a tourist while looking for work. You cannot do that for very long - you can legally extend your tourist visa, and leave the country for a few days to come back, but either can only be done a few times before ICA will stop you. How long is anyone's guess, as there are no hard criteria.
- You do not have to stay in a hotel, you can stay with your gf while you are here (if her landlord allows this - depends on what she is renting).

Re:jobs...
- English is an official language here in Singapore, so your competition is going to be tough, though there are also enough foreigners taking lessons.. At the very least, you should have TEFL or some comparable qualification I think.
- Software testing is a job with low skill requirements. This may make it a bit difficult to secure a work visa, as the MoM may consider that these jobs can be done by locals. I would think many testers would have at least a BSc, putting you a bit at a disadvantage.

Re:marriage
Don't rush the marriage. As JR8 pointed out, this move will put some stress on your relationship to begin with. My advice is, don't get married just because of the visa. That being said, getting married in Singapore is very easy and hassle-free.


OP, I am on a LTVP and the above post rings 100% true for me. Everything in your original post is going to be much harder going than you seem to think. Citizenship for your GF is going to take years and years and may not happen at all. You will not be able to just bum around on the couch while making visa runs for long. And even if you married in one of your own countries prior to arriving, you likely won't get LTVP+ for at least 3 years or until you have a (preferably male) child. The rules for LTVP+ (the one that confers right to work) are not published as AngMog pointed out, but that is prevailing wisdom and what an ICA officer unofficially told my spouse when asked. well, the ICA officer didn't say "preferably male", but "usually 3 years" or child, yes.

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Postby whiteboy » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:26 am

Once again, thank you everyone for all the replies.

I want to make clear that I don't plan to marry my gf right away just to be able to stay in the country legally. We have been planning to get married for a while, but the process for her to come to the US to marry me takes like a year. She also would rather live in Asia as it would be closer to her family that will remain in China. She wants to leave BJ asap because the autism "school" her son attends might be abusing him. Her mom brought him home one day and he had bruises all over his body. The teacher gave some bs reason for his bruises as the result of a P.E. activity. I could explain the story, but that would take forever. Long story short, she wants to get out much sooner because she already tried other schools and they aren't helping him as well. China isn't really the ideal place for an autistic child. I know that Singapore isn't really either, but it can't possibly be worse than China. No way.

Also, her child is a male...does that help at all or do we have to have a child between us that is male as well?

Anyway, I don't want to bother marrying her in China and we both just want to move to Singapore and get married.

So if she goes to Singapore through her company and they have her on a work visa or help her get her citizenship there, would marrying her alone make it so I could stay there on something other than a tourist visa?

I have no plans to be lazy and hangout on the couch all day, while she works. That isn't fair at all.

I assume that being married would help me get jobs more easily (at least a little) because the employer would see my living situation as stable (unlike if I were just a tourist still)?

I won't have a degree, but I would be willing to take a TEFL course to at least have that under my belt. My friend took a really cheap TEFL course in Cambodia. Maybe I could go there for that or just take a course online? Would being married to a Chinese woman in the process of getting her citizenship help at all or do we really need to wait 3 yrs? I hope that isn't the situation...because that sure is bleak.

I assume that getting married BEFORE I try to get a job as a tourist without a degree would make more sense, but is this possible?

If marriage and gaining the legal right to stay there isn't years away, there must be some private language schools there that don't always require a degree? Or maybe would be alright hiring someone with a TEFL/married to a citizen instead of having a degree?

I know this won't be easy...but I'm hoping that it isn't impossible.

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Postby BoroBoy » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 4:48 am

You need to just do some reading by yourself before putting your hopes in random assumptions. I'd say your hopes were slim to none. Do you like her that much? Probably not if you can leave her in the pollution that you think is too disgusting for you to breath..

r.e. autism: there is very good care in Singapore, but its very expensive, dont expect much for less than $70 an hour.

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Postby AngMoG » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 9:19 am

whiteboy,

you need to get that "married to a citizen" out of your head, for now. That is up to 8 years away, or even longer. It is certainly nothing you can rely on for now. Even her getting PR is a couple of years away. Having a male child and being Chinese helps, I think. That may shave a few (!) years off.

As long as you are married and your (then) wife earns at least $4000 on EP (current numbers), you can stay here on LTVP or DP (google it). But, if you are not married, it can get tricky, though from what I have heard recently you may want to try getting the assistance of the US embassy in Singapore on this.

Singapore is mainly Chinese, so I am not sure why you would expect that autistic children are treated much better. If you want that, frankly, you have to move to Europe or US/Canada/Australia.

Take the TEFL course and most importantly the exam. It does not matter where, just that you have it. Remember, you are competing with a lot of locals who can do the job just as easily. And you need some kind of qualification to show to MoM.

Getting married or not, being on LTVP vs tourist will not make any difference in your job hunt, as you would still need the same visa to work, that the company may or may not be able to obtain for you. (You need to be in SG though and have a local address and phone number.) The only (slight) difference is if you manage to be on DP, as then you could work on LOC basis (check MoM website for details). But even that is not guaranteed, and you would need to explain the LOC thing to many potential employers.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 4:29 pm

Having a male child helps with PR/citizenship applications because they are eager to get cannon fodder (i.e. recruits for national service, which is compulsory for male PRs/citizens).
I suspect that having a child that is male, but disabled and thus will neither do national service nor ever contribute to the Singapore economy will not achieve the same, but on the contrary make achieving PR/citizenship more difficult.
In any case, as other posters have pointed out, getting PR/citizenship is not a short-term solution.

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Postby PNGMK » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 4:41 pm

Marry her and bring her to the US. That's by far the quickest way to be with her. It will take 12 to 24 months. I have a good immigration attorney here who can help. Alternatively ask her to migrate to Canada - the waiting is not too long and you can go up there and work easily.

Singapore will not work as a stepping stone in this case, there's just too many ifs. Can she get a posting in a easier country for you to work in? Europe or or the UK?

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Postby whiteboy » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 11:50 pm

BoroBoy wrote:You need to just do some reading by yourself before putting your hopes in random assumptions. I'd say your hopes were slim to none. Do you like her that much? Probably not if you can leave her in the pollution that you think is too disgusting for you to breath..

r.e. autism: there is very good care in Singapore, but its very expensive, dont expect much for less than $70 an hour.


Well isn't this quite the assumption. For your information, the pollution is terrible and it was causing me serious health problems. My gf even agreed that I should just return to the US to gain my health back. So it wasn't like I left her behind. Have you even been to Beijing before? It is ridiculous.

Anyway, we obviously have plans to live together again.

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Postby whiteboy » Fri, 24 Jan 2014 11:54 pm

AngMoG wrote:whiteboy,

you need to get that "married to a citizen" out of your head, for now. That is up to 8 years away, or even longer. It is certainly nothing you can rely on for now. Even her getting PR is a couple of years away. Having a male child and being Chinese helps, I think. That may shave a few (!) years off.

As long as you are married and your (then) wife earns at least $4000 on EP (current numbers), you can stay here on LTVP or DP (google it). But, if you are not married, it can get tricky, though from what I have heard recently you may want to try getting the assistance of the US embassy in Singapore on this.

Singapore is mainly Chinese, so I am not sure why you would expect that autistic children are treated much better. If you want that, frankly, you have to move to Europe or US/Canada/Australia.

Take the TEFL course and most importantly the exam. It does not matter where, just that you have it. Remember, you are competing with a lot of locals who can do the job just as easily. And you need some kind of qualification to show to MoM.

Getting married or not, being on LTVP vs tourist will not make any difference in your job hunt, as you would still need the same visa to work, that the company may or may not be able to obtain for you. (You need to be in SG though and have a local address and phone number.) The only (slight) difference is if you manage to be on DP, as then you could work on LOC basis (check MoM website for details). But even that is not guaranteed, and you would need to explain the LOC thing to many potential employers.


Well I know that Singapore is mostly Chinese, but Singapore is a first world country unlike China. I thought this would mean better treatment. I also know that Europe or the US would provide way better care for an autistic child than anywhere in Asia. The issue is that my gf wants to live somewhere in Asia, so that visiting her family once a year is much cheaper and easier to do. I could always try to talk her into transferring somewhere in Europe, because I would rather be there. Thankfully, her company has a lot of international branches, so there are other options.


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