Monday, February 7, 2011

Singapore PR (Permanent Residency) rejected? What to do?

As we have written before Singapore PR approval criteria is tightened since 2009 and it got really hard to get Singapore PR recently. It seems like 2011 will also be tight and the criteria will stay tight for a while since Singapore public and government opinion is that in the past few years too many PRs are approved and a significant number of these does not have enough qualification to contribute to Singapore society. Also, financial crisis of 2008 shrinked qualified manpower requirement significantly.

What to do after rejection? The first thing you need to realize is that Singapore PR is there to enrich Singapore workforce with badly needed skills. So your PR application should show that you are a good candidate to contribute to Singapore. Second, even if you are actually someone with those badly needed skills, there is a quote based on total number of applications, race, industry, education level, etc. So if enough number of applicants are better qualified than you, your application would be rejected.

The first thing you can do after rejection is to appeal. But if you cannot demonstrate significant new facts or a material change in circumstance (i.e. a significant salary, job position or work pass upgrade) there is a little chance that your appeal will work. Some people appeal to ICA with a company support letter from their employer but this also does not have so much effect alone. Your appeal will probably go to the desk of the officer, who have rejected your application in the first place and well, put yourself in his shoes and think what would you do if you see an appeal which is done just to appeal.

What you should do is wait for at least 6 months (practically one year) and apply again. But occasionally, ICA (Immigration and Checkpoint Authority) will state a reapplication period, for example they say "reapply after 2 years". Unfortunately if this is the case, the best way to increase your approval chance in your next application is to wait for the stated period end.

Number of Singapore PRs approved per year (2001 - 2010)
Some people do the opposite and reapply PR 6 months later even if it is clearly stated that they should reapply 2 years later. What these people usually get is a rejection after a couple of months with the same statement to reapply 2 years later and extend the waiting period to 3 years!

Do not forget, there are a lot of people out there who applies for Singapore PR to have an extended and hussle free stay in Singapore without any intention to actually permanently reside in Singapore and integrate into Singapore society. You can see these kind of people 5 years after their application asking questions like "I got my PR 5 years ago and left for USA/Australia/bla bla and it is about to expire now can I extend it?" in forums. These people, called PR collectors, tend to fly away from Singapore to USA or Australia and behave their PR as a spring to jump to these countries.

So be sure that you improve your qualities to contribute to the society before applying again and try to do the following:

  1. Wait for the stated reapplication period! If ICA states that you should apply 1 year later they mean it and I do not think they will like to see your new application just 6 months later. This will just look desperate and what kind of benefit Singapore can have from a desperate person?

  2. Try to find a new job with increased salary, better work pass, a better position, etc.

  3. Do regular charity. Show that you are not a selfish foreigner just enjoying what Singapore gives and you actually care people here and contribute to the society.

  4. Have you ever paid tax before applying PR? If not wait for at least one tax payment before reapply. But I do not mean just paying a tax is a significant change in your qualifications and will significantly increase your chance. I always think paying tax in a country is a bond between you and that country and looks good in terms of your integration.

  5. Learn a local language, i.e. Chinese, and certify yourself with this language. Since virtually all Singaporeans speak English, most foreigners just waste this opportunity to learn a local language while surrounded with great practice chance! And it is also a significant sign that you are working hard to integrate into the society.

  6. Do not just socialize in the limited space of your homeland community. Socialize with locals, other foreigner groups.

  7. For more information google "Singapore PR rejected" and carefully read the advices of experienced residents of Singapores in the forums.

  8. Last but not the least do not make stupid comments about ICA, Singapore, ICA officers, etc. with your emotional mood after rejection! I see a lot of people doing this in their facebook pages, in forums, etc. Do not forget, world is small, Singapore is really small! 
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  2. It is better to prepare for applying Singapore PR well, than after rejection thinking what to do and what was the reason for rejection. There are plenty of publication, advice, interviews, which can help you to move in the right direction. And if you are not sure about your some point of eligibility, not risk. Try to improve yourself