Are you a Singaporean Citizen or Permanent Resident who is about to embark on the exciting process of applying for a permanent resident (PR) status for your foreign spouse? If so, this article will come in useful.
For one, if you are under the impression that your husband or wife will automatically be granted PR approval simply because you are a Singapore Citizen or PR, you should know that is untrue; unfortunately, it is a common misconception.
The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) evaluates each individual application based on specific criteria. These include, among other factors, the age of your spouse, if there are children, his or her income, the duration of your marriage, length of stay in Singapore, as well as whether you, the sponsor, are able to comfortably support your family financially.
Applying for Singapore PR for your spouse has become much more of an uphill task since 2009, when the Singapore government slashed the number of approvals given by a massive 50 per cent. The rising number of sham marriages for PR application purposes has also led to the amendment of the Immigration Act to make such marriages of convenience a criminal offence.
These and other factors have made it more challenging to ensure a successful PR application process in today’s climate. Which is why we’ve compiled a concise list of 5 Do’s and Don’ts you should consider when you apply for Singapore PR for your spouse.
Here are the 3 Do’s:
Do Make Sure All Documents Are in Order
Filing for PR is a rigorous process and applications have been known to be rejected based on poorly filed applications—not filling out sections correctly, missing out important data, providing inaccurate or outdated information that doesn’t correspond with the submitted documents. Your application could very well be thrown out if you fail to check off an important box!
So double-check, and triple-check if necessary, before submitting your application and make sure that all the necessary, and right, documents for both your spouse and you, the sponsor, are in order. Alternatively, let the experts at Immigrations Solutions do it for you.
Do Your Research
Aside from the websites of relevant government agencies such as the ICA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), you can also find useful information and gain valuable insight from various forums, website and online portals.
These avenues allow you to accumulate anecdotal information and learn about others’ experiences with the application process, as well as get handy tips and guidelines you may not find on government sites. It helps to get educated about the current social, economic and political climate in the country, which may inform you during your application process.
Do Apportion Ample Time
Are you in a rush for your spouse to get their application approved? Do understand that this is not a quick process. The average amount of time to process an application is 4 to 6 months and may take longer in some cases. So give both you and your spouse sufficient room to complete the entire PR application process, from filling in the application to the processing time to approval.
Don’t Enter a Sham Marriage
According to the Immigration Act, it is illegal to enter into a sham marriage for the purposes of gaining an entry permit into the country, even if the union was made outside of Singapore. If found guilty, one could be liable to a fine or even jail time.
Although the process is long, or in the event that you are not successful the first time around, it is no reason to give up. Keep the end goal in mind. You can attempt to appeal the decision or reapply with the time frame indicated on the rejection letter.
If you find the entire process overwhelming and find that you may need help, there are organisations like Immigration Solutions that can assist with your PR application.