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Monday January 14th 2019

Ex-permanent resident from Singapore rejected work permit by MINDEF

Hi there,

I am a British citizen (born in Hong Kong) who has migrated to Singapore with my family at the tender age of 6.

Shortly after our successful migration, our family obtained PR – my father being the 1st gen PR and both my brother and I, being the 2nd gen PRs.

At the age of 15, my parents took the liberty of deciding to send both my brother and I to the UK for studies. According to them, this is due to the fact that in order to be eligible for local fee structure in education within the UK, I will have to be present and living in the UK 3 years before turning 18 in preparation for University.

Therefore, my PR status was renounced and the government informed. It is important to highlight the fact that at that point of time, there was no ruling stating that if you renounce your PR status after 13 years old, there will be significant consequences. (IIRC, you had to inform the government of the decision to renounce PR before 18 years old).

Fast forward 6-7 years, I have completed my Bachelor and Masters studies and was offered a position back in Singapore.

The main point is that, the company applied for a EP work permit so that I can legally work for them, however that was rejected.

They appealed and even got a government body to provide supporting documentation and recommendation to support my employment.

However, this was again, rejected.

It is worth pointing out that the work permit was actually approved by MOM (according to the HR of the company), but apparently Mindef intervened and therefore, my EP was rejected.

My occupation is within the sports industry and with the growing focus of improvement within sports participation in Singapore, I’m baffled as to why my work permit is being rejected on numerous occasions.

Additionally, my qualifications are not attainable in Singapore as there are no institutions that offer the program/course – so it eliminates the reason of hiring locals over foreigners.

It would be lovely if some one could shed some light or share some of their knowledge and experiences with me, as I’m still trying to understand the situation.

Just to add, I’m currently back in the UK – so I’m just trying to get an understanding of why this happened when I was in Singapore.

Sorry for the giant wall of text and thank you in advance for your kind understanding and insight in this matter.



Editor’s note: This article is retrieved from a post in Singapore Expats.

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Reader Feedback

6 Responses to “Ex-permanent resident from Singapore rejected work permit by MINDEF”

  1. Blue says:

    As 2nd generation PR, IF you serve your NS, mostly likely you will not have this problem

    Some apply PR to get benefits but do not want to serve NS

  2. Ex-PR says:

    Did u study any of the government school ( eg. Primary & Secondary schools) before heading to UK ? If u have, the authority has every right not to approve your PR, EP or even WP..

  3. xyz says:

    What an asshole. That ex-PR already knows why he is being rejected, and still want to ask?!?!? I suggest he ask his own father because SG govt already explained in black & white letter to the parents when they decided to renounce PR for their sons beyond their 13th birthday.

    (The writer already mentions the 13 yr old thing, so he obviously knows the reason.)

    Under Enlistment Act, all SG citizen males & 2nd generation & beyond PR males MUST SERVE NS if they don’t renounce before their 13th birthday. Doesn’t matter if you never attend govt school or never use govt hospital/polyclinic.

    This is not new. Even back in 1980 already got this law. I know becoz my PR classmate in Sec 1 made a last-minute decision to renounce his PR before he turned 13 yrs old. After that he had to pay about $500 per month for Sec school. And this was in 1980! But anyway soon after that my classmate’s whole family migrated to Australia.

    ACTUALLY got simple solution for that ex-PR. Just do your 2-year NS stint. After that your EP sure approve. Confirmed & chopped.

  4. Wei Sheng says:

    Thumbs up for our Mindef for not to easily give Singapore PR status like toilet paper.

  5. CY says:

    I do not think i will welcome you to Singapore.
    No matter how much we complained about serving the nation, we still served, so we can prosper.
    You were not part of it, and you want to enjoy our prosperity?!

    This is one time i feel i am with the gov whole heartedly.
    I don’t understand why does this company need to hire you to be in SG. SG is country filled with talents, our university are easily world top tier range.
    Such avoiding NS stance speak poorly of your character, i wonder how well can you function at work with such character

    FYI SG will not welcome you other than being a tourist.


  6. clara says:

    I have the same situation as you,holding british passport and I got pr due to my parents but I was born here and study here till 12 and I moved back to hk.
    my company applied ep for me and it went well,first time reject second time approve and its the 3rf year of holding ep.
    I applied pr but was rejected,i have no idea what to do,to give up or to appeal.

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