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Singapore: Working

How to work in Singapore:

You have to get a work contract between you and the company along with a visa to work in Sinapore (Work Permit or Employment Pass) delivered by the SIR (Singapore Immigration & Registration) which depends on the lenght and the nature of the job. Instead of saying what the SIR says, ask them the questions directly at Now, if you didn't found a job and you are looking for one, here is where this will be useful.

How long can I stay in Singapore looking for a job?

Arriving in Singapore, you will get a social visit pass which validity will be of one month. Every month, a few possibilities are available::
Go renew your visa at the SIR (in front of the MRT Lavender station). You can renew it a few times without them saying much. After 2 or 3 times, they will start to ask questions and you better have answers.

Getting out of the country for a few days at least and then getting back to benefit from an all new visa when you return. If you enter via the Causeway or via Tuas Link (the two frontier post with Malaisia), you will only get a 2 weeks visa. But if you enter via the Changi Airport, you get a one month visa.

You can also get sponsored by a Singapore citizen or by a PR, Permanent Resident. He just has to sign a form saying that you have a good morality. Here too, you will have to renew it every month but the immigration services are much less regarding and you will be able to stay for at least 6 months.

By combiming those three solutions, I think that you can stay without any problems as a tourist(social visit pass) during at least 6 to 9 month. This should be enough to know if you can find a job in Singapore, isn't it?

Warning: Staying after the agreed delay is an offense which is severely reprimended by the lsingaporian law. Some girls from surrounding countries like Thailand come to make business of their body, are doing this often and overstay their visa. They often end up with a 6 to 9 month emprisonment term after an arrest and a fast trial. Conclusion: never get in trouble with the immigration. You would loose everytime! On the countrary, in case of problem, always be lenient and recognize your mistake by saying that you don't know the law, even if everybody should know the law.

Can I work unofficially?

Here again, I don't advise you, for the same reasons as in the previous chapter.

Where and how to look for a job?

Like if you had to find an appartment, go deep in the Straits Times which has plenty of daily job offers. But for the managers and very qualified job, it's in the saturday morning eedition that you should get. However, I have a feeling that a impressive screening of the Straits Times resumes is done and that usually few foreigners CVs pass this net. No garanty of results then.

Try to go also at the office of the FBA (French Business Association) to see the one responsible of the OMI (Office des Migrations Internationales) desk. It can always be useful. Then, the FBA publishes each year a book called the FBA directory. You can find there the addresses of all the large french companies in Singapore as well as the name of their chief executives and phone numbers. It's really useful! If you do that again in a few ambassies of other countries, this will give you a good list of contacts to take care of.

Each ambassy has a current list of its citizens living in the country. Try to get it.

Ther are also sometimes more or less private clubs (Swiss Club, American Club, …) whose members are high level executives. getting to know one and paying golf/tennis with him, will allow you, if you know how to manage those contacts, to get access to an even larger list of contacts.

Are you a banker ? Get to know where to find them. In fact, ,I wanted to say in which pubs you can find them!’ Wednesday and friday evenings, trty the Harry’s Bar and the Culture Club on Boat Quay from 6.30pm, then, a little later in the night, go to every pubs of Emerald Hill, near Somerset station. After midnight, go directly yo either the Top Ten (in Orchard Towers, on the top of Orchard Road) either to the Velvet Underground (Jiak Kim Street, near Kim Seng Road). For this last one, go there on tuesday, on Thursday and friday but not on wednesday (it's empty). Onece on the spot, ,apply traditional methods to get to know people. It drops your mouth ? Me aslo, but it works!

getting through the assistant manager is much less difficult in Singapore than in France. Take advantage of it! Target a company, ask to meet the manager of the de section which interst you, and why not his direct contact informations and his email. She will ask you your name? Tell her: « Is he in ? I would like to speak to him… NOW ! ». Once again, it's a ridicule but it works. Elementary marketing techniques.

Use the internet as much as you can. Many jobs are offer online. Make a good search with the usual search engines with the following keywords : « singapore job ». You will have at least for a few days search!

Which type of package to hope to?

I think that like for every expatriation (and not only in Singapore), the best is to be sent by a company in France rather than to look on the spot. If you are in the first case, try to negociate the followings:

Help for the rent from S$3,000 (FRF11,100) per month and more if you have wife and children.

A car for the following causes, especially if:

Business fonction, which implies many trips either in Singapore or Malaisia (States of Johor Bahru for example)
High level managing job (head of a bank, of an insurance company) which needs you to look rich (cf the articles on private cars)
Frequent trips to SIngapore or the Malaisian peninsula

Pension plans / unemployment, by starting on a good salary basis.

A Complete social cover (for you, your wife and the children) + rapatriation insurance

Flight tickets (for you and your family) paid by your company so that you can return to you home country regularly.

Payments of the children education Lycée Français de Singapour

Membership Cards in clubs like the Tanglin Club, l’American Club, Singapore Cricket Club, …

If you are in the second case, you will not have all those advantages. At the very best, you will be able to negotiate a help for the rent. It's your turn to negotiate.



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