Couple dining at the beach

SINGAPORE: In the age of global connectivity, relationships often transcend borders. However, a Singaporean man recently took to social media to share some Singapore rules when dating a foreigner holding work permits in the city-state. He stated, “If you are dating a partner who is holding a work permit in Singapore, here’s 5 things you must know in 60 seconds.”

Here are five key points he shared in a 60-second rundown:

  1. If you intend to marry a WP partner, you must first seek approval from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
  2. Generally, female WP holders are not allowed to get pregnant, unless they are already married to a citizen or PR with approval from M.O.M.
  3. Unless one of you is a Singapore citizen, a baby born in Singapore will not be awarded Singapore citizenship.
  4. Malaysians are eligible to rent the entire HDB unit, construction, marine, and manufacturing sectors, (non-Malaysians) WPs are only allowed to rent rooms in a HDB unless they are Malaysians.
  5. WP holders are not eligible to apply for PR (only S Pass & E Pass can apply PR) or apply dependent passes for their family members, they are also not allowed to set up a company, be a director, or be a company’s shareholder.

Take note
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The Ministry of Manpower work permit conditions, the regulations outlined in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A), and HDB eligibility conditions underscore the legal framework surrounding relationships involving foreign workers.

The Act specifies that foreign employees must seek prior approval from the Ministry of Manpower before entering into marriage with a Singapore citizen or PR. As stated in the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, Chapter 19A, Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012, Part IV, on conduct, “The foreign employee shall not go through any form of marriage or apply to marry under any law, religion, custom or usage with a Singapore citizen or permanent resident in or outside Singapore, without the prior approval of the Controller, while the foreign employee holds a work permit, and also after the foreign employee’s work permit has expired or has been cancelled or revoked.”

Female foreign employees are also prohibited from pregnancy during and after the validity of their work permit, except under specific circumstances.

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According to HDB guidelines, eligibility to rent a flat is limited to Singapore citizens, PRs, and non-citizens legally residing in Singapore with certain pass types. Malaysians in specific sectors have unique rental privileges.

Moreover, experts in immigration law, such as Epica Immigration, emphasise that work permit holders do not meet the criteria for PR status but can still apply with sponsorship from a Singaporean citizen or PR, including a spouse or parents.

Corporate Services further clarifies that work pass holders can bring legally married spouses and unmarried children under 21 to Singapore with a Dependent Pass, subject to income criteria.

As Singapore continues to attract a diverse workforce, understanding these regulations becomes crucial for those navigating cross-border relationships. It is recommended for individuals involved in such relationships to stay informed and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with local laws. /TISG