SINGAPORE: An employer recently shared on social media that their Myanmar helper “was stopped at immigration and denied entry” back into Singapore, after the entire family took a seven-day trip to Taiwan.

Taking to the askSingapore subreddit, the employer explained that they took their helper along for the Taiwan trip because they had a young kid and two immobile elderly family members. However, one week later on their way back to Singapore, their helper was denied entry.

“Only thing the ICA officer will say is that she needs to go back home country and get a new passport. ICA refuse to elaborate,” she wrote.

The helper assured them that she had never violated any laws and had a clean record with the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Additionally, they confirmed with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that there were no problems with the helper’s documents.

“Has anyone experienced anything similar? What could be the cause? Feeling very lost and confused.”

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Some say it could simply be a passport issue, while some speculated their helper was one of the Myanmar nationals whose passports got canceled by Myanmar embassy

In the comments section, Singaporean Redditors told the employer that their helper must have an issue with her passport, because if she had committed a crime, she would have been handed over to SPF immediately.

One netizen said, “If the advice is to get a new passport, it could be a passport issue. Passport expired or nearing expiry, passport damaged, torn pages, or could be passport error (especially if your helper renewed passport in Singapore with the embassy instead of going back to home country to renew).”

Another netizen asked if the passport had expired or if the age in the document was correct, pointing out that some younger individuals falsely claim to be 18 years old to work as a helper in Singapore.

Meanwhile, others speculated that the helper must have been one of the Myanmar nationals in Singapore whose passports were canceled by the Myanmar embassy. 

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Last year, reports emerged about the military regime revoking passports of anti-coup activists in Singapore without prior notice, affecting residents trying to travel to or from the country.

As per Radio Free Asia, some Myanmar nationals were caught off guard at the airport when immigration officials informed them that their passports were no longer valid.

After relaying this information to the employer, one netizen asked, “If your helper was intentionally targeted for being against the junta, then a lot worse could happen to her if she goes home. Like really bad. Where is she now? You might want to contact some NGO that works with FDWs to see if they can help in any way.”

Helper will be sent back to Myanmar

Upon learning this information, the employer immediately called the embassy.

“Embassy confirmed to us that her passport is cancelled. ICA says our best course of action is to send her back to Myanmar and let her get new passports and reenter SG,” she said.

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The employer also expressed that she doesn’t know if their helper “was targeted or if they canceled passport en masse and she got caught in the net.”

Approximately two hours after posting on Reddit, the employer provided an update in the comments section, mentioning that their helper is currently detained at the airport until she is scheduled for a flight back home.

She also added that their helper will be sent back to Myanmar.

“My entire family is deeply saddened and depressed,” she shared.

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