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Immigration consultancy firm’s ad targeted at Indian nationals seeking PR in Singapore earns ire of Singaporeans




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A post of an advertisement saying “Great Opportunity to become PR (in Singapore” is trending in several social media chat groups for all the wrong reasons. The advertisement, which appears to be placed on a table in a food outlet in Little India, is targeted at Tamil-speaking Indian nationals in Singapore.

The advertisement says:

  • Are you an S-Pass or E-Pass holder?
  • Don’t need Queue-number.
  • Don’t need to go to Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
  • Permanent Resident application submitted online.
  • Agent with more than 15 years of experience.

Several locals who responded to the advertisement expressed surprise at how easy it seems for foreign nationals who are in Singapore on S-Pass or E-Pass to get Singapore Permanent Resident status.

The latest Government statistics shows that Singapore’s citizen population grew by 1 per cent in the past year to reach 3.47 million as of June, and that the number of permanent residents (PRs) was at 0.52 million.

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One upvoted Quora-user who responded to a question of ‘How easy or is it to obtain Singapore PR ‘, said:

“Personally, even though there is now feedback that PR applications are being declined at a greater rate, I still know people whom were granted PR at an extremely fast rate on the very first application, even before they started work (this was only very recently). Yet, there are also stories of PR applications being declined.
Why the difference?
Ultimately, a few factors determine the success rate of PR applications.
One of them is skills – or more likely, the skills and knowledge the person has and the industry/sector the person is in.
A biomedical researcher doing research in the life-sciences industry is far more likely to get PR approved than a manager of a F&B restaurant.
An owner of a F&B restaurant is also more likely to get PR approved than a admin/HR manager in the life-sciences industry.
I hope the above-example serves to illuminate matters more clearly.
Also, there is unconfirmed hearsay that PR approvals also depend on salary, i.e the higher your salary is, the more likely it is to be approved (perhaps because the authorities wish to be absolutely sure that a person living long-term in Singapore can support onself).”

Singaporeans who have largely welcomed foreigners have turned wary in recent years, for they perceive that the Government is not managing well the inflow of foreigners, and that companies favour hiring foreigners over Singaporeans, as the easy way out or the cheaper option. Another bugbear has been that foreigners are not making efforts to assimilate into Singapore society.

A Today Online report from 2016 said that a crop of immigration consultancy firms have emerged over the years to offer application services for those seeking permanent residency or citizenship, with claims of stellar success rates.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority had previously clarified that it dealt directly with applicants wishing to take up permanent residency here and each application is assessed on its merits. It would not comment on private services that applicants use to prepare their applications.

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