He has been in Singapore for five years, and has had four failed applications to gain PR status. Since then, he is now a father of two. Now, he would like to share with us all on how he finally managed to get his PR.
“Finally got my PR approved, thanks everyone for all your support these years. It’s been a tough journey, but I have stuck with it. I recall surfing every website, reading every news article that can be of any help to this application process. Allow me to share this story with you, a 4-and-a-half-year journey. Two words can sum it all up: NOT EASY.
We came to Singapore in late 2010. Then, I learned that the application process for PR was easy, with some getting theirs within half a year.
I was then on a P1 Employment Pass, drawing a monthly salary of S$7,000. Before that, my family and I were in England, but PR restrictions dictate that we have to live there for at least four years.
In comparison, Singapore, after all, is a Chinese-dominated society which emphasizes on filial piety. Hence, we came over here with the knowledge that a P1 Employment Pass would be of great help to our first application for PR, which we duly do so half a year later.
To our shock, three months after that, we were dejected to learn that we have been rejected. It was a shock as we were planning to buy a house here, a HDB flat that is. Gradually, the work pressures in Singapore got to me, and I had my doubts, with thoughts of heading home.
In addition, the housing agent warned us that if we were to leave Singapore as non-PR, we are required to sell our HBD flat. Since then, we have been renting a flat to stay. It was okay before the kids came along, but the situation changed of course when I gave birth to them.
When my parents came over here to live, I started to realise the difficulty of not owning a flat. For instance, I am not allowed to install a CCTV nor a fan on the wall. My parents had difficulties getting to sleep too, and the toys for my kids were starting to pile up with no real storage space.
Quite simply, we couldn’t anyhow carve up space as we are not the real home owners. It was quite a torture throughout the three years we stayed there!
But back on my PR application journey. It was a series of unsuccessful applications: half year, 1 ½ year, 2 ½ year, appeal, 3 year, to the extent I have lost count on how many times I have applied for it.
On average, each time it took three months for ICA to reject my application. One female ICA officer told me that the waiting process will get longer if the salary is higher, and it would be best if we have a one-year waiting window.
I refused to heed her advice, even appealing immediately after a rejection. My situation was that I was then on a S$7,000 monthly salary, with my wife’s salary around S$3,500. The second time I applied, my wife’s salary has already increased by S$500.
Soon after, no thanks to a colleague I disliked, I was forced to take a pay cut, going down to S$6,000, with my wife’s salary going up again to S$4,500. We also failed in our attempt there. The ICA officer was quick to state that a decreasing pay packet wouldn’t affect the chances of getting PR.
Everyday, I was hoping to get PR status. I told myself the day after I would finally get it I will quit my job. Soon, the colleague I disliked much was dismissed from his job, and I would get a new boss I liked very much.
Unfortunately, he would leave his post half a year later. A Singapore government linked department headhunted me, but I hesitated and said no.
Soon after, another new boss came in, and he valued me, but did little to give me a substantial pay rise, at most a 6% increase. In the second half of 2014, I got a new job, and was prepared to jump ship. But my old employers tried to counter-offer, to no avail though.
I ignored them and made the switch, and applied for PR again. The new job was great to me. There was more work-life balance, and overtime work was little.
Today, my salary is S$9,000, with my wife’s at S$5,000. We are university graduates, with two boys in tow. But housing issues remain a problem.
I have once thought of paying a 10% downpayment for a condominium, but that sum of money could have got me a flat in the lesser provinces of China. But thankfully, my fellow friends in the discussion forum kept telling me that money can be earned back!