10 June 2013

Registering for Employment Pass

Heads Up: This is a continuation on my blogging about applying for an S-Pass employment visa in Singapore. If you miss part one, scroll to the bottom of the page for links to the corresponding sequences! 

And now the moment of truth. I have all my paper work filled out, every document notarized by the proper professional and I've even put it in a nice purple folder for presentation... hey, purple is super professional looking so stop snickering!

It's time to register my employment pass and have it made official by the government.

So in most cases, if your company has any legitimate Human Resource department, they can make the appointment at the Ministry of Manpower for you. Those that don't... it can require some hunting through the usual bureaucratic nightmare that is a government website. I personally believe that instead of going this route it just easier to call the Ministry and wade through the hour of operators to get a real live person to confirm your appointment. I however lost charge on my battery and was thrown back to step one before my appointment was confirm.

But HR came to the rescue and got in my appointment situated.

Once your confirmation is in the system, they send you a email with all your details, along with a registration bar-code. Print off this paper and bring it along with all your other documents.

With that all nailed down it was just holding out the days until it was time. Now remember this is a bureaucracy... it doesn't mean being punctual, it means being early. Finding the front entrance to just the campus wasted at least 20-minutes and thankfully I was there nearly an hour early, so it wasn't a mad dash to the door.

Inside its crowded, but keep your eyes peeled because Ministry officers are moving through the cluster of confused and waylay people, helping to get you to your appointment as fast a possible. They will take you to a nearby electronic kiosk. This is where that confirmation paper you printed off comes in. A quick scan and all your information is confirmed along with your physical arrival and in response, it prints off what lettered queue you are suppose to head to (A, B or C).

Inside the queue you have to wait in another line, though this is so short it will barely take longer than a few minutes. A screen on the wall will chime when a interview desk has opened and the corresponding number of said desk. Within minutes you'll be ushered into a glass lined cubicle that is so small you'll feel as if one wrong move and you'll be in the interviewer's lap!

Here is where you'll be handing over all your important documents that you've been collecting since the beginning of your journey:
  • Passport (Include multiple photo IDs and your social security card just to be safe).
  • In-Principle Approval Letter (the letter you were sent when your application was approved).
  • Disembarkation/Embarkation Card (basically the long-term visitor visa you were issued at Singapore customs when you arrived).
  • Completed Medical Examination form.
Make sure to note if your American or European, that the sequence your name is in will not match the common naming sequence on naming documents in Asia. To clarify, in Asia it is common to first list your last name, any numeral relation (junior, senior, III, IV), your first name next, finalized with any middle names you have (its common in this region of the world to have none at all or more than one, hence going last). In the case of Americans, who go First, Middle, Last, Numeral, this means you'll have to be issued a name amendment so they don't completely spell your name on the card in a disorganized manner. I had to correct the interviewer twice that she listed my name out of order... interviewers don't like to be corrected.

Next is the picture for your card and lets be clear, make sure you look presentable and wear something that you won't be embarrassed to be seen in. For the Indian man in the ratty, stained and torn t-shirt with Michael Jackson on the cover... congratulations, every official document your picture will appear on in this country will also show your poor taste in fashion.

I will admit I looked damn good in my picture, though at 5-foot 8-inches, I still had to bend my knees to fit into the camera's frame. You get two takes and after that its picking the lesser of two evils. I very much approve of the black and white, high contrast picture of me... whoever the photographer is, I want her doing all future photo shots for me!

With this completed, all those documents you brought (save the official ones like your passport and social security card) are taken for your registration and now are all gone... never to be seen again... thank God!

Now its time to wait. In general, you or your company will get a call within the next four to five business days, confirming that your card is ready. If you work for a major company, generally they will send the card directly to your office by secure messenger. If not, then you'll have to go all the way back to the Ministry office and pick it up yourself. 

Until that day, I'll keep you posted but until then, the AngMoh is now a semi-registered American Expat in Singapore!

For those that missed it, here is the complete S-Pass Application Process. Click below for:

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