Moving to Singapore

Old Apr 6th 2016, 12:09 pm
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Default Moving to Singapore

Hi folks

I'm in the process of accepting a 3 year deal to move to Singapore. I am remaining with my current employer, with them covering living arrangements and a bit of extra cash. The package seems good. I will be joined by my wife. Like me she is English. She has been a civil servant, primarily Admin roles.

We are both slightly nervous about her ability to work there, legally and actually finding a job? Any tips or advice? It's not so much the money but making sure she isn't in the apartment all day bored.

Thanks
Ronnie
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 3:43 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Hi Ronnie and welcome to the forum

I no longer live in Singapore. Left there in 2007 though I do go back and visit from time to time. So.... I cannot give you too much up-to-date info. We do have a few regulars on here. Hopefully they will post soon.

I am sure you have read that Singapore is now the most expensive city in the World to live. There may be those that dispute that. It really depends what you spend on. But, nevertheless, it's wise to do your homework. Great that your company is providing accommodation. That is a big plus as it can be jolly expensive.

I don't know the rules with your wife working. Hopefully someone else can give some pointers. I do know that she won't have any problems finding things to do and socializing. Singapore is a very social place. There are loads of things to do and get involved in. All depends on her interests and hobbies of course.

We enjoyed our working life in Singapore. It was a lot of fun. Hope you do too.
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Thanks, we are looking forward to it. I have to say I find the prospect of the increased costs a bit daunting but I was hoping that the real cost was in accommodation and with that taken care of it wouldn't be too bad? I don't think my salary is huge to be honest!
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Old Apr 7th 2016, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

We always found utilities high, even back in 2007, but then we loved our aircon

Generally speaking, watch what the locals do if you want to save some money. Eating out doesn't have to be expensive. Try the food courts like the locals do. Don't be daunted.
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

She can try her luck teaching English at an international school. Get a TESOL if she doesn't have any teaching experience.
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 8:53 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Originally Posted by Wayneway View Post
She can try her luck teaching English at an international school. Get a TESOL if she doesn't have any teaching experience.
Hello Wayneway and welcome to the forum

Are you living in Singapore?
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

If your accommodation is covered I'm sure you will be fine, especially as tax is so low compared to back home.

Your wife will get a dependant pass. She can't work with this but companies she applies for can request a permit to work rather than the whole S/E pass visas. The company has the option to go through a couple of routes depending what's easiest for them.

Does she have a degree? If so I wouldn't worry too much. If she does she may struggle a bit to find a job. Get her to do some kind of education course here, however make sure she has the right permits to do so. Any questions give us a shout. Plenty of us here willing to help provide info.
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Old Apr 11th 2016, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Originally Posted by Mlee888 View Post
If your accommodation is covered I'm sure you will be fine, especially as tax is so low compared to back home.

Your wife will get a dependant pass. She can't work with this but companies she applies for can request a permit to work rather than the whole S/E pass visas. The company has the option to go through a couple of routes depending what's easiest for them.

Does she have a degree? If so I wouldn't worry too much. If she does she may struggle a bit to find a job. Get her to do some kind of education course here, however make sure she has the right permits to do so. Any questions give us a shout. Plenty of us here willing to help provide info.
Thanks, that's encouraging. She doesn't have a degree. Joined the public sector a few years back and never got round to it. We will need to look in to the education courses I think.
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Old Apr 12th 2016, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Originally Posted by RonnieTR View Post
Thanks, that's encouraging. She doesn't have a degree. Joined the public sector a few years back and never got round to it. We will need to look in to the education courses I think.
Apologies for the typo, I meant if she doesn't have a degree then she might struggle.

In Singapore unless it's an internal transfer, authorities here don't tend to issue work permits unless the person has qualifications as well as experience.

Do note that as one member has stated, get her to do apply for teaching English at an international school......Singapore is an English speaking nation so there may not be many opportunities for this.

No need to worry, as I mentioned before, with your accommodation covered, if you are earning $5k (£2.8k) plus upwards, and without kids especially then you can have a life of luxury really. Children costs are much different here from what I've noticed.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 12th 2016, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Just to say 'accomdation taken care of ' and accommodation you will approve of might be two very different things.

Will the company tell you how much you can spend on accom, which is taxable whoever pays, and if utilities is also paid for?
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Old Apr 17th 2016, 8:40 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

If you are the only expat in your company and there aren't too many HR people involved then negotiate hard! If they have chosen you to go then that's a great factor in your favour. Being sent to Singapore by a western employer is the best way to be sent here! Things you need to think of here are:

The value of accomodation, along with any other benefits provided, is taxed at your marginal rate. You need to negotiate an allowance that will get you a private condo. They will often come with an outdoor pool and gym facilities.

Ask your employer to provide a private medical insurance policy for you and your wife as there is no such thing as an NHS here. The cost of that will be taxed as well don't forget.

Ask for paid flights home once per year. If your employer normally sends you business for long haul work flights then your trips home should be in business too.

Decide whether you want to bring furniture here or not. Shipping costs here and shipping costs back should be covered.

Bear in mind that cars are horribly expensive in Singapore. Ask your employer to provide one. If you don't ask you don't get.

A pint of beer in a pub is about 8GBP a pint! A bottle of wine in a restaurant is a minimum of 45GBP!

Without high end qualifications your wife will struggle to find a job unfortunately. However, you can take courses in just about anything here but again be prepared to pay!

If you do lots of research before you come and get the right deal then Singapore is great. Its sunny all year round, you can easily travel to some very exotic places in the region and low taxes means that you can eventually leave with quite a substantial nest egg.
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Old Apr 17th 2016, 9:44 am
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Default Re: Moving to Singapore

Sunny all year round it is not.

Warm all year round, OK.

But the haze which is around for maybe 4 or 5 months of the year precludes sun.

Be aware of how bad the haze has been in recent years.
Not yet London pea souper but it is bad.
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