Saturday, February 28, 2009

Permanent Residency Application February 28, 2009

Some possible reasons for applying PR:
1. Possibility of taking roots in Singapore
2. Travel conveniences
3. Taxes is much lower
4. CPF (Central Provident Fund) which will be payed partly by the Employer and partly by you
5. More jobs available for PR since some companies prefer to hire PR's or Singapore Citizens

We applied last Nov. 15, 2009 which is our e-appointment. You get the forms from their website After filling it up you have to make an e-appointment online on when you're going to submit the forms. Weekends are allowed but due to large numbers of applications sometimes the next available slots are 2 months ahead so make sure to reserve your slot as early as possible. Personal appearance is required for the applicants. Just follow all requirements stated in the form.

I would suggest taking your passport id picture in ICA itself to avoid inconvenience. Right now it's just S$5 for 4 id's. Get 4 additional copies for your formalities so that you don't need to come back.

We didn't get our medical examination since another friend of ours advised us that if your last medical exam happened 2 years from your formalities appointment date then you don't need to undergo medical examination again. Just to make sure my Wife confirmed this on ICA hotline. Remember to ask where you can get the declaration form where you outline details like Pass-type (Q1, Q2, etc), Date of acquiring that pass and it's expiration, etc. This declaration pretty much says that during your PASS application you already had your medical exam which is within the 2 years time frame.

The submission is no hassle. It took us an hour.

Common application takes about 3 months so 2 weeks before the 3rd month i called ICA to verify my application since my Wife's S-PASS is going to expire on Mar. 10, 2009 so we needed to know if she'll going to renew her pass or not. The operator said our PR application has been approved and told us to wait for the letter of approval. We waited for another week but no letter arrived. We called again to the ICA if it's possible to retrieve the letter personally in ICA office. They asked for our contact nos. to get back to us regarding this.

1 day later someone from ICA called my Wife's mobile and informed us that the letter was sent on January 29, 2009. If they will resend the mail it will take additional 3 weeks so they gave us instructions on when and who should we approach in ICA to retrieve our approval letter. Sure enough the letter was handed over to me personally when i went there.

That same day during the evening we tried to schedule an appointment for the formalities however the reference no. of or approval letter doesn't work. I tried again the next morning and then i was able to go in and set our formalities on Feb. 27, 2009 (Fri.) at 11:45. For formalities only weekdays are allowed so we need to take day off on that day.

A very useful advice was given to us by my friend that we need to scan our approval letter in 5th floor of ICA to get the queue number when it is already 10 minutes of our appointment time. Meaning if our appointment is set to 11:45am then we should scan between 11:35am to 11:44am. If you scanned too early it will consider you as a walk-in and it will take the whole day for you to be accommodated. Even having an appointment it feels like your a walk-in. We arrived early to have our breakfast. We didn't found any fastfood around so we settled for their cafeteria. Not much to choose from in our opinion. We're not very fond of some of their traditional menu. We just bought egg sandwiches which costs S$1.80. Could be more cheaper. My wife had an orange juice and me a squash lime which we thought could use less water. They shouldn't dilute the drinks to much.

About approx. 30-45 mins. our number was called to a counter where we submitted the completed forms. After we informed of our medical examination the officer gave me the declaration form to fill-up and my wife filled-up hers on the form attached to our approval letter. It's a good thing i have my Cards with me because they only accept NETS for payment! They could have posted this in their website or something to inform the public. I'm not sure what would've happened if we don't have NETS. Sheesshh!! We paid S$150 per person.

After that the officer gave us the new counters that we need to wait for the queue number. These counters are for the thumb printing and scanning. We waited, i think, for about 2 hours and my pregnant wife is already hungry since the last food that we ate are just sandwiches. We keep seeing numbers higher than us being called but not ours. Just makes you wonder if it's by random or is their any pattern that I'm not seeing.

After the thumb printing and another round of payment (S$50 per person for the IC Card) we we're told to check the queue numbers being called at room 40. We were given the collection slip for our IC cards. The officer informed us that one of us can get the IC from 8am to 4pm on Mar. 6, 2009 (Fri.).

After about 30 mins. our number was called with a bunch of other numbers on the same room (rm 40). I think about 5 numbers were called. Inside another officer gave us our passport, Re-Entry permit and yellow cardboard which the officer told us to photocopy and give to our employers for the CPF contribution.

So we started at 11:45am and we finished at around 4pm. What a day. And we still need to go to Expo that day for the Baby Expo. But I'm glad we are now PR. Another milestone for my Family.

Disclaimer: Information contained in this blog are personal experiences and not to be used as factual information source. It may or may not apply to you so do your own research.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our First Baby February 5, 2009

How did i found out? Well my Wife was suspicious enough to buy a pregnancy test but we'd had so much false alarms before that i didn't think anything of it. First reason of doubt that she might be pregnant because she was 10 days delayed already and she said the latest is only 1 week which happened a couple of times before. Secondly, during the 1st week of January she took an emergency leave since she's not feeling well and very nauseated so she vomited a few times but mostly it happened during the afternoon. Usually in the movies morning sickness happened during the morning thus the word "morning" but having asked several mothers in my office it seems that vomiting can happen also anytime of the day.

When i arrived from Fairprice Junction 8 5th of February (thu.) night in the house with her i didn't realize that she already went in to the toilet to use the pregnancy test. While i was washing the dishes she called out to me and said she was pregnant! Not that i doubt her but i need to see for myself so i went it to the toilet and saw the two stripes and checked the instructions. Yup! It was positive indeed. I expected fear because it's not really the ideal time to have babies, recession and all but instead i was elated! Excited even. So i thought
Wow, so this is the feeling. The feeling of first time fathers.
or so i assumed it would be. I felt no fear of the future. I was just so excited and it felt just right. My Wife didn't saw that. It figures. She thought i was not happy at all.

Anyways my first thought was we need to go to a Gynecologist in the weekends. I have dragonboat training at 3pm and clinic hours on Sat. are just until 1pm and no Sundays so she need to take the half-day leave since she has work on saturdays 'till 2pm. On Friday i took the chance to ask for referrals and advice from my Mother friends at work. One referred us to a Gynecologist in Mt. Alvernia and another one in Raffles Hospital but both are fully booked when i contacted them Saturday morning. It's a good thing we found one at Thomson Medical Centre. Now the moment of truth. The confirmation that we've been waiting for. My wife had an ultrasound and for the first time we saw a miracle. The doctor estimated the fetus to be 5 weeks old and it's just like as big as a 10 cents coin or bigger. We didn't asked for a print out yet and the doctor told us to come back Feb. 21. I'm so excited by i try not to show it. After the checkup they gave us a baby bag which contains some magazines and diapers. Total costs is S$117. Initial checkup is costlier. The next one will only cost S$60 and ultrasound is S$30.

FEB. 21 (7 weeks and 1 day)

Ultrasound scan

Above is the ultrasound scan of our baby. Yeah i shape yet. Printing costs additional S$10. It's a good thing the checkup is monthly.

Mar. 21 (11 weeks, 5 days old)

Ultrasound Scan

At last our baby is taking shape. Based on the measurement it's 4.87cm which according to my Wife's research is normal for 11 weeks pregnancy. No noticeable bump can be seen yet in my Wife.

By the way here in Singapore abortion is legal. I mentioned this because our doctor asked us if we want to do some tests while my Wife is pregnant. He asked us first what's our religion. It's some sort of an opening so that he can assess if he can bring up the question or not. At first i have no idea where he's going with the question. He mentioned that there's a test that measures the possibility of the baby having Down Syndrome while the baby is still in womb. Then i asked
If there's a test does it mean that it can be prevented?
He answered no. The reason for that testing is to have an option for abortion which we immediately declined.
(to be continued...)