Your Letters

Help foreign spouses get jobs, start family in Singapore

There is certainly a need for locals to get married and have children (Love and the single S'porean; July 9). In line with this, the Government needs to address the needs of a certain group of people - Singaporeans with foreign spouses.

I am a male Singaporean who is married to a foreign national. My wife holds a long-term visit pass (LTVP) as her permanent residency application was rejected earlier this year.

We want to start a family, but cannot do so unless we have a stable and safe home. But, as my wife is neither a permanent resident (PR) nor a Singaporean, we cannot apply for a Build-To-Order flat. We also cannot afford a resale flat because she cannot get a better-paying job, as most employers want only PRs or Singaporeans.

It seems employers do not know they can apply for a Letter of Consent and employ an LTVP holder without incurring any levy or affecting the foreign worker quota.

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While it is right to exercise control over who gets PR status, and weed out those who enter into marriages of convenience, there is a significant number of couples who are adversely affected.

Surely it is understandable that we want to settle our basic needs, like housing and a job, before proceeding to start a family.

I hope the Government can review its policy to aid couples like us, or at least educate employers about hiring LTVP holders.

Zhuo Mingde

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 16, 2017, with the headline 'Help foreign spouses get jobs, start family in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe