Parliament: Over 14,600 foreign spouses on long-term visit passes as at Dec 31 last year

SINGAPORE - A total of 14,694 foreigners married to Singapore citizens are here on the Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) and Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus (LTVP+) schemes as of end last year, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Thursday.

In a written reply to Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam, who asked about the number of foreign spouses here on social visit passes and long-term visit passes, Mr Teo said that the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority does not track the number of those who are in Singapore on social visit passes.

Foreign spouses who are permanent residents, or on the LTVP or LTVP+ schemes, or who are on a work pass are eligible to work here, added Mr Teo, who is Home Affairs Minister.

The LTVP+ scheme was introduced in April 2012 for foreign spouses who have been married and living here for more than five years.

Such pass holders can remain in Singapore for longer periods than those who are here under the LTVP scheme. They also qualify for health-care and employment benefits.

There were 7,300 foreign spouses here on the LTVP+ scheme as at the end of September last year. This was nearly double the 3,900 spouses who were under the same scheme as at end-December 2012.

Three in 10 marriages here last year involved transnational couples, compared to two in 10 in 2003.