Marriage to a Singaporean does not automatically qualify a foreigner for long-term stay in Singapore ("Granting PR status to foreign spouses can raise birth rate" by Mr Raymund Koh Joo Guan; Forum Online, Feb 11).
Every application is assessed holistically, based on a range of criteria, including the ability of the Singaporean sponsor to support the family.
Over the years, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has introduced measures such as the Long Term Visit Pass-Plus scheme (LTVP+) and Pre-Marriage Long Term Visit Pass Assessment (PMLA) to better help Singaporean-foreigner couples.
The LTVP+ scheme, introduced in 2012, provides a range of benefits to foreign spouses of Singapore citizens whose marriages have proven stable over time.
LTVP+ holders can enjoy greater certainty of stay here, with longer periods of residency.
ICA will consider factors such as the duration of marriage, whether the couple have children from the marriage, and the ability of the Singaporean sponsor to support the family, when considering whether to grant the foreign spouse the LTVP+.
More recently, in January last year, ICA introduced the PMLA.
The PMLA helps prospective Singaporean-foreigner couples plan better for the future.
It provides greater clarity, prior to marriage, on whether the foreign spouse can qualify for long-term stay in Singapore.
Prospective Singaporean-foreigner couples are strongly encouraged to undergo the PMLA before marriage.
For more information on the LTVP+ and PMLA, please visit the ICA website on www.ica.gov.sg
Ronnie Tan Ben Jee
Head, Public and Internal Communications
Corporate Communications Division
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority